Program Encourages Young Arizonans to Get Into the Trade Industry
PHOENIX – The trade industry is not what it used to be in Arizona. So much so that it can be seen in the construction industry today with a delay in building new homes here in the Valley.
As of the beginning of May, new home builds in metro Phoenix were reported to take nearly a year to complete, according to the Arizona Home Builders Association of Central Arizona. The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation has dedicated itself to creating the next generation of tradesmen by establishing a program that works to recruit young Arizonans who are open to building unique career paths – pun intended. The mission of the program – called “Build Your Future Arizona” – is to create a sustainable and skilled craft workforce by creating awareness about high paying construction careers, training opportunities and mapping career paths to employment in these high demand occupations.
The program is led by an industry steering committee made up of leading employers. Mike Brewer, vice president of the American Subcontractors Association of Arizona, is one of the industry leaders involved in the program. He told KTAR News 92.3 FM, “There are a whole bunch of us that are near the end of our careers.” Brewer has been in the trade industry for nearly 37 years. Although he’s a strong advocate for education, he didn’t believe college was for him.
That’s why he became a certified plumber. After he worked for a company for nearly 11 years, he bought the company and started his own business. Now he works to create the next generation of entrepreneurs and tradesmen by encouraging them to explore work in the trades. “The youth out there, people say they don’t want these jobs – they don’t even know they exist,” Brewer said.
Brewer’s plumbing company has its own subcontractor certification program known as “Brewer University” where certification is obtainable in a matter of months. He says the harder someone wants to work, the more opportunities they will have to make a greater salary. In some instances, subcontractors starting in the career today have the opportunity to make up to $60,000 a year.