“Is America Falling Short on Skills?” That was the question asked by the Iron Workers general president and a construction CEO in a recent joint Forbes guest post. The piece suggested baby boomer construction workers are retiring at a rapid rate, leaving many companies in a lurch.
A Houston Business Journal guest contributor wrote the state faces unprecedented challenges caused by a shortage of skilled craft workers, noting 69% of Texas firms were experiencing labor shortages…even before Hurricane Harvey’s devastating impact. As the author added, “While there may be a shortage of skilled workers, there’s no shortage of individuals wanting access to good paying jobs.”
Part of the problem appears to be many people believe a bachelor’s degree- or higher- is needed to earn a decent wage. In addition, as noted by “Dirty Jobs” personality Mike Rowe to a Congressional panel: “You’ve got to make work cool again.”
CEO of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, Rowe suggests there’s a bias against skilled trade careers and our “skills gap” will never close as long as we keep telling people a four-year college degree is their only hope for becoming successful. “It’s a bias as misguided as any other prejudice with us today, and it poses a clear and present danger to our country’s overall economic security,” he says.
Rowe recommends making trades work aspirational through a national public relations face-lift in which employers, government officials, nonprofits, and schools elevate skilled trades jobs to desirable goals. He equates the process to the Keep America Beautiful anti-littering campaign that was seen across the country.
Decent pay and job security, available jobs, and better-than-average career satisfaction are reasons why more Americans are considering a blue-collar path to success. Better still, some HR professionals believe, many times, it’s easier to place trades workers than degreed professionals.
If preparing for a career in the skilled trades appeals to you, Fortis embraces the hands-on training that can get you there. Visit our Skilled Trades page to learn more about the Fortis campus nearest you offering programs in Commercial Driving, Construction Management, Electrical Trades, HVAC-R (Heating, Ventilation Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration) or Welding.
One of them could be your ticket to success.