FREMONT - A 2,000 pound steel beam swung over top of the shell of the new Fremont Ross High School as students from Vanguard Career Center looked on from Fangboner Road.
Trucks drove by the construction site as local union workers put up a facade that will hold a brick veneer for the new school set to open next fall.
A group of students from Vanguard, taking part in a local outreach program, walked along the project site, listening to local union workers talk about the project and the need for skilled trade workers of the future.
Osirus Johnson, a junior Fremont Ross student at Vanguard, enrolled at the trade school to learn how to fix his home.
After listening to local union workers, Johnson said he wanted to pursue a skilled trade even more than before.
After learning about the Local 55 ironworkers who are putting together the beams that will be an integral part of Fremont Ross High School for the next 100 years, Johnson said he would love to go into bricklaying for a career.
And plenty of bricks have been laid at the new Ross High School site, according to Rob Monak, a local 55 union worker.
Monak said trades of today are not the same as in the past, saying the two dozen students he was addressing Tuesday were highly sought after.
"We want to make sure you know what the landscape looks like," Monak said as iron workers were placing beams into the Ross High School structure.
Monak sits on the workforce development board that offers programming to local students, getting them onto job sites to see how skilled trades work.
"We intentionally invest in you, we intentionally invest our time," Monak said. "We go to work for you."
Along with Monak were Rachel Wynkoop, Sandusky County Chamber of Commerce director, and Bob Gross, City of Fremont economic development director.
In March 2019, Monak showed Vanguard students how the Kroger building on Cedar Street was built by local union ironworkers.
The goal of the tours are for students to learn about the benefits of skilled trades, but also how job sites work.
For students like Johnson, it was a chance to network with real Local 55 union workers.
Story and pictures on thenews-messenger.com.