BMF Workforce Events Added in Cape Girardeau and Bethany

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The popular Build My Future showcase event for high school students is reaching out to even more Missouri teens this fall. The Associated General Contractors of Missouri (AGCMO) has added new interactive events highlighting careers in the construction industry on Oct. 8 at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau and Oct. 23 at the Northwest Missouri State Fairgrounds in Bethany.

“Build My Future gives students an opportunity to spend a day in the construction industry through a hands-on, interactive showcase,” said Leonard Toenjes, CAE, AGCMO’s president. “More than 11,500 students participated last year and we look forward to expanding our reach in both southeast and northwest Missouri this year.”

Students can register through their high school and will travel to the event via school bus. (Home schoolers are also welcome and can register directly.)  All students will receive a BMF t-shirt, sling bag and safety glasses. The day will start with a safety talk by industry safety personnel, then participants will visit various stations with hands-on experiences with such activities as carpentry, sheet metal, welding, tile laying, power line installation/repair and large equipment operation. A bag lunch will be served at the event, which is free to all students.

Toenjes, who started his career as a carpenter, says that more and more teens are starting to seriously look at the trades as a career choice. “The work can sometimes be challenging, but also very rewarding. There’s nothing like viewing a building you’ve help build, a bridge you’ve created or a hospital or senior living center you’ve helped construct in your community. It’s amazing to see the impact your work makes each and every day. Interestingly, students are often surprised by the amount of technology and innovation used in construction, and by the variety and scope of available jobs. Salaries are highly competitive and offer attractive benefits.”

Missouri hosted its first BMF event in Springfield in 2017 and AGCMO jumped in as an organizing sponsor with additional events held in Sikeston and Jefferson City in 2021. Since then, the program has grown across the state with BMFs reaching more than 11,500 students in 81 of Missouri’s 114 counties in 2023. More than 1,125 educators and volunteers also attended. The following 2024 programs are scheduled:

  • April 24/25 – St. Charles – St. Charles Family Arena
  • September 18 – Upstate (Macon)* – Macon County Fairgrounds
  • September 25 – Gateway (St. Louis)* – STLCC @ Florissant Valley
  • October 8 – Southeast (Cape Girardeau)* – Show Me Center
  • October 16 – Central (Jefferson City)* – Jefferson City Jaycees Fairgrounds
  • October 23 – Northwest (Bethany)* – Northwest Missouri State Fairgrounds

*AGCMO is organizing sponsor

AGCMO is currently seeking vendor companies, sponsors and participating high schools for both of its new locations. For information, visit:

For more information or to sign up, contact Charlyce Ruth, SW MO Manager/Workforce Development, at (417) 425-3390 or