With one event remaining, Construct Tomorrow already looks to build upon a strong year.

Nine different locations hosted Construct Tomorrow events this school year. Starting in Rochester and Mankato in the Fall, the program will end in Bemidji in April. For the first time Saint Paul’s RiverCentre exhibition hall hosted two days in December. The first day was aimed at Ramsey County schools whereas the second was for others in the surrounding area. Duluth was another two-day event with one additional session thrown in the mix. On the evening of the first day adults from around the area can come in and talk directly with not just the trades on the floor but can consult with representatives from various contractors on “contractor’s row” inside the Edmund Fitzgerald Hall at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. These are contractors whose representatives can actually hire them. 

Funding is in place to rent the event centers and arenas that host Construct Tomorrow, so losing steam is not in the cards. “We will be fundraising for the other incidentals that go with these events,” explained Kim Schrupp. “The money we get doesn’t allow us to order lunch for the tradespeople who are exhibitors at the event, for example.” 

While keeping records of how many kids have been turned onto the trades as a career is a bit elusive, Nick Tracey of Proctor can tell you it does happen – because it happened to him. When he was a senior in 2019, he attended the event in Duluth and got two invites, one from the iron workers and one from the carpenters. To borrow a sports analogy, he made two recruiting trips and signed with the carpenters. With just 200 hours to go, he’s close to journeyman status. Concludes Tracey, “It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.”