September 2, 2016

Ohio Encourages Exploration of Trades Careers

Canton Repository recently published an editorial piece on construction jobs in Ohio. Nowhere are these positions more important than on pipelines – hardworking tradesmen and women are critical to ensuring a safe construction process. According to a recent report by the Associated General Contractors of America, Ohio is experiencing difficulties filling demand for these roles:

State, regional and national survey data show Ohio companies experiencing greater than average difficulty filling jobs in the construction trades, specifically positions like project manager, carpenter and drywall installer. In Ohio, 80 percent of survey respondents are having difficulty filling hourly craft jobs and more than half struggle to fill salaried positions.

The report by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA) suggests the worker shortage is a problem across the country, one that has the “potential to undermine broader economic growth,” the group’s CEO, Stephen Sandherr, told The Dispatch during a conference call.

However, the state of Ohio is taking steps to fill this need, encouraging students to pursue careers in the trades:

State Rep. Kirk Schuring, R-Jackson Township, successfully pushed for $10 million in the 2015 state operating budget to establish a workforce development grant program. The program itself was implemented under another piece of legislation that became law late last year.

Students who seek education and training in a field where there is a shortage of workers are eligible for a grant of up to $5,000 annually.

“It provides a pathway for students who are either going to a career technical school, community college or who are enrolled in a four-year program to pursue coursework that leads to a career in an in-demand job,” Schuring said. “A lot of young people are getting college degrees and can’t find work because of the courses they’ve taken and the degrees they’ve obtained.”

CEPI is proud of its trade union member organizations, and is encouraged to see the state of Ohio recognize the importance of these positions. Tradesmen and women – and particularly union members – are highly trained and view safety as a priority on the worksite. They will ensure that projects like the Rover Pipeline, which provide them with gainful employment, are undertaken responsibly.