BIAW celebrates Careers in Construction Month
October 28, 2022
Workforce development is one of BIAW’s top strategic priorities. All year long, BIAW coordinates and supports member and local association efforts to recruit more people into the trades for residential construction. But throughout October, have shined a brighter light on those efforts by celebrating Careers in Construction Month.
Washington state is one of 21 states whose governor has officially proclaimed October as Careers in Construction Month to bring statewide awareness to the many lucrative career opportunities available in the building industry.
We invite all members and local associations to join the celebration of professions in the construction trades and help promote construction career opportunities.
Join the workforce development effort
The building industry needs 1.9 million more trades professionals nationwide by 2025. Here are some ways you and your business can join the workforce development effort and help build pride in the industry.
- Open your site by hosting a field trip for students to tour the site and gain first-hand information about successful careers in Take a few minutes to demonstrate how to use one or more tools or pieces of equipment on your jobsite.
- Visit a school and talk with students about Plan fun, related activities and arrange for a panel of trades professionals to host a question and answer session.
- Arrange a job shadow day for young people to spend time with adults in their workplace and see the responsibilities and daily tasks as they spend time in the work
- Spread the word by announcing Careers in Construction Month on your storefront, website, cash register receipts, etc. Post videos or pictures on social media highlighting careers in residential construction using #CareersInConstruction.
Leading by example: Local efforts
It will take teamwork and a boots-on-the-ground effort to solve the labor shortage. Local home building associations are doing just that by working closely with members and schools to engage the future workforce. This month, we’re featuring Kitsap Building Association (KBA), Spokane Home Builders Association (SHBA) and Master Builders Association of Pierce County (MBAPC) and their powerful programs and partnerships connecting students with jobs in the building industry.
KBA Builder Grant Program
KBA’s Builder Grant Program provides youth internship opportunities in the construction industry after high school. The program connects workers aged 18 to 24 with local builders, remodelers and subcontractors for a six-week residential construction internship.
The year-round program provides a $250 stipend to successful applicants for the tools and equipment they need to be job-ready. Workers then enter a six-week, paid job opportunity. If they successfully complete the program, workers receive another $250 and a certificate of completion.
To help the companies that mentor these workers, KBA reimburses $5/hour in wages up to $1,200 to offset the cost of the paid job training. Upon completion of the program, companies may choose to hire the newly trained workers— and many do.
KBA works closely with YouthBuild Kitsap and Kitsap Community Resources to identify applicants. YouthBuild Kitsap is a program funded by the US Dept. of Labor that teaches construction trades to students who have dropped out academically. The Builder Grant Program has also generated numerous applicants through word of mouth.
SHBA Frame Your Future (FYF) Program
SHBA’s Frame Your Future (FYF) Program is a new two-year program launched this year, providing an industry-driven curriculum and hands-on building experience to students at Innovation High School in Spokane.
SHBA raised more than $200,000 from building industry partners to fund the program, and in October of this year, the program received $1,000,000 of funds from the Federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act. “We’re very excited to see how many young individuals’ futures FYF helps build by exposing them to the construction trades,” said Josh Kerns, District 1 Spokane County Commissioner.
FYF allows students to meet and work alongside some of Spokane’s leading construction professionals. In May 2022, SHBA and FYF partnered with local schools to host a Construction Camp for more than 20 students. With the help of 15 SHBA member volunteers, they built two sheds in two days. Industry professionals had the opportunity to provide career coaching and even hire students who show an interest in the trades.
FYF is creating a skilled worker pipeline for residential construction in Eastern Washington through its innovative training programs and collaboration with area schools and industry leaders
To learn more about FYF and how you can get involved, visit FrameYourFuture.org.
MBAPC Partners with Pierce County Skills Center
MBAPC partnered with the Pierce County Skills Center (PCSC) by donating $5,000 benefiting local students enrolled in the school’s construction trades program. PCSC offers career and technical education programs and serves 10 school districts in Pierce County.
MBAPC and PCSC are jointly committed to people’s success in the building industry and establishing an educated workforce for the future of construction.
MBAPC members support PCSC’s construction trades curriculum by donating excess materials from jobsites for hands-on training. They also attend annual job fairs, provide scholarships to help students buy tools and supplies upon graduation and connect them to internship opportunities leading to full-time employment.
For more information on the PSCS partnership, contact Master Builders Pierce at (253) 272- 2112.
To learn more about BIAW’s workforce development efforts, contact Education and Workforce Development Director Al Audette at (360) 352-7800 ext. 105 or