WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — High school students from across Connecticut putting on their hard hats Wednesday in Wallingford. Getting a look at the career opportunities available to them.

“I’ve just been exposed to so many fresh elements that I’ve never been exposed to before,” said Mickayla Joseph, a senior at Middletown High School.

She’s one of 1,500 students who’s taking part in Construction Career Day.

“I think what we’re trying to do here is expose high school students to opportunities beyond, aside from college,” said Paul Gray, with EMCORE New England Mechanical Services. He’s also been in the construction business for 45 years.

That’s the takeaway for many of these students. The different trades available to them if a four year college isn’t an option. But there’s also a need for construction workers down the road.

“It’s estimated that roughly 20% of the current construction workforce are over the age of 55, which naturally means a lot of these folks are going to retire in the next five to ten years,” said Chris Syrek, who’s with the Connecticut Association of Builders and Contractors.

That’s why the next generation of workers is being recruited for their skills. Some 50 different companies are taking part in today’s event, showcasing a wide range of jobs.

“It’s great because now I know and they pass that knowledge onto me,” said Joseph.

The Construction Career Day is taking place both Wednesday and Thursday.