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You can build it — Boardwalk tour teaches kids about construction careers

Do the walk: Construction worker Erica Miner shows students from PS 288 how to screw in the planks along the Coney Island Boardwalk.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

Meet the builders of tomorrow!

Parks Department Chief Engineer John Natoli led a class from PS 288 in Coney Island on a tour of the construction and repairs along their neighborhood’s Boardwalk on May 18. The 12- and 13-year-olds got to talk with workers and architects fixing up the promenade and got a glimpse of possible future careers.

The mini-field trip was the brainchild of neighborhood activist and construction worker Keith Suber, who said he wanted to help set local kids on the path to real, gainful employment.

“We’re trying to give kids from the community a sense of job-oriented careers, instead of just going for sports and music,” Suber said.

He also said the trip was important to boost neighborhood pride in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which worsened the community’s chronic poverty.

“We want to bring back some enthusiasm for the kids about living here, and show them that there’s jobs for them in their community,” he said.

Suber said he was in talks with 60th Precinct, the Department of Sanitation, and the Fire Department about giving students from other schools the opportunity to check out well-paid potential paths they can purue.

“They need to know they can be our future firemen, our police officers, our engineers, our Sanitation workers,” Suber said.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.

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