CareerStarter Tool Encourages Construction Careers
According to a June 2022 federal Bureau of Labor report, well over a half-million workers are needed to fill the skilled jobs chasm in the construction industry.
In an effort to help get workers started in the construction industry, the non-profit National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) developed its CareerStarter program, an expansion of its Build Your Future initiative. As reported in a ConstructionDive article in April 2022, the goal of the program is to give potential trades workers the opportunity to explore career options, take quizzes to find the right fit for them and search for accessible training opportunities.
The CareerStarter website introduces the program as a tool for construction career exploration. Construction is described as the building, maintenance and repair of our built environment – from roads and bridges to schools and stadia. After a participant enrolls, they can connect with a career coach. Through a simple four-step online process, they can explore high-demand careers and investigate salaries, training options and educational requirements. They can even be matched to suitable career openings near them. Direct connections can be formed with local training programs and entry-level jobs.
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According to the ConstructionDive article, this is the first comprehensive program specifically designed to help people go from interest to a career in the construction industry. A press release by NCCER explained that CareerStarter “guides and supports individuals through each step of the process.” Currently operating in Texas and North Carolina, plans are to expand it nationwide in order to build the industry and the country.
The emphasis on college education in this country has made that a commonly chosen path for graduating high school students. In addition, the trend over the past decades of removing shop classes from high school curricula has resulted in less interest in skilled trades, as well as the potential for careers in those types of jobs being less obvious and less attainable. Potential construction workers may not know how to enter the sector or where they can get trained. Unless they know someone already working in the industry, they may not know how to get their foot in the door for a construction job.
On its website, NCCER describes its mission over the past 25 years: to build a safe, productive and sustainable workforce of craft professionals. It is anticipated that the NCCER partnership with Stanley Black & Decker and Procore will help develop job candidate pipelines for the construction industry so the skilled labor shortage can be addressed.