Program is pathway into building trades

Construction Connect UP students

ESCANABA — Construction Connect UP finished its first full year with Draft Day where students who successfully completed the program were drafted into building trades apprenticeships and construction-related careers.

The Upper Peninsula Construction Council collaborated with its signatory contractors and UP building trades unions, UP Michigan Works, Delta-Schoolcraft ISD, Dickinson-Iron ISD and Marquette-Alger Regional Education Services Agency to develop the program, which is skill-based, labor- and industry-approved and directly linked to workplace situations.

Students in the program spend two to three hours in the mornings or afternoons working, learning, and earning $13 an hour on job sites.

The 11 students who completed the program were drafted into the following:


Dakota Carey: Closner Construction & Carpenters 1510

Tyler Thomas: Dresseler Mechanical & UA Plumbers & Pipefitters 111


Brett Labre: Berger & King & UA Plumbers & Pipefitters 111

Nick Matthews: IBEW 906

Cade Franks: Miron Construction & Carpenters 1510

Abbigail Hardwick: Carpenters 1510

Ty Miron: SMART 7

Nate Lanaville: IUOE 324


Kolby Hood: IBEW 906

Luke Wolfe: Gundlach Champion & LIUNA 1329. Luke will attend NMU Industrial Education in the Fall (CTE Teacher)

Dylan Premo: Lineman

More than 70 people attended Draft Day, representing building trades unions, signatory contractors, UP Michigan Works, and school districts. The event began with networking, followed by a program that featured remarks from Mike Smith, UPCC Executive Director; Ryan Stern, UP Rep, Michigan Building Trades; Trent Bellingar, Superintendent, Delta-Schoolcraft ISD; and Debb Brunell, Executive Director, UP Michigan Works!.

The UPCC is committed to growing talent in our young people so they can stay and be successful right here in the U.P., said UPCC Executive Director Mike Smith. The construction industry is booming, so it s an excellent career path for smart, hardworking students.

So far, 12 students have been admitted into the program for the 2024-25 school year.

“We look forward to one additional student in Marquette and potentially two in the eastern Upper Peninsula as we grow this program east and west across the U.P.,” Smith said.


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