Talent and Economic Development Department Encouraging Trade Careers

The Talent and Economic Development (TED) Department of Michigan and Skilled to Build Michigan Foundation are teaming up to raise awareness of the need for careers in home building.

According to TED, there are roughly 132 high-wage, high-demand 21st-century career paths in the home building industry, with the opportunity to build homes for 10 million Michiganders.

The Home Builders Association (HBA) of Michigan has been building awareness around the growing need for skilled labor in the workforce for several years. The Skilled to Build Michigan Foundation, a non-profit that works daily to generate awareness of the good paying, highly-rewarding opportunities available in this state was created by HBA to address these issues.

The state also has a large education and awareness effort called the Going PRO Campaign, which aims to recruit and retain skilled-labor and to address Michigan’s shortage in professional trades talent. The campaign focuses on changing perceptions about professional trades, as well as inspire students, their parents and other influencers to consider choosing these careers, many of which are available through little to no student debt.

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“There is an increasing demand to close the skills gap in Michigan, and programs such as this one help stretch our message to communities across the state,” Stephanie Beckhorn, Talent and Economic Development (Ted) Department of Michigan acting director said. “It’s up to all of us including teachers, counselors, parents and other influencers to encourage the next generation of talent to seek training and educational opportunities that will lead Michigan’s youth to fill the estimated 545,000 Professional Trades jobs coming open through 2026.”

HBA cites the lack of talent to fill jobs as a key concern, as the home building and remodeling market grows and baby boomers retire.

“At the Skilled to Build Michigan Foundation we’ve been working diligently to promote and inform students about the lucrative careers in building trades,” said Dawn Crandall, foundation executive director. “Many of the students we interact with are unaware they can make a good livable wage allowing them to be homeowners themselves as 20-year-olds. We have seen a lot of positive change through our statewide network of educators helping to mentor this upcoming generation of talent, however, there’s still work to be done.”

With the housing market on the rise, there are numerous opportunities for careers in construction such as plumbers, electricians and millwrights to carpenters, engineering technicians and welders. TED says the best way to expose students to these careers is through career and technical education, which is offered at technical campuses across the state.

The foundation also advocates for expanding CTE programs to high school age students, and assists veterans with identifying programs they can utilize to get trained for the numerous building trades career paths. In 2018, Skilled to Build issued a veteran’s guidebook as a leading resource for returning veterans interested in entering the skilled trades, which includes an occupation appendix that outlines job growth data, salary and training information.

Additional information about the Skilled to Build Michigan Foundation and their guidebooks can be found here.

You can click here to learn more about the available Professional Trades jobs across the state including those in the construction industry.