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Over 1,800 Students to Participate in Interactive Trades Event

More than 1,800 students from Kenosha, Racine and Walworth County middle and high schools will participate in Build My Future SE WI at the Racine County Fairgrounds October 11 and 12, 2023.

The event is an interactive day in the trades created by both Lakeland Builders Association (LBA) and Racine Kenosha Builders Association (RKBA). Industry sponsors have made the event possible along with nearly 30 exhibitors who will have hands-on activities for students to experience a wide range of trades.

Some of those interactive activities include carpentry, landscaping, plumbing, masonry, concrete, roofing, electrical lineman demonstrations, virtual welder, working with a variety of pipe, power tool demonstrations, heavy equipment operations and more. One exhibitor is building sawhorses to donate to non-profit organizations. Another is creating concrete tables and benches to donate to schools. Employment organizations will also be on hand with activities and addressing apprenticeship and other educational opportunities. Middle school students will attend Wednesday and high school students Thursday.

Three, two and a half hour time slots were offered each day between 8:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. All students receive a safety briefing prior to entering the event area. T-shirts and safety glasses are provided along with a drawstring bag to carry materials.

“The response has been absolutely incredible,” said RKBA executive officer Michelle Dawson. “Industry partners really stepped up and schools were very willing to participate. They are looking for events like this.”

Major sponsors for the southeast Wisconsin event are Perma Structo, concrete foundation specialists from Sturtevant, Ozinga, aggregate and concrete supplier with multiple locations including Kenosha, and Stebnitz Builders, Inc., remodeling contractor from Elkhorn. Combined with 20 additional sponsors and 20 exhibitors, the event’s first year is solid.

Build My Future is an event that began in the Springfield, Missouri area. Program materials and information were intentionally shared for others to create similar events. There are now events held all over the United States throughout the year including several in Wisconsin.

LBA created a similar, smaller event last fall in Walworth County. It was a trial run and a complete success. Wanting to establish a larger event, LBA reached out to RKBA in early 2023 and plans were made.

First introducing the concept of Build My Future to LBA in 2019, LBA executive officer Patricia Bladow, is thrilled to see the 2023 event come together. “Last fall’s event was amazing and working with RKBA this year has been incredible. It’s a dream to have this event come together now.”

Middle school registration is full and includes over 1,000 students from the following schools: Academies of Racine Jerstad Agerholm, Mitchell and Gifford; Brookwood Middle School; Elkhorn Area Middle School; KTEC East & West; Trevor Wilmot Grade School; nine homeschools. Registration was limited so that students could have the best interactive experience possible.

Nearly 800 students from the following high schools are participating: Academies of Racine Horlick; Badger High School, Lake Geneva; Bradford High School; Burlington High School; Case High School; Delavan-Darien High School; Elkhorn Area HIgh School; Franklin High School; Harborside & Reuther; Hillcrest School; Indian Trail High School & Academy; KTEC High School; Park High School; Shoreland Lutheran High School; St. Joseph Catholic Academy; Tremper High School; Union Grove Union High School; Waterford Union High School; Westosha Central High School; Wilmot Union High School; eleven homeschools. Up to 200 additional students can be registered for the October event.

Both LBA and RKBA are not-for-profit trade organizations serving home builders and the building industry. LBA has a remote office and covers Walworth County. RKBA has an office in Sturtevant and covers Racine and Kenosha County. Both are also part of the Wisconsin Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders.

To learn more about the event, visit the website: More information about LBA and RKBA, including membership, can be found on their websites: or

Downloadable media files available on the Build My Future SE WI Press page.

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