Minnesota Educators: How You Can Support Careers in Construction Month

To build the future of our country, America needs educators to support careers in construction.

October is Careers in Construction Month (CICM), a nationwide, month-long celebration that recognizes the rewarding and good-paying career paths available in the construction trades.

According to a new report by Bamboo HR, a human resources tech company, construction professionals were ranked among the happiest workers in the nation for the first two quarters of 2023. Despite this, the construction industry is facing worker shortages due to a labor force that is aging out. So, how can the construction industry spread the word about the great opportunities available as a construction professional?

It all starts with exposure. If young adults recognize that the construction trades are a viable, beneficial, and satisfying career pathway to explore from a young age, that’s a great step towards building the next generation of construction professionals and connecting young people to a career that they enjoy.

While young people represent the nation’s future workforce, and therefore, future construction trades candidates, it’s educators and counselors in Minnesota schools who have the power to spread awareness of the construction trades and promote programs for students to get hands-on experience.

Vadnais Heights educator Jack Roessler understands that in a system of traditional learning, some students may find that their aspirations for a future career are not covered in lectures, textbooks, and slides. He believes that hands-on experience and gaining a basic introduction to construction trades are key aspects to showing students that there are different career pathways and opportunities out there.

To support this vision, Roessler joined Construction Career Foundations’ summer paid internship program, the Minnesota Trades Academy, where he mentors students interested in construction.

Jack Roessler trains two MTA interns wearing construction gear

Photo: Jack Roessler instructs MTA interns in a hands-on environment.

“There are so many different trade unions willing to open their doors and welcome our summer interns into their facilities. They take time out of their day, as well as some financial support donated by these unions and other protective equipment, to teach and expose the next generation to all these career opportunities. The Minnesota Trades Academy is a fantastic trades program and I think it is going to be doing a lot of great work in the future,” said Roessler.

Read more perspectives from local Minnesota shop and trades educators and counselors on the Construction Careers Foundation blog.

To celebrate Careers in Construction Month 2023, the Construction Careers Foundation (CCF) has partnered with Saint Paul Public Schools TeenVenture and the Local Union 110. On October 20th, union members facilitated activities for middle school students to get hands-on experience and exposure in the electrical trades. Students were able to engage in fun career exploration through these activities, such as learning how to read circuit boards and wire a doorbell.

This is just one of the many ways that CCF is helping to spread the word about the strong number of careers available in the construction industry. Whether you are an educator, student, construction professional or otherwise, there are plenty of ways you can get involved. To get you started, here’s three:

  • Make Your Local School Aware – Ask any construction worker who is working today – very few were encouraged by their schools to pursue a career in construction. Parents and educators – go to the principals and superintendents of your local schools, go to your school board meetings – make them aware about Careers in Construction Month and why local schools need to consider promoting the career path of the construction trades to parents, educators and students throughout your school district. Construction trades apprenticeships offer rigorous learning programs for young people who love to think with their heads – and their hands. Not every young person wants to go to college. A career in construction offers a viable – and good paying – alternative.
  • Educators: Spread the word with these resources — Educators seeking guidance in informing their students about a career in construction, or hoping to pass along the opportunity to join the Minnesota Trades Academy, can visit the Educators Resources page on the ConstructionCareers.org website.
  • Stay in the know — Visit org for more information about the apprenticeship process and the benefits of joining a union and starting an apprenticeship. We welcome educators and counselors to reach out to CCF on LinkedIn, and to sign-up for the CCF e-newsletter for more stories and current events.

Construction Careers Foundation: Build Your Future with Your Own Hands

For more stories similar to this one, visit the CCF blog.