Continuing our series on the labor shortage and efforts to address it, GHBA representatives have now visited with the vast majority of the community colleges in the area and one of the technical high schools within the HISD system.
What we have discovered is that there is a fairly large void where construction trades are concerned. Many schools offer welding, pipe fitting, some HVAC, and sometimes electrical and/or plumbing. Very few offer other construction trades such as carpentry and masonry.
Most everyone we visited with would be willing to add trades if we can show them that the need exists (just saying so is not enough – we need numbers). Some have obstacles such as funding, space, and qualified instructors. Most want to partner with us because they need internships, participation in job fairs, and guest speakers to talk about how this training can lead to a good career in the industry. So we have confirmed what we were already learning. This is a complex puzzle, and we are, or should be, a big part of the solution.
A number of our members have volunteered to assist in different ways, but we need full engagement for this to work. We need:
If you can help in any way, please let us know.
We especially need to re-assess the need. Poll your subcontractors. We will not be successful in getting classes or certificates for any of the trades unless we show the need – hard numbers. How many roofers, painters, sheetrockers, etc.?
We have said it before, but here it is again – there is no magic bullet. This is a difficult, frustrating process, but we must begin, get organized, and get a program started where we are partnering with these willing institutions in a meaningful way.
Contact Toy Wood to help in whatever way you can.