Building up the economy with construction jobs

January 23, 2012 by  

Georgia is taking a novel approach in addressing unemployment and economic recession. American youth are usually taught that financial and professional stability are attained through a college education. That advice has been called into question as unemployment lines fill with individuals holding bachelor’s and master’s degree in a variety of disciplines. Consequently, the state is developing a programs designed to encourage young citizens to opt for technical training in construction as opposed to college.

Although the notion of encouraging students to forego higher education in exchange for technical training has a few critics, labor experts see possible benefits to increasing awareness about jobs in the construction industry and technical training. Evelyn Ganzglas, a director at the Center for Law and Social Policy favors the campaign:

“Education and training are not single events. You help people move in steps along pathways.”

Formal technical training in construction is expected to have several fringe benefits for employers and job seekers in the state. According to Scott Shelar, a director of the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia, “We have an excess of labor, but we don’t have an excess of skilled labor.” By encouraging individuals to seek education in this industry, the number of qualified and experienced candidates for jobs requiring specialized skills will increase. Proponents also point out that jobs in construction pay competitive wages and salaries tend to rise for trained and experienced workers. Finally, the aging workforce of the United States coupled with the demand that will exist once the economy recovers means an increase in the number of construction jobs available.

The government will likely rely on local print shops in metro areas like Newnan to help spread the word about this new opportunity through promotional poster printing and the creation of other informative graphics or displays.