PIERRE - During the annual Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) National Chapter

Leadership Conference (NCLC) September 29 in Washington, D.C., the AGC of South Dakota, HHU

chapter, received a 2014 Chapter Public Relations Award, in the Best Individual Public Relations

Campaign category.

Igniting Millennials’ Interest in Construction Careers was the award winning campaign that

featured 4th grade South Dakota student submitted artwork on billboards of participating AGC

contractor member projects in work zones across the state. The art submissions were safety related and

used to remind drivers to “Slow Down, in the Zones”! The campaign drew so much interest in its first

year; a calendar featuring twelve submissions was made into a Work Zone Awareness calendar. In

addition to the coloring contest, the award was also give in part for the AGC’s work in promoting

Construction Awareness Days through Twitter and the event hashtag, #BuildSomethingAGC. Student

tweeting during the event generated over 152 tweets. #BuildSomethingAGC was “trending” within a

100-mile radius of the event in Sioux Falls, SD

The goal of the campaign was designed to directly address the declining interest in construction

careers. With a large number of baby-boomers retiring, South Dakota has struggled to fill employment

gaps in the construction industry. Millennials aren’t interested in the industry like generations before

them, even though it can be a rewarding career path, with good pay and advancement opportunities.

Communicating with younger generations in South Dakota has proven difficult as well. The AGC of SD

aimed to reach youth using the latest trends in technology and social media to get messages out to the

up-and-coming workforce, where they are already consuming messages. In addition, the AGC of SD

targeted young students in their impressionable years, by reaching out to schools and introducing

construction work career opportunities at an early age.

The AGC of America’s Chapter Public Relations Awards recognize top chapter achievements in

public relations during the calendar year of 2013. “The results achieved from this campaign proved to us

(AGC & its members) that in order to keep up with the succeeding workforce, we needed to adapt to

future worker expectations,” said Patty Nohr, AGC Senior Vice President and Public Relations Chair.

“AGC Members of all ages started to recognize the importance of social media in communicating with

the younger generation through this campaign!”

The AGC of South Dakota, Highway-Heavy-Utilities Chapter, is a voluntary trade association of almost

250 contractors, suppliers and service firms who build the roads, bridges and water/wastewater

infrastructure in South Dakota.

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