- Help Wanted: Dirty, Difficult, Dead-end Job Pt. 1
- How You Can Develop the Skilled Labor You Need In-house Pt. 2
- Using Technology to Overcome the Labor Shortage Pt. 3
- Bringing MEP Skills Back to Schools (pt. 4)
- What 7 Trade Organizations Are Doing to Recruit Talent
By highlighting the many types of career paths that are offered, the major trade organizations are actively working to entice high schoolers into MEP trade programs. There is a movement to have MEP company representatives – not just the technology providers – visit schools and speak about their particular trade to drive more interest. Trade organizations are actively recruiting talent into the skilled trade labor force.
1. MCAA (Mechanical Contractors Association of America)
MCAA sponsors a GreatFutures Forum job fair where students can network with prospective employers and discuss internships and full-time jobs. The organization also sponsors a career podcast about careers in the construction industry, for instance mechanical contractor Murray Company.
2. MCAA (Mason Contractors Association of America)
In its website article “Masonry Recruiting and Training,” MCAA admits, “. . . the image of the masonry industry has worked against us . . . the image of dirty, hard work in harsh weather conditions makes it difficult to appeal to young workers who are often computer and high-tech oriented.” MCAA encourages its members to participate in career days/fairs at middle and high schools or sponsor a masonry class to prescreen prospective masons. On-the-job training is encouraged.
3. NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association)
In the NECA email archive covering August, 2019 to the present, members can find information on drone technology, robotics, artificial intelligence, prefabrication, cyber security, 5G, and autonomous vehicles. As stated in the January 30, 2020 issue on technology trends, “An emerging group of contractors are training a highly skilled workforce to develop an environment where wastes are nearly eliminated and instead, converted to productivity and profit.” The December 19, 2019 issue features video links to Autodesk and TEDxTalks about prefabrication. On its website, NECA features a Career Center for employers and job seekers.
4. IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers)
IBEW has job training programs and educational opportunities that position workers to get a job when they complete their training. As a bonus, graduates have little or no debt. Construction apprenticeship curricula are set by the Electrical Training Alliance, a partnership between the IBEW and unionized contractors. RENEW/NextGen (an IBEW initiative for members 35 and younger) representatives visit with high school students and counselors to reinforce the value of apprenticeships, including underrepresented groups. IBEW apprenticeship uses blended learning for advanced high-tech electrical applications, as described in “IBEW Apprentice Training Moves into Virtual Realm.”
5. ITI (Industrial Training International)
ITI, which provides training and technical services for crane, rigging and load handling equipment operators, has a virtual reality (VR) simulation training and industrial skills library. The VR crane training is described in a 2018 ITI article.
6. UA (United Association Union of Plumbers, Fitters, Welders, and Service Techs)
Stressing the right fit and success for a lifetime in the piping industry, the UA encourages high schoolers to look beyond the traditional college degree. UA is educating guidance counselors so they can guide students with aptitude in the direction of becoming expert craftsmen with a debt-free education. UA employs on-the-job training, classroom instruction and stresses opportunities for advancement.
7. SMACNA (Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association)
The SMACNA Student Chapter Task Force has a mission to partner with its chapters and affiliate with colleges and universities offering construction and or HVAC-related curricula. The goal is to expose students to the benefits of a career in the HVAC and sheet metal industry.
These organizations, in addition to technology companies, support SkillsUSA, a national membership association serving students from middle school to college level who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. Students, teachers and industry leaders work together to ensure America has a skilled workforce, including apprenticeships by trade guilds and unions to attain professional certification. In addition, a new federal initiative will direct funding to apprenticeship programs and give private industry more authority in designing them.
The experts of eVolve MEP have worked in the trades, so they know the challenges you face. Because of their experience, eVolve Electrical and eVolve Mechanical development meets your industry’s needs. Users who compare eVolve MEP to previous tools report an astounding 25% improvement in profitability. To improve your bottom line, contact the experts of eVolve MEP today and learn how they can help you overcome your skilled labor challenges.