By: Howard Williams
September 23, 2020
At a time when Black youth that are not college bound need guidance, opportunity, livable wages and affordable housing. The minority community has abandoned the skilled trades as a field for careers and employment for their children. Most of the Black community believes it does not take much skill to work in the construction field, home repair, remodel or rehab property. Those times have past.
The construction trades and remodeling industry has changed tremendously in the past 30 years. Accredited training and certification is required in the construction industry today.
Because of the knowledge required in the skilled trades today. It takes accredited classroom training and then actual apprenticeship training in the field of interest. There are very few places for minority youth and young adults to acquire this training with the compassion needed in the minority community. And that is where the community has failed its young people.
I am going to try and explain why it is important for the minority youth and young adults to acquire the training and enter this lucrative field. Let me start with this brief slide show Fire Damaged Property Rehab. All the companies that worked on this rehab project except one was a minority company. Just this one project created work for 5 minority companies plus their employees. And yet their is a shortage of skilled workers. Also, minority Baby Boomers who have years of knowledge and are beginning to retire and are willing to pass their knowledge onto the minority young people.
Although this Fire damaged property rehab project may not seem large enough to need that many skilled trades. Local building codes require building permits for each trade and therefor every company that worked on this project had to have a license because all work is inspected by local building code inspectors. And building codes change constantly. Remember there is no such thing as a jack of all trades.
Here are the skilled trades that were involved on this project. And all had to be knowledgeable of the new building codes.
Demolition and Debris Hauler
Drywall Installer and Finisher
Interior and Exterior Painter
Roofing, Siding and Gutter Installer
Masonry and Concrete Installer
Those that become qualified can earn up to $50.00 an hour, based on qualifications and years of experience. Those that become licensed contractors earns a minimum of 10% of each project cost. And yet some in the community would rather their child do nothing than pursue a skilled trade.
Finally there is a qualified NCCER Accredited construction trades training program in Columbus, Ohio. The National Skilled Trades Network (NSTN) www.nstnetwork.org