Grand Rapids — Bean bags flew and plunked as future architects, engineers, construction managers and interior designers facilitated a cornhole tournament with professionals from those careers.
The fundraiser supported tools, materials and post-secondary scholarships for Academy of Design and Construction students at Innovation Central High School who are working toward their dream careers.
“During my first year in this academy, I got to meet professional interior designers. It’s overall been really helpful in helping me understand what I want to do,” said sophomore Brianna Bultman, who plans to pursue interior design and art after she graduates.
Students welcomed 66 teams of West Michigan professionals. Using their hands-on skills, they painted and assembled the boards, sewed bean bags and designed trophies. They also kept score and served food.
Jen Schottke, president of the West Michigan Construction Institute, helped organize the event. Schottke is treasurer on the Grand Rapids Public Schools Board of Education and serves on the academy’s advisory council. She said half of the workforce in skilled trades will retire in the next 10 years.
“The industry is looking for people,” she said. “It’s a massive change in the industry and why we care so much about this program and inspiring other people to care about this career pathway.”