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.
Author - John Morris, President