Earn While You Learn in Construction
Ask any contractor what their largest challenge is and 9 times out of 10 they will answer with something related to attracting the next generation of workforce. The shortage of workers in the skilled trades is high, and will continue to grow in the years to come. This shortage has the potential to be a game changer in the construction industry, which is why construction industry leaders and Governor Branstad have teamed up to proclaim the first week of October as “Construction Week.”
The purpose behind Construction Week is not only to promote awareness of the construction industry as a safe, exciting and rewarding career option. It is also an opportunity for those of us in the industry to reach out to our local schools in an effort to educate students, parents, teachers, counselors, and school leaders on the commercial construction industry and the opportunities for great careers within it.
Consider these facts:
- Skilled labor in the US will not catch up to demand until 2050 – The Hudson Institute
- Construction spending will continue to rise through at least 2020 – AGC of America
- Average pay after graduating from an apprentice program – $53,000
- College debt for those entering the industry right out of high school – $0
Earning while you learn a lifetime skill is a smart career choice and the construction industry holds a tremendous amount of potential for our young people. Becoming a builder could be the best decision a young person could make. It was for me.
Don Woodruff, DBIA | President, Woodruff Construction, Waterloo, Iowa
Governor Branstad proclaimed this week as Construction Week in Iowa. The construction industry is a place where success can be achieved beginning with various possible starting points, whether right out of high school, technical schools, community colleges or four year colleges and universities.
Iowa has seen a 17% increase in construction employment this past year, the largest increase in the nation! This fact, combined with the reality that many construction workers are nearing retirement, means opportunities now and in the future for skilled workers. The construction industry in Iowa also offers another major advantage: 26% higher pay on average than all other private sector employees in the state.
As a parent or teacher helping to guide someone entering the job market or a student looking for their starting point, becoming a member of the construction industry and earning while you continue to learn, could be the best decision a young person can make. It was for me. I love that my job at Peters Construction allows me to walk away each day with a sense of accomplishment and tangible evidence of what we’ve done. And, we get to be part of a team that is helping build our communities.
Brad Peters, President, Peters Construction Corporation, Waterloo, Iowa