More Than 750 Students Attend 2018 Construction Career Day
By GEORGE DRAPEAU III
SUFFERN, NY—The Rockland Community College Fieldhouse in Suffern, NY, was abuzz on Fri., April 13, as more than 750 lower Hudson Valley high school students met with some two-dozen construction and building union leaders, as well as private-company employers, to learn about construction career opportunities in the region.
Each year, the Construction Industry Council of Westchester and Hudson Valley, Inc. (CIC), and the Building Contractors Association of Westchester and Mid-Hudson, Inc. (BCA), host Construction Career Day to reinvigorate the industry’s labor force with young talent.
Construction is one of the nation’s largest industry employment sectors, yet recent Department of Labor figures indicate a labor shortage of skilled craft workers. This deficit is expected to grow dramatically in the coming decade. Enhancing the availability of apprenticeships is a major priority for improving workforce outcomes and strengthening worker skills, according to the Federal Reserve Bank.
“There is an overwhelming amount of infrastructure renewal of our roads and bridges, clean water, waste water and aging utilities that must be repaired and improved,” said Edward Doyle, one of the lead presenters at the career expo and president of the Building & Construction Trades Council of Westchester & Putnam Counties, Inc. “The public infrastructure facilities that we see every day from our car windows were built by skilled labor workers as many as three to four generations ago.”
He continued, “Many members of the building trades have retired over the past decade and now is the time to replenish these men and women; but we’re not replacing our retiring workers fast enough. It’s time for our nation to reach out to attract qualified and capable recruits who will help build our future.”
There are more than 20 trades represented among the building and construction trade unions.
“It’s important to constantly replenish the rank and file with qualified, well-trained recruits,” added Ross J. Pepe, president of the CIC and BCA based in Tarrytown, NY. “We see the shortage of skilled labor running across most unionized sectors of the building and construction industries with long-delayed projects.”
In the building and construction trades, registered apprenticeship programs provide participants with a high-quality, portable and nationally recognized credential that certifies occupational proficiency in the construction industry. Programs follow a “learn-while-you-earn” model, as participants obtain wages that are graduated upward as the apprentice accumulates greater skills and experience on the job. Students looking to qualify for bona fide apprenticeship opportunities will be expected to have a high school diploma or equivalent GED.
“Here are a number of job opportunities that provide pensions, healthcare, good salaries,” said Rockland County Executive Ed Day, who attended the Construction Career Day event “Those things are all part of what’s happening here. This is truly the American dream and I could not be more proud to be here again this year.”
County Executive Day was one of a host of area political dignitaries that attended the Career Day program.
For more information about apprenticeship programs and job opportunities, contact the Building & Construction Trades Council: of Westchester & Putnam at 914-762-2492; of Rockland at 845-634-4633; and, of the Hudson Valley at 845-565-2737. For more information about the CIC and BCA’s Construction Career Day, contact Matthew Pepe of the BCA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-631-6070.
The Construction Industry Council (CIC) of Westchester and Hudson Valley, Inc. is a professional trade organization representing more than 600 businesses that are at the core of the region’s construction industry. These include contractors, suppliers, consultants and other professionals servicing the construction and building industries. CIC maintains day-to-day contact with local and state government officials who own and manage much of the region’s infrastructure and institutional facilities.
The Building Contractors Association (BCA) of Westchester and Mid-Hudson, Inc. provides fast, reliable information to its members on virtually every subject related to building construction, from labor and work-force related issues to insurance and specification requirements. BCA’s primary mission is to improve conditions by negotiating labor agreements with local trades; lobbying local, state and federal governments to security capital spending and beneficial laws; dispersing information about public and private bid lettings and awards; educating industry members on latest requirements of laws, rules and regulations effecting daily operations; and, providing many networking opportunities for members.