According to North Dakota State University, “The construction industry is the largest industry in the country. It accounts for more than $10 billion annually; nearly 14%-of the nation's gross national product. It's an industry which employs nearly 6 million men and women.” When it comes to developing your value in the construction job market, acquiring the right kinds of skills is critically important. Taking extra training in the areas that will make you more valuable can lead to you landing your next job. Like Ben Franklin, one of the founding fathers of our country once said, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
By taking a thorough measure of your present knowledge and skill base, you can determine where it is you need to augment your learning. By assessing your areas, of expertise you can determine what it is you do best. This allows you to start searching the job market to determine the value of what you bring to the table. It also allows you to see where you are deficient.
By identifying the gap between what skills you possess and what construction employers are looking for, you can pinpoint specific classes and training to take. Make no mistake about it, if you have the kind of knowledge base and skill sets employers are looking for, you will be in high demand. The good news there is programs underway that will help you do this.
North Dakota State University, adds “That career opportunities in construction management graduates are in high demand by contractors in all types of construction including residential, commercial, industrial, highway and heavy construction. Positions available include superintendent, project manager, sales, field engineer, safety engineer and company executive. Graduates are well qualified in the new and expanding areas of construction programming, cost control and project management. Management training provides enumerable opportunities in construction business as well as other business positions.”
In some states like California, programs have been developed to give money to universities to help “train dislocated workers from the residential construction industry and train them to work in finishing trades on public works projects. Trainees will be offered work immediately, to help alleviate some of the financial pressure that comes with being unemployed, and then cycled into training. These particular trades offer fewer barriers to entrance into union construction work than most other trades, so trainees will find employment in a short amount of time. Types of construction will be highway, bridge, and tunnel improvement. Partners include Alameda County Workforce Investment Board, Chabot-Las Positas Community College District, California Labor Federation-Workforce Economic Development, and various construction trade associations.”
Another example (2) is in Los Angeles, California where the City Community Development has a program that will provide an assessment of each worker’s skills and abilities, provide Bridge Training as needed, refer the worker to construction trade unions for placement on a job site, and provide supportive services as needed. By looking for programs that will help you assess your skills and abilities, then getting the appropriate training, you can make the transition in construction to areas where there are specific needs.
Tom Borg is president of Tom Borg Consulting, LLC. He is a business consultant, speaker, coach and author.