Marketers don’t agree on the exact number, but it’s clear it takes more than one contact with a buyer to make a sale. In fact, it probably takes more like 15 to 20 contacts. Convincing Montana students and their parents that jobs in construction are an exciting and viable career option is no different. Once you have made contact with schools in your community, look for ways to build that relationship into a long-term partnership.
- Can you plan to visit with different classes about different types of construction careers in the future?
- Would it be possible to schedule class visits to construction sites?
- Does the industrial arts teacher need materials or equipment? Can your business help with that?
- Can your company offer job shadow opportunities to interested students? What about internships?
Bottom line: Don’t leave that school without opening the door for another opportunity to share your excitement about careers in construction with students!
How the MCA helps
While the main responsibility for building strong relationships with schools needs to be shouldered – to a large degree – by MCA member companies, the MCA Education Foundation does help with this effort. How do we do that?
- MCA Education Foundation Construction Trades Awareness Grants for Montana industrial arts instructors – As part of the application to receive one of these $1,000 grants, industrial arts instructors are asked how they plan to partner with MCA members in their area to execute their plan for the grant dollars. Last year, MCA members assisted in the construction of new welding benches, provided tours of worksites, and more. In some cases, those relationships have continued to grow.
- Construction Week – Every year during Construction Week, the MCA encourages its members to reach out to schools in their areas to schedule visits to schools, field trips to construction sites, etc. In addition, the MCA publicizes Construction Week opportunities to Montana teachers to increase participation. When we receive calls from teachers looking to make connections, we either provide them with MCA member contact information, or serve as a liaison between the school and member.
- MCA Toolbox – The MCA Toolbox on the www.mtagc.org website serves as a clearinghouse for wish lists from Montana industrial arts instructors for tools, equipment, materials and more. MCA member companies can check the MCA Toolbox to find out what schools in their areas need to better serve students through their industrial arts programs, and supply those items. This exchange provides a great reason for MCA members to connect with teachers, and a starting point to build upon that relationship.
- Industry promotion – The MCA promotes the construction industry with targeted audiences, like the Montana Office of Public Instruction, industrial arts instructors, school counselors, and more. We do this to increase awareness that the MCA is available to answer questions and facilitate relationships between Montana businesses and schools. The more inquiries we receive from teachers, parents, and students, the more we can refer them to MCA member companies throughout the state.