Skilled trade expo returns

Students and adults interested in a career in the skilled trades will have the chance to connect first-hand with professionals in a dozen crafts Sept. 20 and 21 at the Mahoning Valley Skilled Trades Expo at the Canfield Fairgrounds.

Separate sessions for students in seventh to 12th grades are planned for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 20 and 21. The public session for adults is 3 to 6 p.m. Sept. 20.

Multiple crafts will be represented, including plumbers and pipefitters, electricians, sheet metal workers, iron workers, laborers, cement finishers, bricklayers, roofers, waterproofers, carpenters, painters and operating engineers.

The expo provides an introduction to a variety of skilled trades as a career. For adults, the expo offers the chance to find a new or different career.

“Across the country, they are about 2 million short for the union craft trades. Here locally, our best estimate, we’re a little over 500 short across the Mahoning Valley,” Gary Hartman, services director for The Builders Association, said.

“The outlook on the work is really good. We have a lot of projects going on and some big projects that should starting relatively soon, too,” Hartman said. “Workforce is definitely a need, and one the things we noticed is we are making some gains.”

The association sponsors the expo, which last year had about 5,000 students from the region attend. Attendance this year is expected to be same, Hartman said.

New this year, the expo is moving under roof at the new Junior Fair building at the fairgrounds rather than being spread across the site.

Students from Mahoning County will attend Sept. 20 and students from Trumbull County will attend Sept. 21. School districts in Columbiana and Portage counties, and from Crawford and Lawrence counties in Pennsylvania also are sending students.


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