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Worker Shortages in the Trade Industry

Kansas City ASA Executive Director Andrew Christ recently discussed worker shortages in the trade industry on the Jayme and Grayson Podcast. Christ outlined the impact to the construction industry due to nationwide shortage of nearly half a million workers. The shortage applies to skilled and unskilled workers as well as management, and is having a direct impact on both overall cost of construction projects and timely completion of projects. In many cases, the industry has turned to robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to fill some gaps. Christ noted that the shortages can be attributed to the emphasis on the four-year college degree and lack of awareness of the pathways to joining the trades. High School guidance counselors could further promote vocational schools or union apprenticeships as viable career options. He noted that since 1980 the cost of college has risen nearly 160%, but post college earnings have only increased about 40%. While a job in the trades may not be as sexy as making YouTube videos, it does offer a pathway to a great living.  The best way to find out more is to check out your area’s vocational schools and apprentice halls.