The North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) and Carolinas AGC (CAGC) have formed a partnership to help address the workforce shortage at a time when there are thousands of well-paying careers available in construction.
“There are great jobs and meaningful careers in the construction industry,” NCCCS president Peter Hans said in a statement. “The partnership with CAGC is another example of how we work with business and industry to address their needs. By aligning with our partners, we are meeting challenges, providing opportunities for North Carolinians, and making a difference for our state.”
Hans’ comments were made to about 75 attendees at a CAGC quarterly Triangle luncheon in Durham on March 13. He said $200,000 that CAGC helped secure from the NC General Assembly in 2017 is being used by the NCCCS to help rebrand construction as a good career choice.
He said misperceptions exist about the industry, coupled with a decades-long emphasis on earning four-year degrees that have had an adverse impact on construction companies’ ability to recruit workers.
“North Carolina’s construction industry is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers to fill crucial positions,” he said. “Craftsmanship is a calling – we must value those who build our community.”
Hans said all 58 of North Carolina’s community colleges are educating future carpenters, plumbers, electricians, welders, HVAC technicians, and other skilled tradespeople. He commended North Carolina lawmakers for recognizing that the construction worker shortage could have a negative impact on public projects, such as roads and infrastructure, and for appropriating the $200,000 to the NC Community College System to raise awareness of construction as a rewarding and well-paying career.
Construction apprenticeships grew from 1,581 in 2018 to 1,840 this year.