Dayton Daily News Reports on Ohio Building Trades Job Opportunities and Demand for Building Trades Apprentices

The Dayton Daily News reported last month on the high demand for skilled workers in the region as the Ohio economy continues to grow. In the article, Matt Szollosi, Executive Director of ACT Ohio, discussed the high demand for skilled Building Trades workers and intensive apprenticeship recruitment campaigns underway in the Dayton region and across Ohio:

Construction companies are busier than they have been in years.

“The industrial development that we’re seeing along with the heavy highway work …is virtually unprecedented,” Szollosi said. “We’re very thankful for the opportunity to go to work every day.”

But those jobs can’t be completed without skilled workers. In the immediate term, there are a record number of apprentices enrolled in four- and five-year trades education programs, Szollosi said.

“We are investing extremely heavily in apprenticeship programs,” he said. Statewide, ACT Ohio will invest nearly $60 million in apprentice training statewide. And industry representatives visit high schools and vocational schools across the state….

…ACT Ohio has seen apprentices top out with annual pay reaching six figures after five or six years, Szollosi said. “At this juncture right now, overtime is plentiful,” he said.

Pushing pay up may be one way to draw workers to these professions, said Amy Hanauer, executive director of the labor- focused Policy Matters Ohio think tank. “Historically, when employers really had trouble filling jobs, the lengths they went to do to recruit new workers — they raised wages, there were often clear career ladders so workers knew it was worth putting in the time to acquire some special skills,” Hanauer said.

Today, some employers perhaps have become used to the idea that they don’t have to raise wages or offer training, she said. That idea is outdated, she argues. Of the 10 most common occupations in Ohio, many pay less than $22,000 or$23,000 a year, she said. “Those are wages that are pretty tough to get by on these days,” Hanauer said.

The work isn’t easy. Apprentices will work at construction sites 40 hours a week under the supervision of a journeyman, then attend multi-hour classes one or two evenings a week, Szollosi said.

But the long-term goal is to open eyes, breaking the stereotype that students have no choice but to commit four or more years to a college. “We’re doing everything we can to reach out to the guidance counselors across the state,” Szollosi said.

Click here to learn more about apprenticeship opportunities. To schedule an ACT Ohio Building Trades Apprenticeship presentation in your school, classroom, or organization, call 614-228-5446 or email Kitty French at kfrench@actohio.org

 

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