This blog was originally featured on ACTE's Industry Connect Blog and was reprinted with permission. According to the Construction Labor Market Analyzer, by 2019 we are expected to have a deficit of 1.5 million craft professionals. Just let that sink in for a moment. We aren’t talking about a few positions here and there that can easily be filled with a catchy job posting; we are talking about the future and longevity of the construction industry’s entire workforce. While labor shortage predictions and skills gap statistics continue to flood our industry’s newsfeeds, what’s unclear is the sustainable solution. How do we effectively recruit, train and retain the next generation of craft professionals? 2017proclamationsmap800x580 We have attempted to adapt recruitment and training strategies with technological trends and compete with the four-year degree frenzy that is sweeping the nation, but unfortunately, we continue to come up short. So let’s try looking at things a little differently. Think about the bridges you drive across every day, the schools your children attend or the office buildings you work in. These structures that we rely on define the course and functionality of our day. Without the knowledge, hard work and skill of each and every craft professional, our lives would inevitably look and run quite differently. But most times, we don’t stop to think about all of that. Instead, we see just another grocery store, road, power plant or apartment complex. But if we stop to imagine each and every pipefitter, electrician, plumber and welder responsible for its sturdy and safe foundation, we may not be so quick to dismiss it as just another building built by just another group of men and women. And furthermore, we may carry that same thread of unwavering respect for the crafts and their contributions to society into conversations we have with youth about career success. We know that students everywhere crave a career aligning their passion with a purpose. Whether that is buried deep inside a research lab, behind a camera or underneath a hard hat, it is up to educators, parents and role models to encourage individuals to discover the career path suited to their individual personality and lifestyle. Traditional, nontraditional, in a classroom or out in the field, there are many opportunities beyond the sampler platter of four-year majors commonly presented to high school students. It’s time we, as a society, redefine career success and encourage students to consider all of their options.


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  1. Eugenio I. Vargas Jr. | Nov 06, 2017
    Houses that protects every Family, Schools for Education, Office Buildings, Factory Structures making all kinds of Transportation means, etc.. Yes, everything starts with Trades. Trades People are the one turning the World around. Without Trades there will be no development inside a Community. Trade people are the one turning a community into a City. And this is what I am always telling my Students.
  2. Olan J. Villegas | Nov 04, 2017

    First of all let me congratulate Scott and all others who have made the effort to make this worthwhile endeavor happen and become one of the stepping stones that could be used in helping our "ex-con" folks into their return to society. But there lies the problem that upon their return, they still can not transform their dreams into reality. Why? Because the mindset of the society is still on the negative "vibes", coupled with the lack of support from the government that would encourage the society, specifically the business sector on how to absorb this folks into the mainstream workforce.


  3. Lidia Jazmin | Nov 03, 2017
    I like 
  4. Scott DeMoranville | Sep 07, 2017

    For us within the prison system we deal with adults who often have at least some skill in the construction field and little direction but usually lack formal training and/or the mindset to mesh with the culture of today's craft professionals in the work force.  We have started providing Core Curriculum training and the enthusiasm and positive vibes it is producing among inmates is mind boggling.  On any given day at most times of days you can find individuals who have started their own study groups to be sure they retain as much of the vital information as they can.  I have had grown men approach me with tears in their eyes to tell me this is the best thing that has ever happened to them.

    Our hope is to instill some mindset in these folks that make them choose a solid career path in the crafts and "own it" with as much pride as the guy/gal working beside them.

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    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.