Investing in the Future: Companies Focus on Developing the Next Generation of WorkersOctober 25th, 2021 by Tara Taffera
Whether through webinars, school visits or designated days, such as the recent manufacturing day, members of the construction industry, including those working with doors, windows and glass, are making an effort to inspire a new generation of workers. That’s part of what the nationwide campaign Careers in Construction Month (CICM), which takes place every October, is about. Led by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and Build Your Future (BYF), the program aims to increase public awareness of construction careers.
According to the BYF site, 144 organizations pledged to make an industry and education connection during the ninth annual CICM, with the opportunity for more groups to join.
The Associated General Contractors of America has pledged to recognize October as CICM.
“While we view every month as Career in Construction month, we are continuing to rollout our ‘Construction is Essential’ targeted digital advertising campaign throughout the month,” says Brian Turmail, vice president of public affairs and strategic initiatives.
The National Association of Homebuilders is making the month fun and encouraging its student chapters to smash the stereotypes of construction careers by joining its TikTok challenge, including a chance to win one of four $250 prizes.
“I think it’s important to have days like this and months like this and events where we reach out… to kind of fill in the gaps of where the traditional construction careers are,” says Lisa Godlewski, executive director of the Architectural Glass and Metal Association. “I think that it’s important that young people, or people who want to switch careers, have access to understanding the depth and breadth of all there is that goes into construction.”
It’s a field that is immensely valuable to students and young people hoping to get a start on their careers. Dennis McDonough, the recruitment coordinator at the Finishing Trades Institute of the Mid-Atlantic Region, says while most high schools and teachers encourage students to move onto college and university, providing them with the knowledge of the construction field can be just as valuable.
“By giving construction awareness, it gives the students another opportunity to learn a skill and actually get an education,” he says. “Especially if you join an apprenticeship program in the trades where… you’re learning a craft that you can take with you over the years, and at no cost,” says McDonough. “That’s the motto of the apprenticeship—earn while you learn.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by Godlewski. She says having a month of events and opportunities dedicated to learning about a career that betters one’s surroundings is a powerful message.
“They get to take home and say, ‘Hey, not only do I get to do something good at the end of the day, but I’m going to be able to see the goodness of the work that I’ve done,’” she says.