Build Montana kicked-off its inaugural class with the Billings school district on February 1, 2021. The Billings program is sponsored by the Montana Contractors Association Education Foundation, in partnership with RDO Equipment Co. and Knife River Corporation, and will be focused on construction equipment. High school juniors and senior are eligible to participate. This program will explore machine theory, jobsite safety, maintenance, machine operation, site development and the incorporation of machine guidance technology and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the construction process. Learning will be aided using manufacturer approved online learning, hands on machine walk arounds and site visits for firsthand observation.
During the first unit of learning, students will be introduced to the safety guidelines and protocols used in the construction industry. Upon completion of the unit, students received Build Montana branded PPE kits, consisting of hardhats, safety glasses, and vests. The program is designed to build knowledge and understanding of the industry and the careers available to students in Montana. The Build Montana program runs through the end of April, and students also earn school credit for the curriculum. Upon completion of the program, students will receive certification that can help qualify them for apprenticeship programs through construction employers.