The way so few young people look to careers in the construction industry today, you might think builders are trying to keep job opportunities a secret. That is obviously not the case, but the Builders League of South Jersey is making sure.
The education committee of the Builders League has launched a major initiative to educate the public -- especially high school students -- on career opportunities in construction and its allied industries. Marketing and advertising items such as book covers and newsletters touting industry opportunities are distributed to area schools, and the committee also provides speakers who go to these schools and speak at assemblies. The committee is also looking into associations with guidance counselors and career centers to steer interested students toward construction.
"People don’t perceive the building and construction trades as they really are," says Joe DeCerbo, chairman of the Builders League. "In a recent survey covering areas of interest to people seeking jobs, the building industry ranked 248 out of 250. Unfortunately, that’s very shortsighted."
The Builders League hopes the initiative points out to potential workers that the industry has a wide range of positions at competitive salaries. The Wall Street Journal’s Job Almanac of 1996 listed carpenters’ wages at $24,000 to $55,000, while architects and job superintendents earn in excess of $100,000.
The initiative also includes testimonials from industry success stories to inspire students. One such story is that of a young woman who started in the Job Corps in West Virginia at age 16 and is now a project supervisor for a South Jersey builder.