Construct Your Future News

Why More Women Are Choosing Careers in the Trades

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 23, 2023 11:28:51 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, careers, career opportunities, Women in the trades, women in trades

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It’s an exciting time to be a woman in the trades. While it’s no secret that the construction trades have historically been a male-dominated industry, women are breaking down barriers and making their mark in the trades. You can now find women on most job sites, working in a wide range of trades, from carpentry and plumbing, to electrical and HVAC.

In fact, over the last five years, the number of tradeswomen increased by over 32%! 

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Success In The Trades Has Nothing To Do With Luck

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 16, 2023 1:47:02 PM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, apprenticeship, construction jobs, careers, Construct Your Future, registered apprenticeship program

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With careers that provide exciting projects, meaningful work, fantastic benefits, great pay, limitless opportunities for growth, and an enviable work-life balance, it’s no wonder that construction tradespeople hear “wow, you’re so lucky!” quite often.

For many people and in many professions, success often does come down to luck - who you know, who you meet, being in the right place at the right time, etc. - but a successful career in the trades has nothing to do with luck

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Black History in the Trades: Constructing an Inclusive Future

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 24, 2023 4:58:56 PM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, trades, United States Construction

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Constructing the future is more than choosing a trade, learning a craft, and building a career.  Today, anyone has the opportunity to have a career in the construction trades with safe working conditions, benefits, and good pay, but that hasn’t always been the case.

In honor of Black History Month, this post is about how the construction trades, especially the union construction trades, grappled with how to bring Black workers into their ranks, integrate them, and ultimately give them a big role and a big voice in the trades.

For many years, the trades excluded Black workers, just like they were excluded from public transport, schools, stores, and other public institutions. Progress and inclusion came slowly for the trades labor unions, pushed forward by changes both within and without.

In Chicago, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 134 was one of the first to support Black electrical workers. In 1919, Samuel Taylor joined the IBEW and in 1922, he founded Taylor Electric, the first Black-owned union electrical company as an IBEW member. The company is still operating today. In 1943, Local 134 also had the first Black business representative and was one of the first local trade unions to include Black members in leadership.

Not every trades group and local union was so supportive. After being excluded, many Black workers refused to give up, and they continued to organize for better pay and better working conditions. On top of that, they also shouldered the burden of fighting for integration and equality. Organizations like the Negro American Labor Council (NALC) were founded to support Black workers. They organized major events like the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom that helped push forward the Civil Rights Movement and Black workers’ acceptance into the building trades.

These efforts helped bring us to a better future for all workers. Black tradespeople are an integral part of the building trades today, serving in positions of leadership, reflecting the lasting influence of these early members and organizers. African Americans have risen to the highest ranks in the trades. For example, Kenneth Rigmaiden, the immediate past General President of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), was the first African American elected president of a building trades union. As GP, he fought passionately to advance workers’ rights and immigrant rights and was a leading advocate for racial and economic justice.

Because of our African American tradespeople’s dedication and commitment to building a better and more inclusive tomorrow, all the trades workers now enjoy better pay, safe working conditions, and long-term benefits. During Black History Month we look back and recognize the contributions of our Black members who created these opportunities for all of us.

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No Groundhog Days: Work in the Trades is Never Boring

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 6, 2023 3:07:30 PM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, construction industry, careers, career opportunities

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Have you ever been stuck in a job that makes the movie Groundhog Day, or actual Groundhog Day, hit a little too close to home - one that seems to repeat itself over and over again, day after day, no matter how hard you try to break the cycle?

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Jobs That Can't Be Automated

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 27, 2023 3:37:56 PM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, trades, construction outlook, careers

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With AI (artificial intelligence) and robotics becoming more and more sophisticated, many people are starting to wonder about the future of work and worry about their jobs. Will chatbots take over the jobs of customer service agents and receptionists? Will bookkeeping and data entry be handled only by machines? Will we never again interact with a traditional human server or cashier in the near future? Will robots handle all of our manufacturing and logistics?

While AI is starting to significantly impact and replace jobs and job functions in many industries, there are many skills that AI can never replace, and many of those skills are critical for success in the building trades.

Despite advanced AI technology, there’s a lot that AI can’t do, like the parts of jobs that require:

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Work Worth Doing

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 17, 2023 2:41:30 PM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, trades, construction jobs, career opportunities

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Theodore Roosevelt famously said, “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

Why is work worth doing such a prize? Over a lifetime, the average person spends roughly 90,000 hours working. In a week, we spend more time at work than we do pursuing hobbies or being with our families. Imagine spending all that time on work that you weren’t passionate about or fulfilled by. Imagine feeling no purpose in the work you do. That would sound more like a life-sentence than a life, and certainly not a prize.

On the other hand, imagine finding a career that means something, not just to you, but to the people around you - a career that serves and betters your community and contributes to the greater good of society. That’s work that has purpose, that you can take pride in.

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Apprenticeship Prepares You for a Lifelong Career

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 20, 2022 11:55:28 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in apprenticeship, careers, apprenticeships, career opportunities, registered apprenticeship program

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Tired of working job after job, feeling like you have little purpose or direction for what lies beyond today or tomorrow? Longing for a career where you can learn, grow, and thrive, earn a great living, and know that your work is important and meaningful?

All of this and more is possible through an apprenticeship in the building trades.

“We try to teach people in an apprenticeship that we prepare you for a career. It’s not just a job for tomorrow. Tomorrow’s job may end the day after tomorrow, but a career is going to continue,” said Todd Stafford, Executive Director of the electrical training ALLIANCE, in a recent podcast interview about electrical apprenticeships.

In the episode, Mr. Stafford goes on to explain how apprenticeship:

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Can Anyone Get a Job in Construction?

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 12, 2022 10:28:38 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, construction jobs, career opportunities, construction workers

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There’s a common misconception that anyone off the street can pick up a few tools and get to work in construction - even if they have little to no experience or training. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! Just because you don’t need a four-year college degree to work in the building trades, doesn’t mean that you don’t need any skills, education, or specialized training. In fact, you need a LOT.

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Construction Trades Apprenticeships Offer Great Opportunities for Transitioning Military

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 18, 2022 9:00:00 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, apprenticeship, apprenticeships, military, career opportunities, National Apprenticeship Week, registered apprenticeship program

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The transition from military to civilian life can be tough. The military is a way of life, not just a job.  It’s a way of life that comes with great purpose, passion, belonging, and pride that can be difficult to replicate in a civilian career. And while they are highly trained, experienced, and skilled, transitioning veterans may find it difficult to secure a career where they feel like their unique talents can be put to good use. Many say they feel like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.

There’s one industry, though, that is a natural fit for veterans and transitioning military: the construction trades. Between the hands-on, goal-oriented nature of the work, the deep camaraderie among team members, and the celebration of skills like handiness, strategic thinking, leadership, adaptability, problem-solving, and more, it should come as no surprise that tens of thousands of veterans have found fulfilling and successful careers in the trades.

How did they find that success and make the transition? Through a registered apprenticeship program!

An apprenticeship is a program where workers learn a skilled trade through a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. Apprenticeship is similar to college in that it offers advanced instruction from an accredited program that prepares you for your career. Unlike college, however, apprentices earn while they learn and get paid while they’re on the job site. It’s certainly a great choice compared to sitting in a lecture hall for 4 years, especially for transitioning military who are used to a much more active, engaged, and hands-on way of life.

Not only do apprenticeships pay, but veterans can also can use their GI Bill benefits to supplement their income while completing a registered apprenticeship program. Many transitioning from the military don’t realize that GI Bill benefits can be used outside of more traditional education routes, including registered apprenticeships approved by the federal government. What’s great is that this is in addition to the income earned from on-the-job training!

The support for veterans in the building trade apprenticeship programs is unparalleled. Few industries have the reverence and respect for veterans and transitioning military like the construction trades. In fact, many have designed specific initiatives and programs to help veterans make a successful transition. A great example of this is The Veteran’s Electrical Entry Program (VEEP) by the electrical training ALLIANCE, which provides transitioning service members and recently separated veterans a more streamlined way to enter an apprenticeship in the high-demand field of electrical work.

If you’re an active service member who is about to transition or a veteran looking for a mission-focused and purpose-driven career - one where you feel like you fit in and your talents can be fully used and celebrated - we encourage you to explore a career in the construction trades. Learn more about apprenticeships, and get started today.

Veterans and active duty service members, we honor you and would be honored to work beside you.

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Why an Apprenticeship?

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 14, 2022 9:00:00 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in apprenticeship, career opportunities, Registered construction apprenticeships, National Apprenticeship Week, registered apprenticeship program

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With a record-high number of construction jobs available and hiring managers that are happy to hire just about anyone who is able-bodied, you may be wondering: why bother with an apprenticeship?

It all depends on your goals. If you simply want a job for the next 6 months or the next year, we’ll be honest: an apprenticeship probably isn’t for you. BUT, if you’re excited about a career and want to get started today learning and honing a true craft, there’s no better path forward than through an apprenticeship program. 

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