Why is there a national shortage of skilled trade workers in the US?
There is not one reason why there is a shortage amongst skilled trade workers in the US.
Continuation of Why is there a national shortage of skilled trade workers in the US?
Rather, labor economists point out that over the last few decades, there are a whole host of reasons for the decline. Some of the reasons for the decline in blue-collar employment: colleges marketing their merits, and the stigma associated with blue-collar work has turned off some of the younger generations, wages not keeping pace with inflation, some skilled trade workers opted to retire when faced with potential pandemic health scares, labor market dynamics (great recession dried up thousands of jobs and many didn’t return) are some of the reasons why the number of skilled workers has not grown at a steady rate.
Resulting in a greater demand than there is supply
Fast-forward to the last few years, and the tide has changed. There has been a spike in new construction, improvements to public infrastructure, housing upgrades, growth in hospitality, and the painful lessons from supply chain have brought manufacturing jobs back from overseas, resulting in a greater demand than there is supply. Consequently, wages in several of the skilled trade fields are now surpassing inflation.
What can America do to fill this gap? High School Guidance counselors may want to extol the job virtues of earning a degree from a vocational school and earning a living in one of the respective fields rather than attending a traditional 4-year university. A financial scare tactic could potentially be fair play. Parents, counselors, and other educators could share the truth behind the deleterious effects of compounding interest on student loans, which may motivate some to revisit trade schools (typically a fraction of the price of 4-year universities). In addition, the government could consider offering more incentives and scholarships for students who attend some of these technical schools.
Haynes Mechanical founded Haynes University
Closer to home, Haynes Mechanical founded Haynes University in 2015, a 4-year HVAC journeyman program accredited by NCCER and recognized by the US Department of Labor. At the time of writing this (September 2023), the program is free. Once completed, Haynes students graduate without debt and their starting salary is somewhere around $70k. We are doing our part by offering Haynes University graduates careers at Haynes Mechanical. We recognize it is not going to fill the macro skilled trade void, but we believe our contributions make a difference. Please reach out if you would like more information on Haynes University or are interested in some of the additional services that we offer to facilitate with the skilled trade shortage.
Contact info: https://www.haynesmechanical.com/haynes-university/