December 8, 2017 – Arlington, Va. – Today’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that 6.6 million Americans are unemployed, while at the same time 6.1 million jobs remain unfilled in America.
The construction industry is a prime example of the emerging shortage of skilled professionals in America. The sector was poised for growth nationwide, even before hurricanes this fall devastated parts of Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. A recent USA Today article outlines the demand and highlights the critical labor shortage of skilled workers in construction and related trades.
Seven in ten construction contractors report difficulty finding enough qualified workers even before storms, according to a recent Associated General Contractors of America survey. Further, there are roughly 500,000 unfilled skilled construction jobs in America, according to estimates from the Associated Builders and Contractors.
In 2016, the nation’s postsecondary career colleges produced over 6,500 welding credentials, over 4,200 electrician credentials, over 6,000 HVAC credentials, and over 350 credentials in construction fields. Recovering from past and future natural disasters will rely on graduates from the career education sector, as well the improvement of our nation’s infrastructure.
“The construction industry is suffering from a critical shortage of skilled workers,” said Joe Martin, president of ITI Technical College. “Fortunately, getting into the skilled construction trade can be relatively quick through schools like ITI Technical College. For example our degree programs in Construction Management and Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Electrical Technology and focus on different elements of the building process that contractors desperately need.”
“The future of the HVAC service industry is very promising, as the demand for services is consistent regardless of the status of the economy. Our HVAC/R training program, a 10.5 month curriculum, teaches students the knowledge necessary to find quality jobs in a stable career as HVAC technicians,” said Peter Mikhail, president and CEO of Mikhail Education Corporation. “As the construction industry continues to see a growing number of opportunities for workers, we are committed to training the next generation for career paths in this sector.”
“The future of work is increasingly in building and construction,” said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of Career Education Colleges and Universities. “America’s career education colleges and universities are committed to investing in America’s overall workforce by offering educational programs that train young people to be successful in fields such as construction.”
About Shortage of Skills
Each month CECU will profile America's "Shortage of Skills" (SoS) in one key industry. We will examine industries that are critical to America's economic advancement and explain how a well-educated and well-trained workforce can address these issues.
About Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU)
Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU) is a membership organization of accredited institutions of higher education that provide postsecondary education with a career focus. CECU's work supports thousands of campuses that educate millions of students.