MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - A hands-on career exploration event that aims to show students and the public the benefits of construction trades kicked-off Wednesday at the Mankato Civic Center.
The demand for construction trade jobs is on the rise, and some skilled workers affiliated with the industry believe that not all high school graduates have to go to college to receive an education.
A goal of Construct Tomorrow is to get students interested in paid construction apprenticeships through some hands-on demonstrations.
“There is a pressing need for people to work in the construction trades. Both in Minnesota and across the country. There’s a shortage of workers whether they’re pipefitters or electricians, and this is an opportunity to give students a chance to see and learn more about those trades and see it as a viable option - a viable alternative for them once they get out of high school,” says Construct Tomorrow Executive Director Tim Busse.
Apprenticeships are often paid, where apprentices learn as they earn.
But some are worried about a future shortage of skilled workers as older tradespeople are retiring, and not enough younger workers are signing up to replace them.
“I’m almost scared as far as like what’s ten years going to look like from now? There’s not a lot of people that want to work in trades, or they don’t know about a trade or that it’s an option. Or they think they have to go to college,” says Iron Workers Union Local 512 Apprentice Alisha Goettl.
Some believe construction apprenticeships are better options compared to receiving an education from a university.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, by 2020, nearly 75 percent of all jobs in the United States will require some post-secondary education.
“Not everybody wants to or needs to go to college to have a beneficial career. There are trades out there that have an incredible opportunity and are very profitable with fantastic wages and benefit programs. It’s an alternative to going to college,” says United Brotherhood of Carpenters Business Representative Brian Raines.
Construct Tomorrow holds events across Minnesota. To learn more, visit their website.