(Photo compliments of Lorain County JVS lcjvs.com)

Jeremy Vorndran, President, North Coast Building Industry Association (NCBIA)

A career in construction offers rich opportunities for advancement, a great work life, competitive wages, and skills that can’t be shipped overseas. Despite these facts, the younger generations in this country are largely ignoring the opportunity to join our booming industry. This needs to change.

The current construction workforce shortage is well-documented: 30% of construction workers left the industry after the economic downturn in 2008, and they have not returned to the field. 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring each day, fueling a huge gap in every industry. At the same time, Millennials currently make up 34% of the overall workforce but will account for over 50% by 2020—so attracting this generation to construction is critical.

Further aggravating the problem is the tendency for fewer young people to even consider construction as an occupation worth pursuing. Most school counselors encourage their students to attend college, which I’m sure they believe is the best possible path forward for them, but could many of these students be better served if they were encouraged to explore the chance to help build our nation’s homes, skyscrapers and infrastructure?

We have come a long way since 2008. The construction industry is booming—but it is also desperate for workers. Now is the perfect time to pursue a career in construction. And I don’t mean just a job, but a career.

Here are a few benefits that young construction workers now have available to them throughout their construction careers:

  1. Advancement Opportunities – Most constructions companies are looking for individuals who are in it for the long haul and want to move up the ranks within the company.
  2. An Incredible Company Culture – Construction companies typically also offer a unique working culture that you simply cannot find elsewhere (certainly not in a “typical” office job).
  3. Job Security- Once you acquire the necessary skills and methods, a contractor could walk door-to-door and very quickly strike deals to help fix a neighbor’s roof, knock down a friend’s wall, install a new chimney—you name it.
  4. Good Pay – On top of the fact that construction skills are in high demand right now, these jobs pay pretty well to boot!

Unfortunately, many young people who would not only thrive in this industry but also enjoy the above benefits are not receiving the proper education about these opportunities, nor are they receiving the motivation to pursue these interests.

The key to changing this comes down to communication. While the workforce shortage won’t be solved overnight, it is a problem that affects us all and it needs solving. I hope the ideas presented here will help convince more young people to give the construction industry a shot—because if they do, I’m confident they will love it just as much as I do.

For more information on a career in construction please visit our website at www.ncbia.com.