Talk to most industry veterans and the topic of finding good workers is likely to come up. Spend some time learning more about the shortage of skilled workers, and the challenge the industry faces becomes overwhelming. Connecting future workers with the pathways to good paying jobs even caught the attention of the current President. In June, a week was designated as “Workforce Development Week” and much of the focus was on apprenticeships. While Washington considers how to address the issue, our chapter is working hard to foster the connections between our members and potential workers now.
There is much to be done on a variety of fronts, but our first priority is to spotlight the opportunities in residential remodeling with students already interested in construction. We are also eager to build relationships with the Career and Vocational Technical Education programs training future construction workers.
Again this year, we are hosting the Youth Remodeling Career Day at the Bolton Fairgrounds on October 17th. This one day event exposes high school students pursuing a career in the trades to many of the daily tasks remodelers perform.
Event Chair, Karl Ivester of New England Shutter Mills became involved because, he said, “For years we have been steering all students toward a college degree after they graduate high school. We need to do a better job of offering post-graduate career options that provide a living wage and avoid the burden of college debt for the next generation.”
Through a series of hands on building activities and educational booths, students learn about the design build process, entrepreneurship, and more. Students roll up their sleeves to learn stair building, roofing, and framing skills. The latest technology, safety practices, and energy efficiency techniques are also featured.
In 2016, we had 500 students from 32 classes around the state. EM NARI member Michelle Wilder, of Wilder Construction commented, “We had such a good time last year and met a lot of talented young adults, not to mention meeting a few possible interns.” In 2017 we hope to grow the event further, but we need your help. We still have opening for a few interactive building activities and educational booths. We hope you will join us in hosting a station or as an event sponsor or volunteer.
As they say, “if you build it, they will come.” But, without the workers to build the field of dreams, the future of our industry looks bleak. Contact us to learn more about how you can get involve in inspiring the next generation of remodeling industry professionals. LEARN MORE.