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3 min read

Demand Soars for Skilled Construction Workers

Demand Soars for Skilled Construction Workers

Virtually since the Pilgrims first landed in America, construction has been a vital part of the country’s economy. But now, the industry is struggling to find skilled workers who can fill a variety of roles. Job opportunities are booming in the construction industry, yet ironically they are remaining vacant.

The good news is, with a bit of job training, you can quickly fill one of these lucrative and stable jobs. In fact, with such a demand for skilled construction workers, the industry is collaborating with the U.S. government and educational institutions like the Center for Employment Training to make sure these jobs get filled and construction can continue to be the backbone of the nation.

Where Are All the Workers?

In the past decade, the United States economy has grown by more than 24 million workers. However, the job creation rate has kept up, and outside of the Great Recession, unemployment has been pretty low. This makes it difficult for employers, especially those in the construction and related industries. 

Even though the construction industry added nearly 230,000 jobs between March 2017 to March 2018, more jobs are still needed. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics believes that, through 2026, the industry will need to create new jobs for:

  • 180,500 construction laborers and helpers
  • 83,800 carpenters
  • 44,800 construction managers
  • 34,200 masonry workers
  • 22,900 cost estimators
  • 22,500 welders
  • 16,200 roofers
  • 12,000 sheet metal workers
  • 11,400 ironworkers

On top of these new jobs, the construction industry will need to fill millions of more roles left behind by Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers who will be leaving the workforce. Currently, there are about 250,000 open jobs in the construction industry. As you can imagine, there is a massive shortage of construction workers right now, and the problem only seems to be getting worse.

Why Now Is the Time to Get Into the Construction Industry

Organizations within the construction industry are stepping up their efforts to fill these open jobs. They have begun initiatives to show young people and people looking for a new career path that a career in construction can be one with job and financial security — and that they don’t need to go to four years of college to make a lot of money.

In late 2017, Congress passed the reauthorization of the Perkins Act, which allows states to use federal resources to increase the quality of vocational education. Under the Perkins Act, high schools receive funding to prepare students for a modern, successful career in construction. The revitalized Act is designed to ensure secondary education will adapt to the needs of emerging careers and technologies in construction and other industries. The alignment between construction jobs and educational opportunities is now improved, making it easier to gain beneficial job training.

Not every high school student knows enough about these programs to take advantage of them, however. Some students may also live in districts where Perkins-related programs don’t exist or they don’t have a lot of resources. These students may have graduated without specific, applied job skills training, a formal career strategy, or the idea that a four-year college program would be right for them.

These students can still benefit from federal funding thanks to the availability of federal student loans for private colleges and trade schools like CET. Federal student aid for trade school programs offers advantages like low, fixed interest rates and flexible repayment options. Students who do not qualify for federal student loans have the option of seeking out a Federal Direct PLUS Loan or a private educational loan from a local credit union, bank, or lending institutions.

There are also initiatives to recruit more veterans and women into the construction industry, spurred both by construction companies and economic development organizations. Finally, there are many different industry initiatives to help potential workers get their education and boost apprenticeships, so workers are ready to take on a skilled role the moment they complete their job training.

Get Your Job Training Today at CET

With the booming construction industry that’s showing no real signs of slowing down, right now is the perfect time to join the ranks of America’s skilled construction workers. You can often finish your job training in under a year, and once you’re done, you can begin your career in construction.

If you’re already in construction and are looking for additional training for new facets of the industry, such as green construction, to open yourself up to new opportunities. No matter where you are in life, our programs can help you succeed.  Find out why so many people of all ages and backgrounds are getting their job training at institutions like the Center for Employment Training when you contact a location near you. Your future is waiting!

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