A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Construction Careers: More than One Path to Success

Construction careers have received their fair share of bad press over the years.  As a result, it is not uncommon for today’s student to come away from the classroom or the counselor’s office thinking that the only way to earn a good living is by getting a bachelor’s degree.  Parents want their children to have it better than they do, and conventional wisdom is that a college degree is the one and only path to a successful and financially stable career.

However, even in today’s highly competitive job market, the reality may surprise you.  The Harvard Graduate School of Education’s landmark report, Pathways to Prosperity, found that “27% of people with post-secondary licenses or certificates – credentials short of an associate’s degree – earn more than the average bachelor’s degree recipient.”

Contractors and construction industry leaders wouldn’t be surprised by that statistic.  Today’s foremen, electricians, welders and pipefitters wouldn’t either.  After finding their way into the industry, they can attest to how viable construction careers are.  They received hands-on training, their jobs are satisfying, their pockets are full and their opportunities are still expanding.

How did they get here, and why haven’t the masses heard what they already know?

Who are those sitting on this untapped goldmine of education and career possibilities?  Who are those that know the ins and outs of an industry which provides incredible opportunity for earnings, advancement, and job satisfaction?

We are.

It is true the construction industry has had our story told inaccurately.  But the best remedy for yesterday’s bad press is a big serving of today’s reality!  In the wake of a severe economic crisis and facing a growing skills gap, the world is looking for an answer that works.  We have an opportunity to be that answer.

The good news is representatives of our industry are chiming in nationwide to tell the real story about how rewarding construction careers can be.  Build Your Future has named October 2013 “Careers in Construction Month", and already industry leaders are jumping on board with us.  Don’t stand on the sidelines.  Partner with middle and high schools in your region.  Urge your state representative to support an official state proclamation recognizing October as Careers in Construction Month.  Sponsor a career day or several.  Show them what we are made of.

As an educator, industry leader, technical instructor, association member or craft professional you can tell the story like no one else can.  Everyone is listening.  Will you tell them what they are waiting to hear?

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