Construct Your Future News

A Day in the Life of a Lineman: Challenges, Tasks, and Triumphs

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 18, 2024 8:00:00 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in trades, construction jobs, Construct Your Future, job safety, Safety Stand Down Week

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The vast and intricate U.S. power grid is made up of 7,300 power plants, nearly 160,000 miles of high-voltage power lines, and millions of miles of low-voltage power lines and distribution transformers, connecting 145 million customers throughout the country, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). This expansive network requires constant maintenance to run smoothly, a responsibility that falls on the shoulders of some of the most important yet often overlooked professionals in the energy sector: Electrical Lineworkers.

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Springing into Growth: How the Building Trades Offer Flourishing Career Opportunities

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 10, 2024 9:00:00 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in construction industry, apprenticeship, trades, Construct Your Future, career opportunities

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Spring is a season of new beginnings and growth. Flowers blooming, buds bursting into vibrant greens, birds singing, and longer, lighter days remind us that, no matter how dark and dreary some seasons may be, spring always comes bringing a fresh start and new growth. 

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Essential Skills for a Successful Career in Construction

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 19, 2024 4:14:59 PM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, trades, construction jobs, careers, career opportunities, construction workers

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If you’ve been paying attention to the news over the last few years, you’ve likely heard that the construction field is ripe with opportunity, as are careers in the building trades. Both are undeniably true! Construction is booming, and skilled trades are in extremely high demand

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What Trades are in Highest Demand?

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 21, 2024 9:15:00 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in trades, Residential Construction, careers, Construct Your Future, career opportunities, electrical industry

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In the world of construction, the demand for skilled tradespeople has never been higher. 

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Celebrating Unity and Belonging in the Building Trades During Black History Month

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 9, 2024 10:13:20 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in trades, careers, Construct Your Future, career opportunities, DEI

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In the vibrant world of building trades, the fabric of our workforce is as varied as the projects we undertake. From towering skyscrapers down to the homes we cherish, each project tells a story of collaboration and unity. While the building trades were once seen as an exclusive and homogenous field, those days are, thankfully, further and further behind us. 

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What are the Building Trades?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 26, 2024 10:56:52 AM / by Construct Your Future posted in construction industry, trades, construction jobs, Construct Your Future, United States Construction

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You’ve likely heard someone say something like, “There’s a lot of opportunity in the building trades right now” (there is, by the way!) or, “She works in the building trades.” If you’ve scratched your head wondering what exactly the building trades are, if and how building trades jobs are different from “construction jobs,” or if the trades and the building trades mean the same thing, you’re certainly not alone! 

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Building Gratitude: Why Trades Workers Love Their Careers

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 20, 2023 1:08:10 PM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, construction industry, trades, careers, benefits

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Ask any tradesperson what they’re thankful for, and you’ll often hear this: my career.

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Celebrating Labor Day: Honoring Those Who Built Our Nation

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 1, 2023 2:51:43 PM / by Construct Your Future posted in building trades, trades, United States Construction, Labor Day

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Labor Day, a widely celebrated holiday in the United States, holds a rich history that goes beyond just marking the end of summer. It’s more than just a reason for a day off or a reason to fire up the grill — Labor Day is a tribute to the hard work, dedication, and struggles of workers throughout American history.

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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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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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