Related Midwest Blog

Related Midwest Introduces Local Youth to Careers in Construction Trades

As part of its efforts to promote inclusion in the industry, Related Midwest frequently conducts outreach to introduce young people to the trades. By showing youth the many jobs that exist—and the positive impact their work can have on their communities—Related is helping to recruit the next generation of talent that will shape the city for years to come. This outreach can include career fairs, informational meetings and inspirational talks with students beginning to think about what life after high school will hold.

Recently, Related Executive Vice President Don Biernacki and HIRE360's Manager of Youth Engagement Rashaan Meador met with 100 students at Prosser Career Academy, a vocational training high school to introduce them to careers in the trades and answer their questions about what it’s like to work in construction.

HIRE360 is a first-of-its-kind platform co-founded by Related Midwest. The group is a partnership among developers, trade groups and unions with a bold mission to transform the real estate and hospitality industries from the ground up by creating opportunities for underrepresented groups. HIRE360 works to remove the barriers to employment in these industries by providing training and mentorship that set up participants for successful, long-term careers.

Because the visit to Prosser generated so much interest, Related invited 16 students to see first-hand what a career in construction looks like. In April, Prosser students toured The Row—Related’s newest residential high-rise in Fulton Market—as part of HIRE360’s youth engagement program, which exposes students to careers in the industry. Teens were inspired by what they heard from the team behind The Row, including general contractor BOWA Construction, Related Midwest employees, and tradesmen and women working on the building. They learned about the different skills and roles involved in construction, from the first shovels in the ground to the final finishes placed inside, and how the building’s approach to sustainability and affordable housing is creating meaningful change for residents of the community.

Related’s youth engagement extends beyond Prosser Academy. Alongside in-house contracting partner LR Contracting, Related attended the three-day CPS Career Fairs this spring to get the word out about construction careers to even more local students. Thousands of CPS students, including some from Prosser Academy, explored careers in architecture, STEM, engineering, construction trades and related fields by learning from experts who do the work every day.