One of the attendees of the 2040 Scenarios presentation and discussion was Hal Sharp, an architect with Gensler. After the event wrapped up, Donna Rybiski from the Center for Houston’s Future asked Sharp what his reactions to the scenarios were. Excerpts from the interview are included in the video below.
He stated that he had the strongest reaction to the second scenario presented, “Playing to Win” *, because that was the one that he believes Houston is more likely to be heading toward if the Houston community does not “take to heart” some of the messages which were discussed that evening, and take action. He was most concerned about the “continuing growth of the divide” between the economic and social classes of citizens, as presented in the second scenario.
He felt positively about a suggestion that came out of the group discussion which was that industry professionals should “tell their stories” of how they became successful to interns and to any persons who are considering careers in construction. He pointed out that many industry professionals, including himself, came up from middle-class and gained success through hard work and taking advantage of opportunities when they presented themselves. He felt that these personal success stories could inspire the next generation to see the construction industry and the skilled trades as desirable career choices – careers with the potential for growth , the ability to support a family, and the opportunity to be a productive citizen. Mr. Sharp stated that sharing personal stories and looking for ways to be role models and mentors to younger persons would be “zero cost contributions” that all industry professionals should look for opportunities to provide to the industry.
In response to the question of how he would encourage young people to enter into construction careers, Sharp concluded his remarks with the economic advantages of the Houston area. Add to those his certainty that no matter what the future will look like, the built environment of the area will need to increase tremendously. This is why he believes that Houston will be able to provide work for skilled craftspersons for years to come. In talking about the upcoming opportunities for those who undertake to get qualified, he stated:
“There will be a significant amount of construction here regardless of what trade they are inspired to become a part of.”
You can watch excerpts from the interview in the following video.
* A brief summary of “Playing to Win” and the other scenario, “Learning to Live”, may be found in our November 3 post.