By SHERI GASSAWAY
Cedar Hill – Several local union representatives shared information on skills needed for careers in the building trades with seniors at Northwest High School Sept. 7 as part of the high school’s Career Day.
The students learned details about building trades’ apprenticeships, pay and benefits available through the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council, IBEW Local 1, Laborers Local 110, Operating Engineers Local 513 and Sheet Metal Workers Local 36.
Speakers also discussed the growing need for new workers in the building trades, opportunities for women and minorities and equal pay for equal work in the industry. Representatives from Jefferson College and State Tech were also on hand.
The construction industry is booming, but contractors are also facing a shortage of skilled workers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 243,000 open construction jobs nationwide. These are jobs with good pay and benefits.
The United States has 30 million jobs that pay an average of $55,000 per year and don’t require a bachelor’s degree, according Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.
In addition, people with career and technical educations – training in the trades – are slightly more likely to be employed than their counterparts with academic credentials, the U.S. Department of Education reports, and significantly more likely to be working in their fields of study.