Ask any contractor what keeps them up at night and 9 times out of 10 they will answer with something related to their ability to attract the next generation workforce. The shortage of workers in the skilled trades is high, and will continue to grow in the years to come. This shortage has the potential to be a game changer in the construction industry, which is why Master Builders of Iowa is undertaking a new campaign to create excitement about our industry. This effort was kicked off with Governor Branstad proclaiming the first week of October as Construction Week in 2016.
The purpose of Construction Week was to increase the awareness and dialogue about the great career opportunities available in our industry. After the hundreds of posts on social media, articles published, schools visited and television interviews done, I think it is safe to say that we successfully made many more members of our communities aware of what the construction industry has to offer!
The construction industry offers high paying jobs and ranks high in job satisfaction. There are numerous career opportunities for students who want to enter the workforce immediately after high school and for those who want to attend a 4-year college or a 2-year technical school. A career in construction could turn out to be the best decision a young person will ever make.
MBI is working to get the entire construction industry to focus on recruiting and preparing potential new workers to consider construction by trying to make career and technical education a priority in high schools; by shifting the public’s negative perception about careers in the construction industry to the reality of the positive; and by providing the tools to show the path to job placement.
There is a story to be told about the successful men and women in the construction industry. To complement the message of Construction Week, the contractor-leaders of MBI recently unveiled a new website – www.BuildIowa.org – that provides Iowans an opportunity to see those success stories firsthand. This website also serves as a portal for the resources and information needed to look into a career in the construction industry.
Construction Week was a time to celebrate Iowa’s built environment and showcase those who create it, increase public dialogue about the shortage of construction workers and bring construction to life for students, educators and parents. But remember, it is much more than a week-long event, Construction Week needs to be a year-round commitment to raise awareness of the vast opportunities available in the construction industry.