AEM and Destination Imagination Launch the 2nd Annual Construction Challenge for Teens

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The Association of Equipment Manufacturers in partnership with Destination Imagination will host an innovative workforce development competition on February 7, 2009 preparing youth in the U.S. and Canada for exciting construction industry opportunities -- now poised to add more than 1 million jobs by 2012 as a result of the high numbers of retiring Baby Boomers and the anticipated national infrastructure projects of the incoming Obama administration.

Middle school and high school students from throughout the U.S. and Canada are invited to form teams to compete in the second annual Construction Challenge. In this innovative competition, youth teams collaborate and solve challenges based in manufacturing design, service tech, and critical infrastructure issues. Students will also learn about exciting career opportunities as the construction industry is now poised to add more than 1 million jobs by 2012 as a result of the high numbers of retiring Baby Boomers and the anticipated national infrastructure projects of the incoming Obama administration.

Sponsored by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) working with the creative problem solving experts at Destination ImagiNation® (DI), this year's competition is expected to triple last year's participation by drawing more than 5,000 youth. Teams will compete in a Regional Rally on February 7, 2009 in hopes of earning a spot at the Construction Challenge Championships in May. The 16 Regional Rallies will be held in Atlanta (GA), Boston (MA), Charlotte (NC), Chicago (IL), Cincinnati (OH), Dallas (TX), Denver (CO), Kansas City (KS/MO), Milwaukee (WI), Minneapolis (MN), Enid (OK), Philadelphia (PA), Phoenix (AZ), Sacramento (CA), Seattle (WA), and Toronto (ON).

"Construction Challenge is an exciting and educational experience that brings together middle and high school students from across the United States and Canada to learn more about construction careers, construction equipment, creative problem solving and teamwork," commented Rusty McCarty, President of Destination ImagiNation, the premier program in the world for creativity, teamwork and problem solving.

As a multidisciplinary program, Construction Challenge integrates technical preparation and career exploration while building upon standards-based school curriculum to prepare students for both post-secondary education and technical training for entry into the 21st century construction workforce. Because the equipment manufacturing industry needs to fill more than 1 million new jobs by 2012, the Construction Challenge was designed as an industry-wide effort to motivate young people to consider joining the industry.

Construction Challenge is open to students currently enrolled in middle school (grades 6-8), high school (grades 9-12), or the equivalent in technical or vocational schools. The registration fee is $100 per team (plus shipping/handling). Teams may register online at http://www.ShopDI.org. Teams comprise 5 to 7 members and a supervising adult Team Manager who is at least 21 years old. Up to 50 teams will take part in each Regional Rally with the winning teams advancing to the Championships in Knoxville, TN, May 19-23, 2009. Championship winners will receive awards and honors, including scholarships and the opportunity to work with AEM firms in the future. This year's prize pool is valued at $75,000. For additional information visit http://www.constructionchallenge.org.

About Destination ImagiNation, Inc.:
Destination ImagiNation, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Glassboro, NJ, provides numerous creative, problem-solving and critical thinking skills programs for people of all ages, from its Rising Stars program for ages 4-6, through its programs for high school, middle school, and elementary school youth, to college-level challenges and corporate team-building programs featuring creative problem-solving for executives. Destination ImagiNation's programs, resources and services reach over 300,000 people of in all 50 states and 40+ countries. For more information, please visit http://www.destinationimagination.org .

About The Association of Equipment Manufacturers:
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is the international trade and business development resource for companies that manufacture equipment, products and services used worldwide in the construction, agricultural, mining, forestry and utility fields. It is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with branch offices in Washington, DC; Beijing, China; Ottawa, Canada; and Brussels, Belgium (European Union). For more information, please visit http://www.aem.org.

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