Contractor: Earn while you learn

To the Editor:

Ask any contractor what their largest challenge is and 9 times out of 10 they will answer with something related to attracting the next generation of workforce. The shortage of workers in the skilled trades is high, and will continue to grow in the years to come. This shortage has the potential to be a game changer in the construction industry, which is why construction industry leaders and Governor Branstad have teamed up to proclaim the first week of October as “Construction Week.”

The purpose behind Construction Week is not only to promote awareness of the construction industry as a safe, exciting and rewarding career option. It is also an opportunity for those of us in the industry to reach out to our local schools in an effort to educate students, parents, teachers, counselors, and school leaders on the commercial construction industry and the opportunities for great careers within it.

Consider these facts:

Skilled labor in the US will not catch up to demand until 2050 – The Hudson Institute

Construction spending will continue to rise through at least 2020 – AGC of America

Average pay after graduating from an apprentice program – $53,000

College debt for those entering the industry right out of high school – $0

Earning while you learn a lifetime skill is a smart career choice and the construction industry holds a tremendous amount of potential for our young people. Becoming a builder could be the best decision a young person could make. It was for me.

Don Woodruff

DBIA | President

Woodruff Construction