The dwindling skilled workforce has left many industries scrambling for needed workers. Especially hard hit is the construction field and the many trades associated with building and development. The past few decades have seen a shift away from the skilled trades and the adoption of advanced specialized education. Colleges have done a remarkable job of recruiting and pumping out graduates by the tens of thousands into a work world that has no place for them. All the while, the timeless trades of using the hands has fallen by the wayside. Finally, after struggling to fill essential positions, the construction industry has taken up arms to combat this issue. Some of the solutions we see include:
Apprenticeships & mentorships where businesses create a pipeline for young people to learn a skill, earn money and create a pathway to success for themselves.
Robotic machines that complete repetitive processes that would otherwise have been completed by a worker.
Expanded vocational training at the high school level where students earn credits toward graduation while preparing for a future in a needed industry such as construction.
Community college programs offering certificate programs to get students trained and into the workforce quickly such as MGCCC Gulf Coast Work Ready Program (GCWRP).
One such local endeavor is the collaborative effort between Ingalls Shipbuilding and coast public school districts to provide vocational training to students and train them to be future workers. Using the National Center for Construction Education & Research Curriculum (NCCER), students are prepared for a future that will not only lead to success in their private lives but success for the vital shipbuilding industry along the Gulf Coast.
Forward thinking employers recognize that the days of endless employee candidates are gone. Snagging the youth of today to become long term employees takes a different approach. The precast concrete industry is an example of the countless industries now taking a hard look at what needs to be done to fill valuable positions. Stay tuned for future thoughts on not only what it takes to find the right employee but what it takes to RETAIN that employee and how the millennial generation is redefining the workplace environment.