Do not bother to read the State of Ohio's 309 page revised plan on how it plans to spend federal Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act dollars. It is a joke. You don't have to read it; but PLEASE DO take the time to tell them to change it.
On page 7 of their "plan", there is a graph showing the top 10 expected career growth industries through 2024. Health Care is number 1 with 18% growth expected. Construction is number 2 with 12.2% projected growth. Yet, the next 302 pages outline nothing about helping the construction industry find new workers. You see, the state of Ohio conjured up 3 other (completely subjective) measures to end up saying that Construction Careers, jobs in the skilled trades, are not "in demand". I said the plan was a joke; but no one is laughing.
Read more below...there is something you can do to help!
For the state of Ohio to not have construction careers deemed "in demand" is a fiscal and social travesty. The data clearly shows that construction careers are projected to be the 2nd highest growing sector over the next 10 years; yet the state shall be investing its WIOA funds to promote careers in sectors projected to have negative growth! They justify this practice with subjective measures such as employer surveys and Jobs Ohio "key economic drivers". I would love to see how any expansion of our economy is possible without construction.
It is your time to act...
This is the open "public comment" period. If you believe, as I do, as the data shows, that Construction is "in demand" and deserves job training dollars allocated to help people find careers in the skilled trades, tell the State of Ohio
Go to http://workforce.ohio.gov/Initiatives/Combined-State-Plan, scroll down and fill out the form. Tell your friends and co-workers to do the same.
Are you one of those who believe that there are people who go to work every day as construction “workers”? Do you believes these mythical creatures exist? There are super-people who show up and build schools, office buildings, hospitals, roads and bridges? I assume you must also believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.
If you believe in construction “workers”, you think someone just wakes up one day and decides to go to “work” construction. You believe that they can just walk onto a jobsite and be productive. You believe that the same individual who does the ground work also sets the steel, raises the walls, runs the wiring, installs the heating, puts on the roof, installs the glass, etc. One construction “worker” does it all. Ok, not just one of these super-people, you believe there are thousands of these “workers” who get it done.
Let’s set the story straight – THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A CONSTRUCTION “WORKER”! Yet, people still believe. They are good people like you; just unaware of the reality of the industry. Unfortunately, many believers are also elected officials who continually fail to invest statewide and regional training dollars into the construction industry leaving thousands of middle class career opportunities unfilled. Other believers are parents and school counselors who fail to encourage young people to consider a career in construction, instead pushing them into college and mountains of debt. Are you ready for the reality?
The term construction “worker” is an insult to every hard working skilled tradesperson in the industry today. No one wakes up one day and becomes a productive member of the construction industry the next. We are not “workers” and the construction industry offers no “jobs”. We are highly trained Ironworkers, Cement Finishers, Masons, Electricians, Plumbers, Safety Engineers, Glaziers, HVAC Technicians, Roofers, to name only a few. Our skills are formed in the classroom, in the lab, and on the job under controlled guidelines and supervision. We take tests for certifications and licensure. We are regulated and monitored just like accountants and teachers; but unlike those “jobs”, our education is usually paid in full by the employer while we are paid to work while learning the trade. Great career without the debt.
Our nation depends on its infrastructure; our economy cannot move forward without investment in capital resources. Skilled Tradespeople do this work; but our industry faces a skilled labor shortage that is projected to grow to 1.1 million workers during the next decade. This means that construction presents tremendous opportunities for those interested in joining an industry in which Americans have built lucrative careers for generations. Please do your part and stop believing in construction “workers”, then go encourage someone to look into the skilled trades. Visit ovcef.org or careers.abc.org to learn more about construction careers.
To Merit Shop Construction Companies – ABC helps find future construction workers, Training for Increased Productivity
RE: Finding Competent and Qualified Workers Now
Making Current workers more productive
Building a pipeline of Future Workers
Even if you are not a current Ohio Valley ABC member, if you need workers now, are concerned about finding future workers, or would like your current workers to be more productive, be aware that we can help. Call me today to discuss how. Read on for more details.
A few years ago, other merit shop construction companies like yours (on the Ohio Valley ABC board of directors) began to dedicate ABC resources into outreach and workforce development. They saw a bleak future for finding construction workers and pledged resources to do something about it. Today, Ohio Valley ABC has extensive relationships that stretch from middle school through adult education and into social service organization programs from N.KY through all of Ohio.
Every month, our www.ovcef.org – Find a Career in Construction portal brings us leads on individuals interested in working for companies like yours. Our CORE Pre-Apprenticeship programs will churn out 60-80 people with OSHA 10, Hand tools, Construction Math and Drawings, Rigging Certificates as well as hands on lab and on-site job experiences. These are “ready to hire” individuals.
Later this year, our Craft Leadership program will be available to help grow your current craft workers in foreman or project managers. Also in the fall, our apprenticeship year begins. We have a 21st century training model that helps employees better understand their trade and improves productivity in the field for both apprentices and journeymen. A small investment yields large returns. Would you pay your guys $1/hr more if they were 20% more productive?
In October, volunteers from companies like yours will be visiting classrooms all around our region, talking to young people about careers in construction. We are “planting seeds” and will eventually harvest some of these young people as our future workers.
If you need help finding workers, want to expand/improve your employee productivity or just want to grow your business and make more money, email or call me today. 1-800-686-6440.
The race for the 2016 White House has started early and thanks to Donald Trump heated up to the point of captivating the attention of most breathing Americans. Even my 14 and 19 year old children have stopped texting, tweeting, and snap chatting to take a glance as part of the 24 million who watched the first debates.
Trump has stood out for his no holds barred, politically incorrect style and it will be interesting to see how long he lasts before finally saying enough to offend literally everyone. Love him or hate him, one of his comments of late around the topic of immigration is correct; but not for the reason he thinks. Mr. Trump, like many current candidates, has said we need to close our southern border to illegal immigrants. Trump’s bombastic solution is to “build a great wall and make the Mexicans pay for it”.
As an advocate for the construction industry, I am in favor of most all building projects though I’m not sure how he or anyone will get the Mexican government to pay for it. Trump is correct on involving the Mexicans, because given the massive skilled labor shortage in the United Sates construction industry; it is unlikely we alone could build the project without their help.
The Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) is an organization that tracks upcoming construction projects and then analyzes the availability of skilled labor for the purposes of projecting shortages which lead to delays for owners. CURT is currently projecting a 2 million construction worker shortage in upcoming years that will get worse as even more retire. Look at the person who comes to your home for repairs – they are generally not young. The age of the AVERAGE carpenter in this country is 55, HVAC technician is 56 meaning 50% of all workers are older than that age. Neither Trump or any of the candidates are paying attention to this; nor do they understand the more frightening reality that the pipeline of future construction workers is empty, if not completely broken.
Our country used to embrace the skilled trades and there were numerous pipelines of talent. We had middle school shop classes which fed into strong vocational education. Those classes are mostly gone and when we find a child interested in construction, we push them away and into college engineering, completely forgetting the strong math and science based construction industry. We once had strong rural communities and family farms which produced hard working young people interested in the trades; they have been replaced by automated corporate farms with few workers.
We were once a nation proud of its generations of craftsmen. Grandpa was a plumber, so was dad, so was son. 30 years ago we broke that when we started telling all of our children that the only path to success in this nation was to go to college rather than out to work with them. Now we have children saddled with debt, facing unemployment with no skills, useless college degrees and no idea that they are genetically predisposed to success in the construction trades.
People skilled in the construction trades never face long term unemployment and their skills transfer easily into other industries such as manufacturing. Most tradesmen are entrepreneurs who start companies and get the satisfaction of setting their own hours and wages. It is time we again became proud to say our sons and daughters are skilled trades workers. Perhaps one of these candidates will make that happen.
Written by, John Morris
Published in the Dayton Daily News, A7
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Author - John Morris, President