MILTON, Fla. (WKRG) — High school students from Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties got a hands-on look at careers in the construction industry, at Northwest Florida’s Construction Career day.

The two day event held by the Florida Department of Transportation and its industry partners gave students an interactive look at careers in in transportation.

The students received hands on learning in labs, bucket trucks and were even able to operate machinery.

“A lot of interaction with a lot of careers and jobs,” said Crestview High School student Mark-Vinson Rosales. “Learning a lot of stuff that I wouldn’t be learning in school. It just gives a feeling of the real world and seeing what opportunities I can get just out of high school.”

The students are getting exposure to new opportunities as the demand for all kinds of construction workers is at an all time high.

“There’s a very high demand for jobs at all levels,” said Heather Baril, operations engineer for the Florida Department of Transportation. “We’ve got a lot of work coming to the state. The DOT is very busy. There’s a need at all levels for skilled workers, engineers, folks that have college degrees and folks that are just graduating high school.”

Students who attended the career day are eligible to receive scholarship money for college or trade school and as they enter the workforce.

“It feels good knowing that I have something else that I don’t have to go to college for,” said Northview High School Student, Cody Pugh. “Because school is not really my kind of thing .I don’t plan on going to college and seeing all this kind of stuff makes me feel better about choosing not to go to college. There’s a lot of money to be made here.”

Students even had the opportunity to fill out job applications on the spot.

“Everyone’s looking for operators,” said Phillip Gainer, Florida Department of Transportation District 3 Secretary. “Everyone’s looking for this next generation to step up.”