KANSAS CITY, Mo. – If you’ve got a kiddo at home who loves trucks, bulldozers and cranes, you might want to swing by the Kansas Speedway this weekend!
Dozer Days is a new event in the metro with a goal beyond a family-fun event. It’s kind of like a fall festival; there will be food, games, and giveaways.
It’s the rides that are a little different.
Tony Privatera heads up the Kansas City branch of NUCA, the National Utility Contractors Association. They’ve partnered with dozens of sponsors to bring Dozer Days to the metro this weekend.
“We want them to touch it. We want them to feel it," he said. "We want them to understand exactly what it’s like to operate the machine. We figure if we can get them on a machine, get them operating a machine, maybe we can get them interested in the trades."
They’re targeting kids 2-12 -- or anyone really who's interested in operating a machine.
“We have excavators; we have bulldozers; we have cranes; we have digging machines,” Privatera said.
The event aims to build awareness about careers in construction and teach the value of building sustainable communities.
“The construction trades industry is struggling to maintain a stable workforce,” Privatera said.
He said a lot of times, people who go to work in the trades don’t have the burden of student loan debt, and they don’t go to a traditional four-year college.
“It’s not for everybody, and we need young people interested in the trades," he said. "They get to work with their hands, and they get to say, ‘Hey look what I did! I was part of that.’ It’s a big deal.”
He also said growth in the metro means demand is increasing.
“There’s a rise in construction which means we need more people, and if we don’t plan for it now, and if we don’t do it, who’s going to do it?” Privatera continued.
Dozer Days runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. There will be lots of machines to check out, games and food, plus autographs from NASCAR Truck Series’ Jennifer Jo Cobb.