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TMJH Building Careers in the Classroom


PARK CITY, UTAH – Move over Bob Vila, Treasure Mountain Junior High School is training the next generation of home builders.


In Brad Gannon’s, Construction Technology course every student has an opportunity to participate in the different phases of construction. From framing to electrical all the way to sheetrock and plumbing. 


“This is the most practical hands-on class I have ever taken,” said ninth-grader Jackson Hockersmith when asked if Construction Tech may have some influence on his future career choices. “We built an entire room, but when we mess up, we have to start all over.” 


Last school year, PCSD officials redesigned the Construction Technology course at Treasure Mountain Junior High School.  Students now have an opportunity to design and build a small-scale living space while acquiring durable skills.   The redesigned course allows students to foster opportunities to explore construction through a different lens.


Park City School District refocused its Career Technical Education (CTE) efforts to ensure course offerings and pathways are aligned to high-wage, high-skill, and in-demand professions.  


According to PCSD’s CTE Director, Lyndsay Huntsman, the construction industry in particular, is experiencing a labor shortage.

“It’s not by just a little. We’re talking tens of thousands of current and future vacancies,” Huntsman said. “It is next to impossible to “hire” your way out of this problem due to the monetary expectation from prospective employees.”  

Last year, over 47 million Americans left the workforce and many industries are feeling the pain of what is now being referred to as the “Great Resignation.” This is not short-term turmoil that was provoked by the pandemic, this is a long-term trend, given recent data published by Harvard Business Review. 

Despite the challenges, it’s an exciting time to be in construction and education. 


“Together, we can reimagine the student experience to ensure connection between education and industry is the standard while building a pipeline of future employees,” said Huntsman. “With the expansion of Park City High School, we’ve been able to consult industry partners to help inform the design of our future space. The expansion provides us with an opportunity to collaboratively design a solution that is mutually beneficial.”

The course is made possible with the support of a donor-directed gift through the Park City Education Foundation (PCEF). 

"From preschool to post-secondary education, PCSD students have access to an exceptional number of Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes," said Abby McNulty, PCEF’s President and CEO. "And, because state funding goes toward teacher salaries - and is restricted to grades 9-12 - many of these programs are supported, or completely funded, by PCEF donors. This means middle school opportunities, like the incredible Construction Management course, are made possible by PCEF donor funds. As the new CTE facilities are completed, PCEF donor support will make the difference for these life-changing opportunities."

Principal Caleb Fine expressed gratitude to PCEF and other funding for ongoing materials.

“Sometimes all it takes is a course like Construction Tech to really engage a student in school, and then that inspiration transfers to other courses, self-confidence, test scores,” said Fine. “ Engaged students are learning.”

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