Students Trade Pens for Drill Bits in the Southwest
More than 500 students from around Las Cruces, N.M., participated in the Tyson Brown Memorial Build My Future showcase on Oct. 11, hosted by the Las Cruces Home Builders Association (LCHBA). The event was designed to inspire young people to enter the skilled trades and bring positive attention to the residential construction industry.
"The dream is to turn this local event into a statewide one. Our 2022 event was a huge success — we had more than 500 students and over 50 exhibitors," said Nicole Black, LCHBA executive director. "The event is only getting bigger. Build My Future is now a memorial to Tyson Brown, who worked with Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber and served as the chair of the 2021 Build My Future."
Electricians, welders, roofers and other skilled trades professionals guided students as they navigated construction tools and materials, such as working with a nail gun. Students also participated in a shed-building contest, adding a competitive flare to the event. The builds will be auctioned off later this year.
"This provides students a real career path that leads to good paying jobs and elevates their education to the same level of students that are taking college prep classes," said N.M. State Senator Bill Soules.
The event has proven to help build the talent pipeline locally. For example, a high school student secured a welding position last summer with a local business and credited Build My Future for the opportunity.
Due to the program's overwhelming success, LCHBA plans to hold next year's event at a larger venue to accommodate the growing size.