By SHERI GASSAWAY
Sponsors and exhibitors are needed for the 2023 Build My Future STL career expo, which will give students the opportunity to experience a day in the construction industry through an interactive showcase.
The event, sponsored by the Home Builders Association (HBA) of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri and the Francis Howell School District, will take place at the St. Charles Family Arena on April 26 and April 27, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for students and on April 26 from 3 to 5 p.m. for the general public.
2023 will be the second year for the expo. Last year’s event featured hands-on exhibits and virtual reality simulations by nearly 60 local organizations that specialize in architecture, construction, bricklaying, heavy equipment, tile laying, welding and more.
“We had 800 students from 35 schools attend last year, and for a first-year event, we were incredibly happy with the outcome and the excitement of the students,” said Kelley Pfieffer, of HBA of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri.
This October, the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Missouri, (a sponsor of Build My Future STL), is also hosting several Build My Future events for high school students throughout the state, including one scheduled for Ferguson on Oct. 12. The event will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley. For more information visit agcmo.org or call Charlyce Ruth at 417-425-3390.
For the 2023 event, Build My Future STL has invited students from 205 schools from the seven Missouri counties the HBA serves as well as students from schools in the Metro East. It has also expanded the event to two days and opened it to the public for a couple hours.
“Since we’re inviting more students, we decided to make it a two-day event so we can accommodate everyone,” Pfieffer said. “We are also opening the event to the public so high school students interested in a particular construction trade can bring back their parents and so others interested in the construction industry may attend.”
Organizations interested in sponsoring the expo or being an exhibitor can visit agcmo.org or contact Pfeiffer at 314-817-5633. Event setup for 2023 exhibitors will be on Tuesday April 25 and final setup is allowed between 7 and 8 a.m. on the day of the event.
The idea for Build My Future was born in Springfield, Mo., in 2014 out of a shared desire among industry professionals to remedy the dwindling pipeline of workers and lack of interest in the skilled trades. Today, Build My Future is the largest event of its kind in the country, and now takes place annually in 10 states.