The Future of Our Skilled LaborersPublished August 6th 2019 at 12:00am
A Growing Job Shortage
There's currently a job shortage in the United States. That means that there are more jobs than workers able or willing to do them. This is downright historic.
It's a precedent that hasn't been recorded since the Department of Labor began monitoring such a thing a couple decades ago. And, unfortunately, the gap only continues to grow.
More people are going to college and becoming professionally employed. Meanwhile, many baby boomers are retiring at this very same time.
This means a shortage of employees. But particularly it means a shortage of a very particular worker, the blue-collar worker.
Currently, the shortage of blue-collar workers has actually outpaced that of STEM field workers and advanced degree holders.
It's left employers scrambling to fill positions for domestic aids, restaurant, hotel, and construction workers.
What Does It Mean For the Construction Industry?
Let's talk about the construction industry. Jobs are both more expensive and take longer to complete because of the job shortage.
But there's more. The shortage has roots in the lack of vocational training available to youth who might otherwise be interested in pursuing a career in construction. Things like shop class no longer exist for students.
Therefore, we teach children early on that these jobs are not worth pursuing. We teach them that these are not "real" jobs that warrant study and testing. We teach them that standardized tests are the measure of their worth.
This all began to change around the 1950s. This is the period when the United States began to prioritize college prep at the expense of vocational training.
This change was only further compounded through the institution of federal policies such as No Child Left Behind and Common Core State Standards. Standardized testing is used to determine which schools receive which funds through these programs.
Test scores are easy to quantify. Well-roundedness, wisdom, or life experiences, not so much.
The labor shortage doesn't only impact employers. It also means that there are even more stable, well-paying jobs that could grow into long-lasting careers. Yet, they go unfilled.
There are many students who no longer know that they have an aptitude for building and carpentry. Many students think college is the only way for them to have a good career. Many students think they are doomed professionally because they do not do well on standardized tests.
All of these students would benefit from vocational training. Some of these students could benefit specifically from a shop class. Unfortunately, they'll never know it.
Contact us for information on how to start your own business as a contractor.