Dallas Area High School Students Advance to National Finale of First-Ever Construction Challenge …More than 1 Million New Jobs to be created in Construction Industry by 2012; Students Introduced to Construction Careers

Greenvile, Texas.- Seven teams of high school students from the Dallas Area have earned the chance to compete en the first-ever International Construction Challenge. They took part in one of the five regional Qualifying Rallies on Saturday in Greenville where they secured their spot in the Construction Challenge finale taking place at one of the world’s largest trads show, CONEXPO-CON/AGG, March 11-15, 2008 in Las Vegas.

The advancing teams are from:

– Cleburne High School in Cleburne.

– Dallas Science and Engenieering Magnet in Dallas

– Jesuit Prep Academy in Dallas (two teams)

– Tech Home Schools in Irving

– Midlothian ISD in Midlothian, and

– Salphur Springs ISD in Salphur Springs

The teams are already preparing for the finale where they will compete for prizes and scholarships, get the chance to learn new skills and network with leaders from the construction industry.

“we were looking for a new way to reach young people, parents, teachers and counselors with the variety of career opportunities the construction industry has to offer. The Construction Challenge is a great way to share that information and to educate the public about the growing demand for skilled workers. We estimate that the construction industry will create more than 2 million new jobs by 2012 – and offer some great career choices for young people in school today”, said Al Cervero, senior vice president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the sponsor of the Challenge.

“At the same time that many of our employees are entering into retirement, our national infrastructure is in need of a dramatic face-lift that will require the creativity and hared work of some of our nation’s best and brightest”, he added.

The hands-on challenges, developed in parthership with Destination ImagiNation, Inc., spotlight creativity and problem solving. Teams went head-to-head with other teams in three events. A debate-style format focused on a serious discussion about infrastructure issues related to roads, bridges, and clean water. In a “road warrior” segment, teams designed, selected construction materials, built and tested a small-scale structure in a very short period of time. In the third segment, teams developed industry communications materials and programs.

Students who participate in the nationwide competition will learn about rewarding, interesting and lucrative careers in the equipment manufacturing industry, which includes thousands of companies manufacturing, selling or operating equipment. They will also learn about the construction industri’s contributions to our quality of life, specially related to building and maintaining an adequate infrastructure.

“As we see frequently in the news, our country is facing an infrastructure problem. We have crumbling bridges, overcrowded roadways and aging water and wastewater systems. If we don’t address these issues adequately now, we will severely compromise safety and productivity. We cannot wait much longer”. Cervero added.

For information about the challenge and construction careers, visit:

www.constructionchallenge.org and www.constructmyfuture.com