Area schools that Build Your Future are involved with include East Ascension, Dutchtown, St. Amant, and Donaldsonville. They partner with these schools to offer programs in things like carpentry and welding.

Making a career in the construction industry can be just as rewarding as attending a four-year college.

Career and Technical Education has an 18 percent higher graduation rate, with a direct correlation to the job market, than colleges normally do. During 2018, construction and manufacturing will provide nearly 8 million job openings.

Getting younger kids involved while in high school is important, and it is why CTE programs are implemented in some of them.

On October 17, the Build Your Future campaign held a Build Your Future Day, alongside the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. Pelican and New Orleans/Bayou Region Chapter. One thousand ninth and tenth graders had the opportunity to attend the event, as well as celebrate Careers in Construction Month.

"In the past, we've seen growth from students who have attended these kinds of events," President and CEO of the Pelican Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors David Helveston said. "Those who attend are usually the ones that we see showing interest in learning more about a career in construction."

Area schools that Build Your Future are involved with include East Ascension, Dutchtown, St. Amant, and Donaldsonville. They partner with these schools to offer programs in things like carpentry and welding.

"Our biggest thing is community outreach," Communications Director of the Pelican Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors Erika Walter said. "So by being here, we hope to show people the importance of this. There are great career options with many opportunities for advancement in construction."

Cody Clement, a ninth grader from Destrehan High School, said, "I'm really interested in Scaffolding. My dad does that, and I really like what he does. I'd hope to work along the river once I reach that point. I'm excited to be here and to experience all of this."

A scaffold builder works at great heights to install temporary structures like ladders, walkways, and handrails with a variety of power tools and lifts.

Eighty-one percent of dropouts have said that more real-world experience may have influenced them to stay in school, versus just memorizing and taking tests.

Follow Darian on Twitter @dariangshark