Construct Your Future News

In Construction, Your Safety Comes First

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 20, 2022 9:11:55 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in construction industry, job safety, Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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The best defense is a good offense. If you love games or have spent time in the military, you’ve surely heard this phrase. It means that the best way to defend, or protect, yourself is to be proactive, not reactive. The same approach applies to safety on a construction job site: the best way to prevent injury is to actively put safety first. Always.

By the numbers, construction still remains one of the most dangerous professions. What’s unrivaled, though, is the building trades’ dedication to the health, safety, and welfare of all workers. Safety is prioritized above all else. They’re on the offensive. Here’s how they work hard to put worker safety first:

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How the Construction Trades Support Mental Health

[fa icon="calendar'] May 31, 2022 3:42:12 PM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, trades, health and wellness

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Did you know that 1 in 5 adults in the United States reports living with a mental illness? That’s a staggering number! And, as we all know, mental illness and other struggles don’t magically disappear when we walk out the door for work in the morning, only to return when we clock out. It’s something that we carry with us, wherever we go.

Not only do we carry our struggles with us into our work life, but our work environments and workload can also play a big role in how we respond to those struggles. It can be make or break. That’s why it’s imperative that employers be aware of these issues and actively advocate for and develop a healthy physical and mental work environment.

While working in the construction industry can sometimes be challenging due to tight deadlines and demanding physical conditions, what’s unique about the construction trades is their unwavering commitment to their members’ health and well-being. Not only do the trades provide comprehensive health and wellness benefits, but they are also working hard to break the stigma around mental health while providing countless avenues for union members to get the help they need when they need it.

Many of the building trades have dedicated mental health programs for their members to raise awareness and provide needed resources and services. SMART Union has a Membership Assistance Program, IUPAT has Helping Hand, and the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers have a Member Assistance Program. These are just a few of many! There are also numerous joint initiatives, such as the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention. This level of awareness, care, and support of employees’ mental and emotional health is unparalleled across industries.

In the trades, there’s also support and camaraderie between coworkers like nowhere else. It’s a brotherhood and sisterhood. When one person is down, it impacts everyone. Tradespeople are notorious for their steadfast support of one another, no matter what struggles are being faced, and are always there to lift each other up.

In life, you will always have difficulties; what’s important is surrounding yourself with people who genuinely care. In the trades, you can be certain you will be cared for physically, mentally, and emotionally and you won’t have to face any challenge alone in work or personal life.

Are you ready to get started with a rewarding career where you know you’ll be supported through all of life’s ups and downs? Consider joining the thousands of men and women pursuing a career in the building trades. Learn how to get started today.

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Why Choose a Career in Construction?

[fa icon="calendar'] May 20, 2022 12:29:46 PM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, trades, construction jobs, careers

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When people think of construction work, they often think of jobs, and not careers. But for most in the construction trades, their work is not a job, not a career, but a true vocation. Don’t believe us? A recent report showed that 83% of tradespeople are highly satisfied in their choice of work!

What is it about the construction trades careers that is so appealing to hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers? Here are just a few of the reasons why a career in the construction trades is such a great choice:

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Do Construction Jobs Pay Well?

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 28, 2022 8:30:00 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in trades, construction jobs, careers, career opportunities

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There are a myriad of misconceptions and myths about work in the construction trades: that it’s grueling work, it’s dangerous, and, maybe the most common misconception, that it doesn’t pay well.

But the truth is the building trades don’t just offer good pay, they offer great pay. Did you know that some tradespeople earn high five-figure salaries, and can even make north of six figures as they progress in their career? The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook shows some impressive numbers for 2021 median pay in the trades:

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What it Takes to be an Electrical Lineman

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 18, 2022 8:00:00 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in electric utilities, electrician, careers, career opportunities, electrical industry

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There’s no doubt about it: lineworkers have one of the most important jobs in our country. They keep our lights on, quite literally. Lineworkers are responsible for setting up, maintaining, and repairing the power lines that bring electricity from the powerplant to our homes, businesses, and communities.

After a major storm, natural disaster, or other emergency, lineworkers are often some of the first on the scene, bravely facing the elements and risky situations to repair power lines and restore power. In between major events, lineworkers are always hard at work, delivering power to new developments and areas, and making sure our power lines are safe and secure.

It’s a big job, and with great power (pun intended) comes great responsibility: the responsibility to keep our nation up and running.

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7 Myths About Construction Work

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 28, 2022 4:07:06 PM / by Construct Your Future

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Every field and industry has its misconceptions, but construction work is one of the most misunderstood and stereotyped fields of work. Historically it’s gotten a pretty bad rap, but in reality, a career in the construction trades is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding careers out there. Let’s take a look at common myths about work in the construction trades and discover the truth:

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Breaking the Bias: Women in Construction

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 16, 2022 9:15:00 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, Women in the trades, women in trades

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Did you know that women made up only 11% of the construction industry in 2021, despite making up nearly half of the entire workforce in the U.S.?

Why? There’s a longstanding notion that construction work is a man’s work. A notion that women don’t belong on job sites; that they’re not strong enough or smart enough for jobs in construction. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Yet, this perception is so ingrained in our society many women don’t realize that construction trades are a path open to them, AND the path is open, and open wide.

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Black History in the Trades: Past, Present, and Future

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 23, 2022 2:25:52 PM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, trades

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During Black History Month, we pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of Africans and African Americans who built, and continue to build, the United States.

The National Black Chamber of Commerce tells us that “African slaves were brought to this continent in the early 1500’s to build New York (New Amsterdam at the time), Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC and the entire Southeastern territories. The craftsmanship that was learned through this action gave freed slaves an advantage as we slowly approached the Industrial Revolution. America relied on the crafts learned by Blacks during slavery and passed along to offspring from generation to generation.”

Unfortunately, the history of Black people and construction has not always been positive. Forced to build this great nation as enslaved people, and then later systematically blocked from joining guilds and labor unions, Black craftspeople have nevertheless honed their skills and thrived in the building trades. Read this blog post by AGC of California about Black inventors who helped shape the construction industry. For example, in 1887, Alexander Miles, inventor and businessman, patented an innovative electric mechanism to open and close elevator doors, vastly improving their safety.

The history of Black workers and the labor movement is even more compelling. In 2016, the Center for Economic and Policy Research published a report on Black workers, unions, and inequality. The report finds that “(u)nionization rates have been in decline across the board for decades. Despite fact, Black workers are still more likely than workers of any other race or ethnicity to be unionized. In 2015, 14.2 percent of Black workers and 12.3 percent of the entire workforce were represented by unions, down from 31.7 percent and 23.3 percent, respectively, in 1983.”

Why is this significant? The report finds that “(B)lack union workers… enjoy higher wages, and better access to health insurance and retirement benefits than their non-union peers. These benefits persist even after controlling for systematic differences between the union and non-union workforce. Specifically, Black union workers on average earn 16.4 percent higher wages than non-union Black workers. Black union workers are also 17.4 percentage points more likely than non-union Blacks to have employer-provided health insurance, and 18.3 percentage points more likely to have an employer-sponsored retirement plan.”

During Black History Month, we salute the Black men and women who are members of the construction trades. We thank them for their service, their loyalty, and their hard work. We know we’ve got work to do to make our Black members feel genuinely a part of our community. Which is why we join with NABTU (North America’s Building Trades Unions) when they say, “(i)n the Building Trades, we understand the importance of creating economic opportunity and equality for all. That is why we maintain our ongoing commitment to strengthening our grassroots recruitment and retention efforts to foster a more diverse workforce; particularly one that is more inclusive of people of color, women, veterans, and the justice-involved. NABTU will continue doing whatever it takes to dismantle pervasive racism, uplift historically-marginalized communities, and expand middle class workforce opportunities for all backgrounds.”

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A Great Time to be in Construction

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 18, 2022 1:11:26 PM / by Construct Your Future posted in construction industry, skilled labor shortage, construction outlook, careers, career opportunities

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Everybody loves a good comeback story, and skilled tradespeople are about to have their moment, or perhaps decade, in the sun. If you’ve ever considered pursuing a career in the building trades, NOW is the time!

Construction is booming. 2022 and 2023 are poised to be big years in construction, and, thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) passed in November of 2021, the demand for men and women in the skilled workforce has never been greater. 

The IIJA bill contains an estimated $550 billion in new spending that will be used to improve U.S. roads, bridges, and water systems, and includes funding for projects in public transportation and broadband. Who will be needed to do the majority of that work? You guessed it: skilled tradespeople. President Biden was quoted as saying that the bill will create millions of union jobs all across the country. Plus, new IIJA work aside, the American Institutes of Architects’ Consensus Construction Forecast predicts non-residential construction in the United States will grow 4.6% in 2022, and Oxford Economics and ConstructConnect predict a 9% growth in the residential sector. Those are staggering numbers!

For the women and men who have pursued or are pursuing a career in the building trades, the opportunities are bountiful and almost limitless in the years and decade(s) to come. With boomers retiring from the skilled labor workforce and many younger generations choosing 4-year degrees over trade school in hopes of “more opportunity,” the pool of skilled labor is shrinking, while the need is great and only growing. In the current market, skilled tradespeople are already reaping all the benefits that come with high demand for their unique skills - job security, rich benefits, rising pay, and endless opportunity - and we’ve only scratched the surface of the level of demand to come. 

What’s more, tradesmen and tradeswomen will be doing some of the most meaningful, rewarding, and exciting work in the years to come. They will be, quite literally, building a better America with their hands. Talk about work you can hang your hat on and be proud of! 

If you’ve been considering a career in the building trades, what are you waiting for? The time is now, and the future is brighter than ever before!

We’d love to have you join us. Learn how to get started with a rich and rewarding career in the building trades today.

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Great Work Satisfaction Amidst the Great Resignation

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 24, 2022 12:15:38 PM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, construction industry, trades, construction outlook, careers

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During the “Great Resignation” of 2021, millions of U.S. workers left their jobs. According to data recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a record 4.5 million workers in America quit in November 2021 alone. What’s more, 74% of full-time workers say they’re planning on quitting their jobs in 2022. The reason? U.S. workers are citing dissatisfaction with pay and benefits, work life balance, and career advancement, but that’s only part of the story. After 2 years of pandemic life, stress levels are at an all-time high, employee engagement is extremely low (34%), and much of the American workforce is feeling undervalued, overworked, and struggling to find meaning and purpose in their jobs and careers.

The million-dollar question being asked by these millions of people: what jobs do the 34% of engaged, satisfied employees have, and how do I get that job, too? 

We’ve got the answer: many of them work in the building trades. A recent report showed that 83% of tradespeople are still highly satisfied in their choice of work, despite all of the hurdles and hardships that the pandemic has imposed on all of us.

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