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Building the Walls that People Depend Upon Everyday

New website, mndpa.org, can help connect young people to apprenticeships and jobs in Minnesota’s drywall industry.

If you’re a student enrolled in high school or a two-year college program and are wondering if there’s another path toward a rewarding, good-paying job, consider a career as a drywall carpenter or plasterer.

That’s the aim of the Minnesota Drywall and Plaster Association (MDPA), which is introducing a new website to attract young people into the drywall and plastering trades.The association consists of more than 20 leading Minnesota-based drywall and plastering companies that offer drywall carpentry and plastering services for residential, commercial, institutional and industrial projects.

The trade association is launching the website based on the anticipated demand for skilled drywall and plaster workers – now – and into the future.

“Based on the construction work that our member companies see ahead of us,” said Martha Henrickson, Labor Relations Director for the MDPA, “we need to be more aggressive in attracting young people, people of color and women into the drywall industry. We need more people with great work ethics to build Minnesota.”

The new mndpa.org website is the most comprehensive resource young people can view to learn about drywall careers in Minnesota. The new website offers information about:

● How to launch a career as a drywall carpenter, laborer, taper, or plasterer
● Apprenticeship opportunities
● Job opportunities
● Stories about real-life Minnesota drywall and plaster workers
● Tools and information for instructors teaching construction in Minnesota high schools
● Contact information for Minnesota Drywall and Plaster Association members

“Our large network of experienced trades professionals and combination of hands-on and classroom training paves a direct career path for students ready to pursue a lifelong career in the trades,” said Henrickson. “The website also provides career resources for trades workers in other trades seeking a career change or non-union drywallers and plasterers who want to join a company that uses union labor.”

For high school students and young people interested in exploring trades careers, mndpa.org provides details about registered apprenticeships – which allow young people entering the profession to earn while they learn.

“Looking into the future, the drywall industry offers many opportunities for young people to start a career. That’s because people will always need walls to be built,” said Sarah Lechowich, Senior Director of the Construction Careers Foundation. “Students who want to learn more about a career in drywall or plaster, they also can visit ConstructionCareers.org to view details about these trades and explore more than 30 other Minnesota construction trades.”

The Apprenticeship Model for Students and Young People

“Many Minnesota students feel pressured by their parents, teachers and peers to enter a four-year college or university after high school,” said Henrickson. “But some enjoy learning through doing and would rather work with their hands and minds.”

Minnesota young people who are at least 18 years old and have earned their high school degree or GED can begin the apprenticeship process by contacting the Minnesota Drywall and Plasterer Association through mndpa.org.

“Students are reconsidering the value of a college degree, especially when they learn they could be paying thousands of dollars for online classes,” said Henrickson. “Whereas, with an apprenticeship, students get paid to learn a skill set and don’t incur unmanageable debt.”

Image Courtesy of MDPA

In addition to incurring no college debt, drywall apprentices and journeymen also obtain healthcare and dental insurance and are enrolled in a union retirement plan.

“One huge benefit of working with drywall or plaster is that work is fairly steady year-round because most of it is done indoors,” Hendrickson said. “The indoor focus provides great job security and means skills are transferable whether a journeyperson decides to work in residential, commercial, institutional or industrial projects in Minnesota.”

To help youth better understand why they should consider a career in construction, the new Minnesota Drywall and Plaster Association website offers stories about real-life construction workers who share why they chose a career in construction and the process they took to get into the building and construction trades industry.

“We want to ensure that every student in Minnesota has the opportunity to thrive in an apprenticeship,” said Henrickson. “Minnesota’s construction trades need you!”