By Boyd Worsham, Vice President of Construction Support for The Haskell Company There has never been a better time in the construction industry with respect to craft training. Everyone in our industry, including the owner community, understands the benefits of a highly trained workforce. A workforce of trained craft professionals sets a company apart from the competition, and those craft professionals set themselves apart within their companies and on their projects. Research shows that craft training in the construction industry leads to more productivity and safety along with less absences, rework and turnover. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 65% of the occupations with the largest numbers of new jobs projected for 2018 require on-the-job training or an associate’s degree. As the value of a skilled workforce increases in our society, trained craft professionals will be the ones who reap the benefits of higher wages, career advancement and increased stature within their organization.  Knowing a trade and mastering it has always been noble work that no one can take away.  In fact, we owe it to ourselves and our employers to learn new skills as well as constantly developing our current skills and knowledge. With the large volume of work that is currently on the books for many contractors, and all of the work that is forecasted for the next decade, the demand for trained craft professionals is huge.  What allows most of us contractors to sleep at night is knowing there are great sources for craft training available throughout our country.  With high school career and technical education, postsecondary and apprenticeship programs, in-house contractor training, SkillsUSA and so many other sources dedicated to developing our workforce, I think we’re right on the cusp of great things happening in our industry for craft professionals and the contractors that employ them.

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NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.