Construction Jobs are Waiting to be Filled!

These Jobs are NOT Under-Paid, Old-Fashioned, or Only for Men!

In October 2023, residential construction jobs numbered 3.3 million. That includes 936,000 builders and 2.4 million residential specialty trade contractors. Over the last year, home builders and remodelers added 55,600 jobs. Since the low point following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained over 1.3 million positions. 

But a vast labor shortage still exists to fill construction jobs and every other field requiring skilled labor.  The number of workers retiring outpaces the number of workers entering the skilled trades.  Meanwhile, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will create close to 1 million new skilled trade jobs. And these positions, too, will need to be filled.

Filling these jobs requires increased focus on the talent pipeline. Texas announced 42 Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) grants totaling over $11 million awarded by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).  Recipients include public junior, state, and technical colleges, school districts, and open-enrollment charter schools across the state.  Grants are for the purchase of equipment necessary to establish or expand career and technical education programs that offer Texas students the opportunity to earn a license, certificate, or post-secondary degree. Within the first year, more than 8,300 students will have new equipment to train on.

Industry Groups Have Worked Hard to Attract Talent

While hard work hard begins to show results, the work to attract and train tomorrow’s workforce to fill open jobs in construction must continue.  We must show the data to prove that a certificate from a trade school or earned through an apprenticeship program can be just as valuable, if not more so, than a college degree. 

Changing the mindset of young people to equally weigh opportunities between career and technical programs verus a traditional college degree path will require an all-encompassing strategy.  Making a real difference in the future will require developing a K-12 pipeline that introduces, cultivates and reinforces skilled trades opportunities early-on. 

Messages must convey that the construction industry is no longer a fall-back for the blue-collar worker.  Ours is an industry ripe for young people with an entrepreneurial spirit who strive for an opportunity to own a business.  And jobs in the future construction industry will require brilliant young minds working with cutting-edge technology. 

Construction industry jobs for women iare especially promising.  The number of women employed in the industry increased to over 1.28 million in 2022.  Still, women make up only 10.9% of the construction workforce.

But the outreach and education must extend to parents and guidance counselors.  The times, the motivations and the opportunities ahead are vastly different than they were in previous generations.

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