Attracting the Younger Generation
From the editor
By Karen Hickey
Each month, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC of America) releases its analysis of U.S. Department of Labor data, with the latest construction employment statistics. And each month, almost without fail, the press release includes a call for more to be done to help attract workers to construction.
In a recent national survey, AGC of America found that “two-thirds of contractors have a hard time finding qualified craft workers to hire.” And this is amid a strong demand for construction.
Part of attracting workers is getting young people interested in the trades, learning from the “veterans” and becoming the next veterans themselves.
The North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association (NCMCA) has just approved the formation of a new subgroup that will focus on the young professional. Similar to the MCAA’s South of 40 program, the core mission of this group will be to provide members the opportunity to learn, become more involved, and introduce a youthful voice into the masonry industry. While vocational programs and various masonry competitions around the country involve the younger generation, there has been very little effort to include those aged 20–40 in monthly meetings, conventions and board meetings.
Brandon Hartsell, Central Region vice president of the NCMCA, is leading this effort in his region. He says we need to develop lasting relationships with younger people, encourage their new ideas and educate the leaders of tomorrow. “In this way,” he says, “the masonry industry will be as solid as the products we promote. If we do not scout the talent and attract a younger generation to this business, how do we ensure it will still be strong in 30 years?”
Along with Brandon, I ask you to consider the following: what is being done in your region? What are you doing to help?
About the Author
Karen Hickey is the Editor of Masonry magazine.