Program introduces high school students to the construction industry |

Program introduces high school students to the construction industry

Yampa Valley High School senior Diego Garcia listens to carpenter John Ostergar from Rivertree Custom Builders during the Building Futures event for high school students in Steamboat Springs on Wednesday at Howelsen Hill. The event, which was put on by the Colorado Chapter of the International Code Council, focused on introducing high school students to careers in construction.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — On Wednesday, Hayden Higginbotham used an impact driver to fasten two-by-fours together as professional carpenters taught him the art of framing a wall in the parking lot at Howelsen Hill.

“It’s pretty interesting,” the Yampa Valley High School senior said. “You get to learn a pretty good amount. They talk about individual trades like carpentry, engineering and plumbing.”

Higginbotham and several of his classmates were attending the Building Futures with a Career in Construction event where they learned to put together the walls of a home, so that it can handle snow loads, and were taught how walls are designed to accommodate windows, doors and drywall.

“It gives high school students a chance to come around and see what they do in the construction world and maybe get a little hands-on experience as well,” said Don Marchbanks, who is a senior building inspector at Routt County Regional Building Department and a member of the board of directors for the Colorado Chapter of the International Code Council, which sponsored the event. “They get a feel for what they do in the construction world, and it kind of gives them some sort of a career path that they might be able to follow.”

About 35 students from the Steamboat Springs area attended the event, along with eight industry professionals who introduced students to the fields of carpentry, plumbing, electrical, solar and heating and air conditioning. This is the second year the event has taken place in Steamboat Springs, and Marchbanks said he is hoping to get more industry representatives involved next year.

“There’s a lot of trades in a construction field,” Marchbanks said. “It’s not like you’re just going to go out there and be carpenter.”

This event offered students a place to learn what they needed to do to get an apprenticeship, the first step to becoming a carpenter, how to become an electrician or how to pursue the college degree needed to become an engineer or architect.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.