Whether we are talking to a big or a small contractor, many of our ABC members are asking the same questions:
Where can we find skilled workers and how can we get the next generation of workers interested in the trades?
For years, we have seen high schools leading their students towards the bachelor’s degree, completely ignoring the career path of going into a construction apprenticeship. Currently, it is estimated that the average age of a skilled worker is about 48 years old. When these workers start to retire, there is big concern on who will fill the holes they leave.
Earlier this year, ABC of Wisconsin restructured a few of their committees and the “Construction Workforce Committee” was formed. The major goals of this committee – to recruit individuals into the trades and to make sure that they get the proper education to start their career.
Recently, the ABC of Wisconsin Construction Workforce Committee completed a marketing booklet aimed at promoting construction to high school administration, students, and their parents. Individual committee members have been visiting a number of local schools to drop off copies of this booklet, and to see if they can talk with guidance and career counselors. They have been getting great responses, and will continue this effort.
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to the skilled worker shortage, but by taking little steps beginning to promote this great industry we will stand to attract good candidates. When you talk about apprenticeship or the trades to others in the community or when you are invited to speak at your local school, remember that ABC of Wisconsin is here to provide you with resources that can make this task easier.
If you are interested in joining the Construction Workforce Committee or to receive copies of some marketing information you can share with others, please contact Elizabeth Roddy at ABC at 608-244-6056 or at firstname.lastname@example.org