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Builders encourage students and parents to explore Career & Technical Education

February 2, 2021

BIAW announces up to $60,000 available in scholarships and grants

OLYMPIA… February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) month. With a hot housing market and jobs to fill, the Building Industry Association of Washington encourages students, parents, legislators and policymakers to explore how CTE can set students up for success.

“It’s time to introduce students of all ages to the opportunities a career in the skilled trades can bring,” said 2021 BIAW President Tracy Doriot, an award-winning custom home builder with more than 44 years in the business. “Growing up, kids have lots of career options to consider. Why not be a builder? These family wage jobs lead to meaningful careers—and an opportunity to build the places where people’s lives happen.”

Doriot has served on the Cascadia Technical Academy (formerly known as Clark County Skills Center) Construction Technology Advisory Committee since 1996 and has been chair of the board since 2019.

With CTE month underway, BIAW is announcing a record $60,000 in scholarships and grants.

The association will award an average of $1,000 to $5,000 in scholarships to students planning to enter a construction-related field. It will also award roughly $1,000 to $5,000 in grants to programs supporting construction-related fields of study. This could include construction career training, continuing education, apprenticeship programs or skills assessment programs.

Deadline to apply for both is May 14, 2021. Many local building industry associations also offer scholarships.

Why CTE?

CTE gives students important skills needed for postsecondary and workplace success. According to the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE),

“Employers overwhelmingly say that the most valuable employee skills are soft or employability skills such as professionalism, teamwork and written and oral communication. The blend of technical, academic and employability skills that CTE programs provide best prepare students for fast-growing and high-earning jobs.”

The Washington Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board reports in Washington, every dollar spent on secondary CTE students leads to $26 in lifetime earnings and employee benefits.

According to the ACTE, the top 5 industries for “good jobs” that pay a median income of $55,000+ without a bachelor’s degree are manufacturing, transportation and utilities, construction, health services and retail trade.

Filling the Labor Shortage Gap

According to, skilled trades and construction jobs are among the top hardest to fill in the U.S. Despite lingering unemployment due to the pandemic, the December Monthly Employment Report from the Employment Security Department showed construction gained 400 jobs from November 2020 to December 2020. The sector grew by 2,500 jobs year over year.

BIAW’s workforce development efforts

Over the last year, BIAW has continued to support careers in the construction trades, despite challenges presented by the pandemic and associated school closures, including:

New partnerships are on the horizon.

Additional resources:

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