Contractors, are you reaching out to local schools to promote construction as a viable career choice?

October was National Careers in Construction Month, a time for everyone in the construction industry to redouble their efforts to get kids interested in construction careers.

The time is now: Forty percent of the construction workforce will retire by 2031. Who is going to take their place?

Here’s a look at what some groups are doing for National Careers in Construction Month:

  • Build Your Future, a program of the National Center for Construction Education and Research, is encouraging contractors to “take the pledge”—that is, sign up on their website and promise to make at least one “classroom engagement,” virtual or in person. Contractors who take the pledge will be entered into a drawing for one of four $5,000 scholarships to be given to the secondary craft training program of their choice.
  • NCCER is also encouraging contractors to approach their state government to have it proclaim October as Careers in Construction Month. Last year, contractors in 47 states filed proclamation requests.
  • Another NCCER effort is the I Built This! video contest. Entries must showcase projects that are relevant to the construction or maintenance industries. High school career and technical education students and postsecondary construction trainees or apprentices are eligible to enter the I Built This! contest.
  • Finally, the NCCER is offering its Careers in Construction Month Social Media Kit to all contractors. The kit includes key messages and sample posts and graphics. “Social media is one of the most direct ways to connect with today’s students and their parents,” the organization says. “Using platforms like Instagram or Twitter can help you promote careers in construction and share the tools and resources that Build Your Future has created.”
  • The National Association of Home Builders is offering contractors a Careers in Construction Toolkit. In the toolkit, they encourage constructors to:
    • Open Up Your Site: Ask a local construction site to host an in-person or virtual field trip. Students will be able to gather first-hand information about what it takes to have a successful career in construction.
    • Equipment Demonstrations: Take five minutes to showcase how to use one or more tools or pieces of equipment on the job site. You can do a live, remote demonstration and/or record your video and post it on social media with the tag #CareersInConstructionMonth.
    • Build a Resume: Help students prepare for a career in construction by coordinating a resume-building session. Provide interview and resume tips.
    • Visit a Classroom: Zoom and other video conferencing programs make remote presentations or slideshows a breeze.
  • Also, the NAHB has created a library of short videos promoting the benefits of various trades. Industry professionals are encouraged to use these videos to help spread the word about the rewarding careers available in homebuilding.
  • The Building Talent Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by the Leading Builders of America, is pulling out all the stops for Careers in Construction Month. During the month, BTF will be promoting construction careers to everyone from kindergartners to high school students to people actively looking for jobs or to change their careers.
  • For example, BTF Engagement Managers will be teaming up with contractors to go into grade school classrooms and read the picture book Someone Builds the Dream to kids. The message of the book: Buildings, bridges, and houses don’t exist without the workers who are often invisible in the final product.
  • Also, BTF Engagement Managers will host career events for students who are already in trade schools, as well as people who are working in different industries and who are considering changing careers to construction. A key aspect of these events will be to bring employers to these events, where they can meet directly with students and candidates.
  • BTF Engagement Managers regularly organize and participate in high school career events throughout the year, but they are doubling their efforts in October. During this month, they will be meeting with as many students as possible, promoting careers in construction and how they can get started.

Careers In Construction Month offers a unique opportunity for all of us to spread the word about working in the construction industry. The home building industry offers more than just another job—kids can find a rewarding career and earn a great salary. The top 25% in most construction trades professions earn at least $60,000 annually. Become an ambassador for the construction industry by becoming involved in your local schools. Get involved today!

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