Even as the home building industry sees a record surge in sales, it still faces a tough challenge with labor for the foreseeable future. Novel approaches to attracting young people into the trades and efforts like North Carolina Building Performance Association (NCBPA’s) workforce development initiative may ultimately be the catalyst to solving significant workforce challenges. In this third and final of a three-part blog series, we look at why and how state and national organizations can get involved with these initiatives.
A Pipeline of Skilled Workers
What do you do when there’s plenty of work yet not enough skilled trades to get the work done? College isn’t for everyone, and construction jobs can provide a good income and consistent employment, but young people need to learn what those jobs are and how to progress through a career in the industry. The model program being developed by NCBPA could be a valuable tool for organizations looking to attract new workers into the building industry.
While NCBPA’s initiative is tightly focused on the building performance sector, its model, when developed, can be adapted to encompass the broader construction industry. Jobs and careers in construction-related fields like heating and cooling, plumbing, electrical, and more modern clean energy industries, such as solar or wind, could adapt the program.
The planned workforce development initiative has three phases:
Phase I: Complete a comprehensive assessment of the resources needed to significantly improve the job readiness and career awareness of individuals in target groups, including women and minorities, to pursue entry-level and lasting career opportunities in North Carolina’s building performance industry. The workforce and industry stakeholders would then have the information they need to take impactful action that leads individuals to take actionable steps to earn entry-level jobs and lasting careers in the building performance industry.
Phase 2: Develop and pilot career pathways, apprenticeship programs, diversity training, and other workforce resources that the building performance industry currently lacks. The result would be an improvement in the talent pipeline that would decrease the skilled labor shortage and introduce improved diversity into the industry. These first-of-their-kind resources would assist workforce and industry stakeholders in creating new employment opportunities for up to 10,000 individuals in North Carolina alone.
Phase 3: Complete a series of pilot projects that inform the development of a comprehensive plan and resource package for implementing the new workforce resources across North Carolina, and other states.
As many professionals and key leaders in management positions in the building performance industry will reach retirement age in the next five to 15 years, the workforce development initiative is vital to addressing these increasingly challenging labor issues.
Partners, Funding Still Needed
While NCBPA has attracted the support and participation of non-profit, private, and public sector organizations, it still seeks funding to lead the implementation of its three-phased workforce development program. It continues to identify and pursue grant and sponsorship opportunities that will help the organization get its pilot building performance workforce development program completed so that its findings can be utilized to help benefit the building industry at large in tackling these tough labor issues.
Companies and organizations interested in sponsorship may contact NCBPA Founder and Executive Director Ryan Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.