Workforce Development

Workforce Development - Be Part of the Solution

The Problem

At the peak of the recession, the construction industry lost nearly 30 percent of its workforce. Now, the industry is facing an aging workforce, an insufficient pipeline of new workers and lost workers that moved on to other industries. 
According to a survey of Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) members, 75 percent of respondents’ companies are experiencing a shortage of willing and qualified craft professionals. These results support the findings of the Construction Labor Market Analyzers’ 20/20 Foresight Report, which shows there will be a nationwide shortage of nearly 1 million workers by 2023.

An article published by PBS News Hour highlights the desperate need for tradespeople and the potential for students and recent graduates to pursue a lucrative career—DEBT FREE.

According to most recent numbers, Oregon has a current deficit of 6,027 Sprinkler Fitters, 2,786 Sheet Metal Workers, and 1,032 HVAC Technicians. ABC has member companies hiring new apprentices RIGHT NOW for these positions—no experience necessary.

The Solution

Many in the industry are doing what they can to help close that gap, including the ABC Pacific Northwest Chapter. The ABC Workforce Committee launched a campaign this year to provide student, parents and educators with information and resources about the exciting career opportunities in the construction industry. 

In 2019, ABC PNW hosted more than 400 high school students to attend the Craft Championships. Students witnessed a live skills competition in HVAC and Sheet Metal. They got to see and talk to people within the construction industry about what a career in the field could be like. It is an incredible celebration of the industry

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a trades person, please contact our apprenticeship program.

ABC is a sponsor of numerous high schools in Oregon that teach the NCCER curriculum. The curriculum is an introduction for high school students to the construction industries. Most schools focus on the core curriculum: Safety, Hand Tools, and Carpentry. At the end of the course, students will take an exam and be given NCCER credentials. Nationally recognized, these credentials give graduates a leg up in the job market and can be used to continue education post-high school.

To learn about how your area high school or training program can be NCCER certified please contact Laurie Kendall.