RooseveltElementary School

ASD Students Explore Careers in Building & Construction Trades at Diggerland USA

ASD Students Explore Careers in Building & Construction Trades at Diggerland USA
Posted on 10/12/2018

A group of Allentown students recently spent the day testing their dexterity on a high-ropes course, flying through the sky on a zip line and sitting in the driver’s seats of farm tractors, dumper trucks and other pieces of construction equipment. The students, who participated in Roosevelt Elementary School’s Summer Bear Club, explored careers in Building & Construction Trades during a field trip to Diggerland USA with support provided by Capital BlueCross and United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley TeenWorksTM.

“The field trip to Diggerland was an amazing opportunity that allowed for our students to engage in a fun, hands-on learning experience.  I don’t think the students fully realized that they were learning Science, Technology, Engineering and Math as they interacted with the construction machinery. Throughout the trip, it was exciting to see the students take ownership of their own learning experience by exploring, experimenting and challenging themselves,” said Roosevelt’s Community School Coordinator Nashira Williams of Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley.

The idea started earlier this year when Capital BlueCross Senior Labor Relations Consultant and TeenWorks Board Member Gregg Potter saw a television advertisement for Diggerland USA. Located in New Jersey, this hands-on theme park allows children and adults to safely interact with heavy construction equipment. Knowing that union managers face challenges in staffing their projects, that free apprenticeships offer a path to high-paying jobs and that most of the children at Roosevelt live at or below the federal poverty level, Potter recognized the opportunity.

“By providing career opportunities to children at a young age, we will get greater rewards in a short time. We can offer students exposure to well-paying jobs and help to grow the middle class. At the same time, we can assist the building trades as they replenish their aging workforce and add diversity to their ranks,” remarked Potter.

The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 542 sponsored the bus ride for this trip, and Healthy You Café at the Capital Blue store supplied food and beverages for the children. TeenWorks provided funding for the admission tickets.

“As a collaboration between Lehigh Valley labor unions and local teens, part of TeenWorks’ mission is to help young people understand the critical role our unions and trades play in our lives every day. This field trip provided a fun and engaging opportunity to make that connection for kids and spark their interest in careers that can pay more than $80,000 per year. We hope to see some of these students on the TeenWorks Board in a few years,” said Daniella De Leon, Director, Labor Relations, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.

Roosevelt Elementary School is a United Way Community School in partnership with Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley. Financial support is provided by Corporate Partner Capital BlueCross and TeenWorks. Capital BlueCross staff, TeenWorks board members and Lehigh Valley organized labor provide hundreds of hours of volunteer service to the school and its students.

Mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley
The mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley is to provide the leadership, convene the partnerships, and develop the resources and solutions that improve our community.  We remain committed to these goals and sincerely appreciate the continued support of partners, program providers and donors throughout the Lehigh Valley.

About United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley TeenWorks™

Formed in 1999, TeenWorks™ is a collaboration between Lehigh Valley labor unions and local teens. The TeenWorks™ board is made up of a diverse group of teens and adults who help to encourage and endow young, local applicants who want to better their communities. To date, TeenWorks™ has funded more than 500 projects with dollars exceeding $500,000 through United Way workplace campaign donations.


About Allentown Area School District

The Allentown School District serves nearly 17,000 students in a network of 25 early childhood, elementary, middle and high schools throughout the city of Allentown, PA. The Allentown School District is the third largest urban school district out of 500 districts in the Commonwealth. The District’s Mission states that each and every student will graduate college and career ready by having their individual needs met through active engagement in a rigorous, safe and nurturing learning environment. Our core values reflect a commitment to excellence, partnership and equity.  The Allentown School District employs approximately 2,400 teachers, staff and administrators. Founded in 1866, ASD serves students from 51 countries speaking 26 languages with nearly 90 percent household qualifying as low income.


About Capital BlueCross

Capital BlueCross, headquartered in Harrisburg, Pa., is the leading health solutions and insurance company in Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. A partner in the community’s health for 80 years, Capital BlueCross offers health insurance products, services and technology solutions that provide peace of mind to consumers and promote health and wellness for our customers.

More than a health insurer, the company delivers innovative solutions through a family of diversified businesses that is creating a healthier future and lowering health care costs. Among these solutions are patient-focused care models, leading-edge data analytics, and digital health technologies. Additionally, Capital BlueCross is growing a network of Capital Blue stores that provide in-person service and inspiration to help people reach their health goals. Capital BlueCross is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit