In 40 years, Nunn Construction has completed more than 120 K-12 education projects across Colorado. Among them are a dozen spaces dedicated to Career Technology Education (CTE). We have seen these job-ready focused programs, makerspaces, media centers, and collaboration areas become staples in Colorado schools, especially in rural communities but also right here in Colorado Springs.
Just last week, students with The MiLL (Manufacturing Industry Learning Lab), from Widefield School District 3, attended a construction site tour at Widefield Parks & Recreation Facility Expansion. The school recently received a $12,500 donation from the International Woodworking Fair for an updated curriculum that helps introduce construction to the next generation.
As we think about our children’s futures, many parents envision higher education right after high school graduation as the only option. This one-track-fits-all approach is doing an immense disservice to future generations. CTE programs create a wealth of possibilities for students and young people, empowering hands-on learners to participate in learning trades they may not have otherwise considered. They can graduate and enter the workforce with employable skills already developed, starting a career where they can make a successful living.
“Most of them don’t realize the job potential out there if you don’t want to go to college,” said Berni Mount, who works in Nunn’s accounting department. As a member of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Pikes Peak Chapter since 2009, she has served on the board as Recording Secretary, Director, and President. Berni has enjoyed helping NAWIC support numerous local events that encourage working in construction such as Southern Colorado Construction Career Days.
Careers in Construction Colorado (CICC) also strives to help connect students with CTE opportunities. Helping return skilled vocational education to schools, this program started in 2015 with 18 students at one school. CICC is now hosted in 48 Colorado high schools in school districts across Front Range.
Vice President Phil LaSarre joined CICC in 2016 and currently serves on their State Board and finance committee. He estimated that Nunn Construction, a Bronze Donor for the program, hires about 20 CICC students each year.
“Most of them don’t realize the job potential out there if you don’t want to go to college.”
After these types of programs were removed from schools in past decades, Nunn saw our first recent project with CTE space in 2012 at the rural Big Sandy PK-12 School in Simla, with its construction classrooms. Later, Montezuma-Cortez High School in Cortez included spaces for hands-on instruction in their programs dedicated to culinary arts, agriculture, fire science, and EMS services, among other fields.
Some of our additional school projects with CTE elements have included:
- Manzanola K-12 Addition & Renovation, Manzanola, CO
- Liberty High School – CTE Addition, Colorado Springs, CO
- Legacy Peak Elementary School and Center for Modern Learning, Colorado Springs, CO
- Sand Creek High School, Colorado Springs, CO
- Otero Elementary School, Colorado Springs, CO
- Genoa-Hugo PK-12 School, Hugo, CO
- Welte Education Center, Fountain, CO
- Broomfield Heights Middle School, Broomfield, CO
- John Adams Elementary School, Colorado Springs, CO
Building PK-12 education projects and serving Colorado schools have been profoundly rewarding for us, both as a company and especially as individuals raising young families. We look forward to providing more of these productive learning environments that enrich education for hands-on learners, helping students build skills and pave pathways to promising futures.