Experiencing the Construction Worker Shortage?

Dive deeper into our five solutions for builders who are looking to find skilled tradespeople during a hiring crisis.

February 23, 2021
Skilled tradesman carrying metal beam

5 Solutions for Finding Skilled Tradespeople During a Hiring Crisis

While Americans continue to file for unemployment and industries continue to be flattened by the pandemic, the construction industry has had to withstand these challenges as well as some of its own.

According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report released January 8, construction added 51,000 jobs in December alone. The BLS also reports that overall employment of construction laborers and helpers is projected to grow 5 percent through 2029—faster than the average for all occupations.

For most industries, this would be good news, but for the construction industry, it presents a problem. While there’s an abundance of construction projects and, therefore, construction jobs, finding skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen to fill them is proving difficult. Without these workers, builders can’t take on more projects or, worse yet, any projects. The construction worker shortage also means projects face significant delays, which are expensive to say the least.

So, what’s causing the construction worker shortage? First, there’s that increase in the number of construction projects starting. Also contributing to the shortage is that baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) working in the construction industry are retiring at a record pace. With their level of expertise and experience, their departure leaves a gaping hole. Unfortunately, the number of younger people entering the workforce is smaller—and many of those hold college degrees and have little interest in the skilled trades.

“There’s an impression that construction careers are like a job of last resort, and not a rewarding kind of middle-class career,” Brian Turmail, vice president of strategic initiatives and public affairs at Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), told Bloomberg. “Yet in many respects, they are a lot more rewarding than sitting in some kind of fluorescent-lit cube farm.”

Boosting the number of skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen in the future may require rebranding the entire construction industry. While changing perceptions about the skilled trades will take time, doing so is crucial to alleviate the construction worker shortage—now and in the future.

What Are the Consequences of the Construction Worker Shortage?

For the foreseeable future, the construction worker shortage will continue to challenge companies to find construction workers and skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen.

According to a report released in early February by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, most contractors (83%) continue to report moderate to high levels of difficulty in finding skilled workers. The report also found that 87% of contractors express a moderate to high degree of concern about workers having adequate skill levels, of which 90% say it will stay the same or get worse in the next six months.

This outlook matters because it reinforces the challenges facing companies due to the construction worker shortage. To meet project demand without the proper workforce, they will likely have to force skilled workers to work more, raising costs and potentially leading to worker burnout and possibly even injuries. Projects may be delayed while others could be rejected entirely as companies struggle to meet deadlines. Ultimately, the shortage of skilled tradespeople will lead to lost revenue, too.

Despite this gloomy forecast, the future for construction companies can be brighter as long as the industry works toward finding solutions to the construction worker shortage. With more and more people moving to urban areas, construction projects will continue to grow along with opportunities for skilled tradespeople.

What Can Builders Do to Find Construction Workers?

Stemming the construction worker shortage will take a concerted effort within the industry—and beyond. Here are five steps construction leaders can start taking now to attract skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen:

  • Outreach: Not long ago, vocational programs like shop classes were commonplace in schools across the United States. But with an emphasis on raising standardized test scores, among other reasons, many schools shifted their focus. In 2021, one would be hard-pressed to find skilled trades being offered alongside their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) counterparts. Hiring construction workers for the future starts now with outreach to middle and high school students to get them interested in the trades. How will they find out about the lucrative jobs and creative opportunities that await them? Through you. Make an appointment now with your local school district leaders or middle and high school counselors about how best to educate students about the benefits of working in the construction industry.
  • Mentor: A lot of young people understand the substantial investment it takes to attend college and are worried about the significant amount of debt they will be left with upon graduation. Starting an apprenticeship program or offering internships allows potential employees an inside look at the rewarding career opportunities the construction industry offers. While they gain firsthand experience, you’ll create a pipeline of future skilled tradespeople. Eventually, you won’t need to find construction workers because they will have already found you.
  • Upskill: Instead of hiring construction workers, look to your current workforce. Do you have helpers, for example, who are doing a great job but lack the skills you need? Invest in upskilling your employees. Reward those who commit to upskilling by increasing their base pay and offering bonuses. Another byproduct of upskilling: You’ll increase employee morale.
  • Establish an employee referral program: Set up an employee program that incentivizes your current staff to find construction workers and skilled tradespeople. Experienced employees might know other carpenters, solar installers, electricians or have connections with people who work in the skilled trades. Not only will you find the people you need, but it’s a great way to get your employees more involved and, again, boost morale.
  • Partner with a staffing provider: The day-in-and-day-out operations of a construction company are overwhelming even without the construction worker shortage. To help ease the stress, consider partnering with a staffing provider like PeopleReady Skilled Trades. A staffing provider can take the heavy lifting off your shoulders when it comes to hiring construction workers by connecting you with skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen, from experienced carpenters to plumbers and more. With the help of a staffing provider, you can find the talent you need for short and long-term projects and avoid experiencing costly delays.

W-2 or 1099? 3 Steps to Help You Understand the Difference

Whether you’re adding gig work or freelancing with your “regular” work, finding jobs through a staffing agency, or just getting started on your taxes – it can be confusing to know which employment tax form to complete.

January 14, 2021
Two papers labeled W2 and 1099

Whether you’re adding gig work or freelancing with your “regular” work, finding jobs through a staffing agency, or just getting started on your taxes – it can be confusing to know which employment tax form to complete. When comparing different forms, a common question asked is “Am I filling out the right one?” While your employer determines this when you first start working with them, it helps to know some of the key differences between a W-2 employee and a 1099-MISC worker.

The easiest differentiator between the two types of workers is whether taxes are withheld. Workers using a 1099-MISC form are considered self-employed independent contractors. Social Security and Medicare taxes are not withheld and 1099-MISC workers are required to pay their own taxes, the “self-employment” or “SE” tax.  W-2 employees have a percentage of each paycheck withheld by their employer and a portion of their employment taxes are paid for by the company. (For more information, consult the IRS and read more on their website.)

So what are other differences between 1099-MISC and W-2 employees? PeopleReady shares three key points to keep in mind.

Behavioral Control

Does your boss control what type of work you do, when, and how you do it? If yes, the company has behavioral control, most likely deeming you a W-2 worker. If you work through a staffing agency, like PeopleReady, you could be a W-2 employee with the agency. 1099-MISC workers do not have a boss they must report to, but they are required to find their own jobs and clients, create their own contracts, and manage their tax deductions.

Financial Control

Financial control applies to how a worker is paid. In many W-2 scenarios, the employer decides when the worker is paid and for how much. A 1099-MISC independent contractor will define their payment through various contracts dependent on the project and clients they work with.

Relationship with Employer

Do you have set length of time you’ll work for the employer- maybe a few shifts or a set several weeks? Or is your time of employment indefinite, as there are no plans on you leaving? Each of these factors can help determine the type of relationship, whether you’re an employee or independent contractor. Working through a staffing agency can influence this: you may be a W-2 employee through the staffing agency, being connect to jobs for an outside customer or business. You may be a W-2 employee for the agency, since you will work with them for an indefinite period of time.  It’s always a good idea to double check with your recruiter or agency representative if you’re not sure of your employment type, or with a finance expert if you have questions about your tax situation.

Ready to make money doing the jobs you want, when you want?Here’s where to start

5 Skills to Be a Successful Worker During a Natural Disaster

Here are 5 attributes that help make a successful worker in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

disaster recovery worker

When communities begin to rebuild after any sort of natural disaster, support from a disaster recovery team makes an enormous difference. Businesses of all kinds begin staffing up and hiring additional help to press forward with the work that needs to be done. While any type of help, big or small, makes an impression—there are specific skills that some disaster recovery workers embody that makes them ideal for these high-impact roles. 

Do you have the traits that make for an ideal candidate to help affected communities recuperate? Here are 5 attributes that help make a successful worker in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Excellent Communicator

Strong communication skills play a big part in disaster relief. Being able to properly update, convey needs, and connect with other players is key. There isn’t always much time to get a message across, so having the ability to interact and communicate well can make someone a great individual for disaster relief work. Workers with strong communication skills have the ability to engage with colleagues and people of all kinds, at different levels in the organization.

Adaptable

With so many moving parts and people, processes continually changing, and circumstances differing from place to place, being able to adapt in many scenarios is truly valuable. Operations may be going one way at a certain moment and a few beats later, completely change. It takes someone who can think quickly on their feet and use critical thinking paired with common sense to make strong decisions that may ultimately effect whole teams.

Patient

Processes aren’t likely to be running as smoothly as they would be under normal circumstances, potentially creating bottlenecks and delays in everything from scheduling and timing to deliveries and approvals. When operations are held up, it takes a worker with patience to weather last-minute changes well.

Detail-Oriented

Sometimes the smallest items can make the biggest difference. Noticing details on a job site is imperative for all aspects from safety to accounting. Disaster recovery work includes many players doing different tasks, so keeping a keen eye on details and following instructions makes progression a lot simpler.

Prompt

We never know exactly when a disaster is going to show up, which means showing up on time is especially important for workers tackling disaster recovery. There are tons of people, even whole communities, counting on your help—which means reliability and promptness is absolutely necessary when showing up for work.

Ready to use your skills to help with disaster recovery? Businesses need people like you—and PeopleReady is committed to connecting great workers with them.

3 Tips to Rebound Your Workforce Post-COVID-19

Check out this PeopleReady infographic for three quick tips to rebound your workforce post-COVID-19.

January 4, 2021

Everyone has felt the effects of the pandemic—both personally and professionally. With a way out in sight, businesses will soon be looking to rebound their workforce while maintaining control and profitability.

Check out our infographic below for 3 quick tips from PeopleReady Skilled Trades to rebound your workforce post-COVID-19.

post-covid-19

6 Safety Questions to Ask on Every Job

Safety is our No. 1 priority at PeopleReady. Ask yourself these six questions before your first visit to the job site.

December 22, 2020
job safety

We get it. When it feels like you have a million things to do, safety isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind – particularly when you’re hustling to make it on time and doing the job well.

But imagine the frustration of having to miss work because of an injury. Sitting out of days, sometimes even weeks or months, of pay and on top of that, dealing with an injury. It’s not worth it! But the numbers aren’t comforting: The National Safety Council says that someone is injured on the job every seven seconds, adding up to 510 injuries each hour, 88,500 a week, and 12,600 every day.

Our goal is that when you’re on a job site with PeopleReady, you feel safe. Here are five crucial questions to ask yourself before heading out onto a job, every single time: 

1. Do I know the job?

When you’re sure of the job description and what your duties are, you can decide whether it’s a job you’re comfortable with and have the skills and proper training for. Make sure you know the details of a job before signing on.

2. Does the job look accurate?

If you show up to a job site and you’re being asked to do work that varies greatly from the description, call your branch representative about your safety concerns.

3. Am I geared up?

Don’t take your personal protective equipment (PPE) for granted; many injuries occur just because a worker isn’t wearing their PPE. And remember, PPE can be anything from steel-toed boots to a simple pair of protective glasses.

4. Do I feel safe?

If there is anything about your job site that doesn’t feel safe, do the right thing and let your supervisor and branch staff know. Respectfully informing them of any potential hazards not only protects you and your colleagues, but safeguards the business.

5. Have I reported this?

If you’re injured on the job, you need to tell the onsite supervisor and your branch representative. No matter how minor, your injury should be reviewed and taken care of. Sometimes what may seem like a small injury can turn into something much more serious. Feel free to contact the PeopleReady NurseLine to speak with a nurse about the injury and get help on what to do next. As they always say, better safe than sorry.

6. Am I up to date?

On safety training, that is. When you first start working with PeopleReady, you’ll go through a general safety assessment so we can understand how familiar you are with safety procedures and best practices. You can continue to grow your safety understanding and training with PeopleReady through various certifications, like OSHA 10, that provide you with the important safety info you need.

The top three workplace injuries that cause workers to lose workdays are overexertion, contact with or struck by objects/equipment, and slips, trips, and falls. Fortunately, these types of injuries can be prevented much of the time with a bit of foresight and awareness. We’re here to help with that.

5 Traits Employers Are Looking for

See how you can turn your temporary position into a permanent one or score that big promotion with these career tips.

December 6, 2020
what employers are looking for

When you start a job, first-day jitters show up and you’re worried about making a big mistake. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first job or your 10th—it’s a universal experience. Luckily, the first day usually goes great—as do the days that come after. After all, you got hired because someone thought you could do the job well, and they’re right!

But if you don’t just want to do the job well—if you want to excel—then take a look at the qualities PeopleReady has found that employers want to see in their standout employees. They’re not groundbreaking, but they are often hard to find. Exhibit these traits and employers are likely to turn your temporary position into a permanent one or consider you for a promotion when the time comes.

1. Punctuality

Why? A team, no matter how big or small, only works when everyone is doing their part. If you’re late, that means customers are waiting or someone else is staying late to cover your shift. Or maybe without you there just aren’t enough people for work to get done. Managers have a lot to deal with on a daily basis; they don’t have time to wonder if their employees will show up to do their jobs.

2. Flexibility

Why? No one wants plans to fall apart—especially not the person in charge. But it’s going to happen, and the team should help take stress out of the situation, not add to it. A rigid mindset that refuses to budge is not helpful to anyone on the team. When you see a situation change, try to figure out what’s needed of you now and forget about your outdated plans.

3. Proactive Mindset

Why? Everyone is (hopefully) doing their jobs, but the boss is going to notice the person who does more than just their job. This doesn’t mean they want you doing someone else’s job and neglecting your duties, but they want to see someone who identifies an opportunity and offers up a solution.  

4. Communication

Why? First, many problems can be solved with a simple conversation. If you’ve ever gotten lost driving somewhere and thought, “I should’ve double checked the directions before I wasted all that time,” then you understand what can happen if you don’t communicate clearly with your boss about your work. Another reason is that there are a lot of moving parts to any business, so even the best manager can’t know everything that’s going on at all times. Your manager expects you to bring any pertinent problems to their attention and to give progress reports at the right times. They can’t help you if they don’t know what’s wrong, and they don’t want to hear the news from angry customers (or an angry boss).

5. Critical Thinking

Why? The most obvious reason a manager values critical thinking is that they have one more person helping them solve problems. Another reason is that they now know there is someone on their team they can trust. Whether that means a promotion in the future or more responsibility now, a manager doesn’t want to lose the worker who’s making their life easier. 

Building Better Mental Health in Construction

Many blue-collar workers pride themselves on being tough, which prevents them from acknowledging their mental health and seeking help.

September 5, 2020

In an industry where mental health issues are particularly acute, construction businesses are under even more pressure to address the challenges of their workforce during these unusual times. Not only are they concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’re also worried about how to support themselves and their families. They have likely seen loved ones faced with job loss, illness, and even death. They may be wary about coming to work, fearing an increased risk of infection.

Many blue-collar workers pride themselves on being tough, which prevents them from acknowledging their mental health and seeking help. Seasonal unemployment, long hours and exhaustion can also trigger mental health issues. Depression and anxiety often go undiagnosed and untreated, making the construction industry one of the occupations most at risk for suicide.

The suicide rate has surged 40 percent in the U.S. over less than two decades, with blue-collar workers at a significantly higher risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC analyzed suicide rates by industry and occupational groups by gender using data from the 32 states that participated in the 2016 National Violent Death Reporting system.

  • In 2017, nearly 38,000 people between the ages of 16 and 64 died by suicide in the U.S., according to the CDC. The overall suicide rate rose by 40% from 2000.
  • The total suicide rate among all men was 27.4 individuals per 100,000 people, but the rate among those in the construction field was 49.4 per 100,000.
  • For women, the suicide rate for the total population studied was 7.7 per 100,000 individuals. The suicide rate for women in construction, however, was 25.5 per 100,000 individuals—the highest among any profession.

Construction workers are exposed to a number of risks by the nature of their job. Adding in outside health risks may lead to work-related injuries. A study published recently in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that six health risk behaviors were more common in the construction industry, which PeopleReady shares below.

  • Smoking
  • Smokeless tobacco use
  • Binge drinking
  • No leisure-time physical activity
  • Not always using a seatbelt
  • Getting less than seven hours of sleep a day

Why a Contingent Workforce Can Help You Overcome the Blue-Collar Worker Shortage

There have been few successful solutions to the blue-collar worker shortage so far. Here’s why a contingent workforce may be the answer.

September 2, 2020
contingent workforce, blue-collar workforce shortage

The blue-collar worker shortage has long been a problem for the American economy. Despite the attention the issue has received, there have been few successful solutions. The move toward a more contingent workforce is happening now. This shift will lead to greater pressure on businesses to identify and hire contingent workers who can get the job done.

37% of blue-collar-heavy companies reported a measurable adverse impact of the worker shortage on the company’s profitability versus just 9% of white-collar-heavy companies.

—The Conference Board, 2020

The U.S. workforce shortage—especially for blue-collar workers—is expected to continue through at least 2030, according to a study by The Conference Board. Factors driving the blue-collar workforce shortage include:

  • The baby boomer exodus
  • Dismal growth in the working-age population
  • Disappointing recovery in overall labor force participation
  • Men without a college degree are less likely to work
  • Large increase in disability rates
  • More young adults are avoiding trades, pursuing college instead
  • Young adults are much less likely to be in the labor force

By being open to contingent workers, businesses tap into talent that they might not otherwise gain access to, especially those who may have specific knowledge and training that could be beneficial to their operations. Many businesses are realizing that the quickest and most efficient way to get specialized talent is to hire them as contingent workers. Depending on future needs, these workers can eventually be transitioned into full-time positions.

Offering Greater Flexibility

Flexible working arrangements can also be an asset for a new generation of workers. They may have been recently separated from full-time employment or are reconsidering their career options. People often work on a part-time or temporary basis so that they can pursue other interests or gain experience in their chosen career, with an eye on pursuing a full-time position. The primary reasons temporary workers choose to be temporary workers are:

  • As a method of finding a regular/permanent job or because I thought it might lead to a regular/permanent position, 49%
  • Supplemental income while looking for a regular/permanent position, 11%
  • Supplemental income while not looking for a regular/permanent position, 14%
  • Learning new skills/get work experience, 13%
  • Other, 13%

Source: Staffing Industry Analysts

Expanding Business Operations

The current environment has provided businesses of every size and sector ample opportunity to reconsider their roles in the continued economic recovery. Businesses will focus on diversifying in order to mitigate risk: Some of them may be eager to grow their project base; others may be looking into different markets.

If businesses are considering expanding their geographic footprint or service offerings, contingent workers may be a tremendous asset during this important transition. With contingent workers, businesses can find workers with the specialized skills that they need for a particular project, without having to make a long-term commitment. 

Staying Agile in Uncertain Times

Businesses are increasingly looking for flexibility and scalability to meet the demands of a rapidly changing economy and to take advantage of new opportunities. As the business landscape continues to change, the makeup of their workforce will need to adjust as well. A temporary workforce allows for flexibility to adjust as needed, accommodating changes in the industry and financial circumstances that businesses will face in the future.

While every business has its own unique needs based on industry, location and other factors, contingent workers can bridge an important gap as leaders map out their plan of action. As we see more people turn to contingent work as they adapt to the current economic climate, having the ability to find workers and in the future is imperative.  

In order to find the contingent workers you need, when you need them, a staffing agency can help enormously and keep things moving along smoothly. If you’re looking for a staffing partner to help you, contact PeopleReady today.

Addressing the Workforce Shortage in the Construction Industry

Temporary craftspeople can help with new construction builds, clean-up and sanitizing efforts, maintenance tasks, and other valuable projects so that your business stays on track.

construction industry

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the construction industry and caused many businesses to reevaluate the way they conduct projects and how they manage their staff. New safety procedures were implemented on job sites, including proper social distancing and the increased use of personal protective equipment. During this unprecedented experience, businesses are constantly adapting to keep people healthy and projects moving forward.

Workforce Shortages Reaching a Critical Point

That may prove to be an even more daunting challenge given the workforce shortage that has plagued the construction industry for years. In July 2018, there were 7.2 million jobs in construction industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Through 2026, BLS projects faster-than-average employment growth. 

The pandemic has outlined just how valuable the construction industry is to the future of our country. But even now, workforce shortages remain one of the single greatest threats to its success. Eighty percent of contractors have trouble finding talent to fill the craft positions that represent the majority of the industry’s workforce, according to an industry-wide study the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America conducted with Autodesk.

Without a strong workforce, companies are unable to complete projects in a timely fashion. The U.S. has experienced a skilled-trades talent gap accelerated by retirement, staff turnover and a reduced focus on trade education in high school. About half of America’s skilled trade employees are approaching retirement age, according to the Manhattan Institute. And they aren’t being replaced quickly as they are leaving the field: An estimated 2.4 million jobs may be unfilled by 2028.

In a study performed by Marcum’s national Construction Services group:

  • 41% of pre-pandemic respondents chose “securing skilled labor” as the No. 1 threat to their businesses.
  • 67% of post-pandemic respondents projected either the same or higher backlogs.

Staffing Solutions for Your Construction Business

During the Great Recession of 2008–09, construction businesses often furloughed or laid off workers and eliminated apprenticeship programs that would have encouraged long-term careers in the industry. Many current or potential employees left the field and never returned.

Workforce shortages that make construction projects more costly and slower to build run the risk of undermining a business’s success. To combat these workforce shortages, construction businesses can leverage temporary craftspeople to supplement their critical workforce needs as they contemplate their long-term staffing strategy.

Using temporary craftspeople solves three of the most important initiatives for today’s construction businesses:

  1. Meeting deadlines: Especially in a time of unprecedented delays and disruptions, construction businesses that fail to act quickly can be at a disadvantage. Temporary craftspeople make it easy to scale your workforce and add talent on an as-needed basis to improve productivity and get projects done. If the craftsperson turns out to be a good fit, businesses may even consider hiring them on a permanent basis.
  2. Reducing stress: According to the ADP Workforce Vitality Index report, the construction industry has an average turnover rate of 58.4 percent. The main reason why employees leave? Feeling overworked. The problem has been compounded by COVID-19, which has heightened their concerns about health and wellbeing on the jobsite and at home. By supplementing your full-time workforce with temporary craftspeople, your business is better positioned to maintain a safe and healthy working environment while providing permanent crew members the extra help they need.
  3. Performing specialized tasks: In some cases, you may need additional support from those who have specific experience or expertise to complete projects. Temporary craftspeople can bring specialized skill sets that your full-time staff may not be able to provide. Hiring short-term employees who own the training or technical skills you need can fill important gaps in your workforce and help you capitalize on new opportunities.

Temporary craftspeople can help with new construction builds, clean-up and sanitizing efforts, maintenance tasks, and other valuable projects so that your business stays on track—providing some stability in a time of uncertainty.

Construction businesses can reduce the time and costs related to recruiting, screening and hiring new employees by partnering with a staffing agency. For convenient access to a skilled workforce ready to fill open positions and shifts quickly, contact PeopleReady Skilled Trades today.

3 Reasons You Want a Career in the Skilled Trades

Those with career and technical educations are even more likely to be employed than those with academic credentials. Let’s look at a few reasons why the skilled trades are a worthy career route.

January 15, 2020

It’s clear that there are benefits of continued education beyond high school: greater employability, increased average income… but what may be less apparent is that an advanced degree doesn’t always equate to a Bachelor’s or attending a 4-year college program. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education reports that those with career and technical educations are even more likely to be employed than those with academic credentials. More and more, the opportunities in the skilled trades are being highlighted while more companies try and recruit new talent in joining the industry.

PeopleReady looks at a few reasons why the skilled trades are a worthy career route:

The demand is high.

With many of the Baby Boomer generation retiring out of their trades roles and more projects starting that require construction workers, welders, plumbers, electricians, and other specialists – the demand for skilled craftspeople is high. Now, 70 percent of construction companies throughout the nation are struggling to find the workforce they need. The U.S. Department of Education reports an expected 68 percent more job openings in infrastructure-related fields over the next five years and the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates one-third of new jobs will be in construction, health, and personal care. That’s a lot of jobs in the skilled trades that need skilled craftspeople. There are more jobs than workers in the medium-skill level, which isn’t the case for high-skill and low-skill work.

Source: National Skills Coalition

The pay is competitive.

For many areas in the skilled trades, tradespeople are likely to see a quick and strong return on investment. Consider the significant debt the majority of college graduates carry along with two additional years of schooling before getting to work; then compare to those pursuing a vo-tech or trade school degree who begin making money earlier, with less debt. The cost difference is noticeable.

Source: College Board Statistics

The jobs are important.

Concern over our country’s infrastructure has been mounting for years. And without skilled tradespeople to improve things, it will only get worse. Grant Will, a student of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies, saw the benefits of the trades and says “We are the backbones of America, nothing starts without us, from the molds that make your car parts to the tools to make your clothes.” 

When asked why they chose the skilled trades, 52 percent of millennial electricians decided to enter the field for the technical involvement and problem-solving aspect, half state job security as a motivator, and another half see how jobs in the skilled trades help solve everyday challenges and make a difference in people’s lives. The work accomplished in the skilled trades industries isn’t just paramount in our nation’s growth and progress, it’s also giving people job satisfaction, flexibility, and a chance to live life out from behind a desk.

Interested in exploring the skilled trades? Or are you a skilled trades professional ready to find opportunities that meet your potential?

Connect with your local PeopleReady branch representative about potential opportunities and how to get started in the right direction.

PeopleReady Skilled Trades is a specialized division of PeopleReady, a TrueBlue company (NYSE: TBI). Since 1987, we have connected tradespeople and work across a wide range of trades, including carpentry, electrical, plumbing, welding, solar installations and more. Whether you need a single tradesperson or require a coordinated effort to dispatch skilled workers across multiple projects, we ensure you have the right people with the right tools, on-site and on time.