TAMPA (FOX 13) - Nearly a thousand high school students got a chance to try their hands at construction work at the the Tampa Bay Construction Career Day.
Students got to operate more than a dozen pieces of construction equipment, including a large wheel loader. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and some of its contractors sponsored the event at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds Wednesday.
"I don't really see myself pursuing a college education when I can work with my hands, something I'm good at, and make good money for it," Dorien Cordero, a senior at Jefferson High School in Tampa said.
According to industry representatives at the fair, jobs in highway construction are plentiful. That's music to the ears of many facing graduation.
"We have a generation that is getting ready to retire and we have a labor gap. We're trying to fill it right now with the up-and-coming generation," Said Penny Danielecki of Suncoast Utility Contractors Association.
It was the second year for this event. A spokesperson said FDOT sponsors similar events in Orlando and Miami.