Since the United States has rebounded from the recession and housing crisis of the early 2000s, construction company owners are seeing an increased interest from millennials. Known for their creativity and dedication, these young professionals are a great match for the current tone of the industry. Feeling Challenged by Rising Tuition Perhaps the biggest problem faced by the millennial generation comes via rising tuition and student loans. Some cost increases, which serve as a byproduct of the overall cost of living throughout the U.S., are expected. But as recent studies indicate, many of today's academic institutions aren't doing enough to control their internal spending. The added expense is ultimately passed on to students in the form of higher tuition. The pace at which these costs are increasing is worrisome to many experts. In 2016, the average tuition for one year of schooling at a four-year college ranged from just above $9,000 to more than $32,000. According to recent studies by TIME, some of the more prolific institutions are no less than $52,000. This is an unfortunate trend that is expected to continue for some time. Benefitting From an Increasing Amount of Options Millennial students, particularly those who are interested in a career within the construction field, can jumpstart their careers by pursuing sponsorships, paid internships or apprenticeships. Not only do these options start you off in your career path immediately, but most of them allow you to earn your living during this critical time. Private sponsorships benefit many entry-level employees, including women and minority workers. Typically designated and backed by community-based organizations, there are many sponsorship opportunities available for those who share common values, ethics and dedication. The Center for Talent Innovation, which focuses on gender, cultural and generational equality, is a shining example of the potential impact of local, highly focused initiatives. Internships and apprenticeships are also gaining popularity across the U.S. These programs have a lot to offer to both the student and their instructor or employer. Developing valuable skills, learning relevant knowledge and receiving hands-on experience within an actual construction site can provide interns with a quick and straightforward introduction to the profession. Likewise, the flexibility and customizability of such arrangements give the employer the ability to cultivate the exact abilities they're looking for in a permanent and full-time employee. Other companies are also turning to internal training and instruction in order to have greater influence over the skills, proficiencies and success of their new hires. Such programs are already common in all parts of the country, but more employers are beginning to realize the value in providing their own training curriculum. Considering All of the Available Options Some programs specialize in the skills needed to fulfill a specific jobsite role or function with their company. Others give you the knowledge needed to obtain a standard certification that can be used to maintain steady employment within the industry. It's important to understand these nuances, as well as any professional accreditations or designations you may receive, to ensure that you're on the right path. Certain programs offer classes or credits that are transferrable to a college institution. While this is more common with modern internships and apprenticeships than private, company-specific training, this experience can be incredibly useful when it comes to obtaining a degree in your chosen field. Keeping the Attention of Millennial Workers As a construction company owner, attracting the attention of millennial workers is only half the challenge. The second half, and arguably the most difficult part, comes in maintaining their interest and dedication over a long-term basis. Leaders who show a great deal of professional respect, flexibility and innovation will likely find the task rather simple. Conversely, those who are too stubborn to modify their traditional operations might find the obstacle is too great to overcome.

This month’s Millennial-inspired series is almost over! Don’t forget to check back next week for another piece of industry insight.

1 comment

Leave a comment
  1. Angel Garcia | May 20, 2017
    My name is Angel Garcia I am a stepfather and husband. I would love to be able to be granted the opportuntiy of a sponsorship so I could be a creddited Electrician with many certifications and even a degree. Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity  to finish college. My parents income was to low for me to continue and becoming a burden. I took it upon myself in finding a job in construction. 

    Leave a comment

    About NCCER

    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.