Youth Skilled Trades Training

August 9, 2015

Please visit and help us give some the youth and young acquire skills that will be with them for a lifetime.

The National Skilled Trades Network is running a campaign to acquire funding to help train youth and young adults while rehabbing this property owned by The National Skilled Trades Network.

2551 Osceola Ave

National Skilled Trades Network Success Story

May 9, 2015

NSTN wants to welcome back Harrison Alsup, returning for his second year participation in our Introduction To The Skilled Trades Summer Program.

After spending last summer shadowing and some hands on participation with Michael Watkins owner of Watt1 Electrical Systems and Willco Services LLC, Home Improvement Contracting Company. Harrison has decided to become a carpenter and enter the field of home improvement. Harrison will become a senior in the next school year. After graduating High School Harrison will begin NSTN’s On The Job Training Program. We will take him under our wings and guide him until he becomes a Home Improvement Contractor and Entrepreneur.

​For those that may want to follow Harrison’s footsteps attached you will find our brochure and application. Also during this summer we will be rehabbing this property that the NSTN is in the process of acquiring. It will allow our youth to see the skills that are required to update an older home.

We will update the electrical, the plumbing the heating and cooling. We will also be gutting the kitchen and bathroom. Install new flooring, counter tops, cabinets, dishwasher in the kitchen. Install new flooring, tub/shower unit, new toilet, vanity, lighting in bathroom. Paint the exterior. We will have the youth watch how house painting is done.


Howard Williams

Executive Director Of Operations

National Skilled Trades Network


Construction is Changing

November 16, 2014

Construction is Changing … Are You Prepared?

In an evolving industry, inexperience and age are big factors in driving worker’s compensation claims in construction

The U.S. construction industry will need about 1.7 million more workers by 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Occupational Outlook. This is fantastic news, especially since the 2009 Global Recession laid off more than 2 million construction workers.

It’s time to get hiring, right? Well … maybe not.


While these opportunities for skilled talent now exist, 74 percent of construction firms are already having trouble finding quality workers, according to the Worker Shortage Survey Analysis published by the Associated General Contractors of America in September 2013.

There’s a shortage in skilled labor, in part, because of a shrinking labor pool. Experienced workers—particularly Baby Boomers—have exited or are exiting the workforce because of the Global Recession of 2009 or retirement, and the number of younger workers is also declining.

Because of the lack of skilled labor on job sites, workers are getting hurt on the job more often, and compensation claims are increasing for construction companies.

Zurich data shows organizations can spend as much as 14 to 21 percent of total payroll on disability costs as a result of employees being off work. These disability claims directly correlate with experience level and age.

New workers lack experience working in dangerous environments, and older workers are more prone to cumulative muscle wear and tear. It’s a dangerous situation in either event. But, as the economy improves, new hires — whether they are inexperienced or not — will become a greater portion of the workforce.

To help reduce a chance of injury on the job site, help general contractors and their subcontractors who are both affected by this, and their workers’ compensation costs, check out our list of 4 Ways to Help Reduce Risk in Construction.

– See more at:

The Top 10 Hardest Jobs To Fill

November 12, 2014

The Top 10 Hardest Jobs to Fill

By John Rossheim, Monster Senior Contributing Writer

The economy is sputtering, and companies say they will make nothing but perfect-10 hires. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers are retiring by the millions — and everyone wants to be a millionaire, not a wage earner. Where does all this leave employers and workers in their never-ending struggle to tip the balance in the American labor market?

From the perspective of an annual survey commissioned by staffing firm Manpower, these dynamics yield a number of occupations for which openings are hard to fill. Among white-collar jobs, the following positions make Manpower’s 10 Hardest Jobs to Fill list: sales reps, nurses, technicians, restaurant/hotel workers, managers/executives, doctors/other clinical practitioners, engineers and customer service reps. And on the blue-collar side, skilled tradespeople and drivers make the top 10.

But labor-market power has shifted toward employers with the soft economy. In the prerecession year of 2007, Manpower’s survey of 2,000 US firms showed that 41 percent of employers reported difficulties filling positions; however, the 2010 tally found only about a third of that percentage of companies — 14 percent — reported recruitment was a struggle.

And many experts, especially labor advocates, take issue with the Manpower study’s conclusion that all these occupations are in shortage. “Our starting point at EPI is where most economists would start: If you don’t have low unemployment and rising wages, you don’t have a shortage,” says Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

So if you work in one of these occupations — or want to — what’s the real story? Let’s take a look at the survey results and get some perspective on what the shortages really mean.

White-Collar Occupations Blow in the Winds of Economic Change

With fuel prices spiking and oil and natural gas exploration heating up, demand for petroleum engineers is rising. Offshoring notwithstanding, “engineering is going to be around for awhile,” says Melanie Holmes, a vice president at Manpower North America. “Oil companies have employees averaging in their late 40s.”

Eisenbrey says EPI data shows labor shortages in a number of white-collar niches, from healthcare workers to librarians, farm managers, engineering managers and environmental scientists.

Some Blue-Collar Jobs Go Unfilled Even as Their Numbers Drop

Even after decades of manufacturing decline, employment of machinists is expected to drop another 5 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the BLS.

“We’re at the very beginning of that decline; we haven’t necessarily gotten there yet,” says Holmes. “Even if machinists are declining, applicants are in short supply. Kids are not getting excited about going to tech and vocational schools.”

Labor advocates paint a different picture. “Employers are still not willing to pay what’s required,” says Eisenbrey. “It’s a shortage only at the rate that employers want to pay.”

The skilled trades rank high among blue-collar jobs that are hard to fill, according to the Manpower survey. Carpenters, welders, plumbers, electricians and masons are in demand, the survey says.

We Are On A Mission

August 23, 2014

After seeing what is happening in Ferguson, Mo. and all over the country. We are on a mission to get some of our youth and young adults out of that sense of hopelessness. Introducing the youth and young adults to the skilled trades and the job opportunities that come by having skills. We can either wait for someone else to create opportunities for our youth. Or create these opportunities ourselves.
Visit our website, then like us on Facebook and follow us on twitter.

America’s Skilled Trades Shortage

April 27, 2014

NSTN Newsletter April, 2014

America’s Skilled Trades Dilemma: Shortages Loom As Most-In-Demand Group Of Workers Ages

For the last three years, according to ManpowerGroup, the hardest segment of the workforce for employers to staff with skilled talent hasn’t been registered nurses or engineers or even web developers. It’s been the skilled trades – the welders, electricians, machinists, etc. that are so prevalent in manufacturing and construction.

But if these skilled-trades workers are difficult to find now, as Manpower’s survey indicates, just wait a few years. The skills gap is likely to become more acute.

In 2012, 53 percent of skilled-trade workers in the U.S. were 45 years and older, according to EMSI, and 18.6 percent were between the ages of 55 and 64. (We are using the Virginia Manufacturers Association’s definition of skilled trades, which encompasses 21 particular occupations.)

Contrast those numbers with the overall labor force, where 44 percent of workers were at least 45 years old, and 15.5 percent of jobs were held by the 55-to-64 demographic.

Those are just the national figures; in Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New Hampshire, more than 60 percent of the skilled-trades labor force is 45 or older. Other Northeastern states such as Delaware, Maine and New York also have aging skilled-trades workforces, as do Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

What makes this issue more striking is that the skilled trades have far fewer 65-and-older workers than the total labor force (1.9 percent to 4.8 percent) – a clear sign that these jobs are more physically demanding than the typical job. So unlike other occupations, many skilled trades workers can’t hold off on retirement because they need the money or simply enjoy working.

“If the skills shortage is debatable today,” economic development consultant Brian Kelsey wrote last year, “it likely won’t be at some point in the future.”

The heavy proportion of older skilled-trade workers puts into focus more than just the pending retirement for baby boomers and oft-cited but rarely quantified gap between the skills that employers need and available workers possess. It also touches on the fact that American high schools have largely shifted their focus to preparing students for four-year colleges rather than vocational school.

But just as training to become a welder or computer controlled machine operator isn’t for everyone, pursuing a college degree doesn’t fit every student’s skill set.

“For two or three generations, the focus has been to go to college, get a degree and in doing so you will ensure a brighter future with more access to employment,” Genevieve Stevens, interim dean for instruction at Houston Community College’s central campus, told the Houston Chronicle. “We started focusing on academic instruction, but left behind the notion of work-force education. However, in a two-year institution that costs less, the average work-force student can come out of that program with skills to gain immediate employment.”

Skilled trades can provide a promising career path depending on a job seeker’s skills and location. However, some of these middle-skill occupations will need an influx of new talent sooner than others.

My Brothers Keeper

March 2, 2014

We commend President Obama on his new initiative, My Brothers Keeper. However, if the organiziations that are going to implement this new initiative in the minority communities are the same organizations that have been receiving funding to solve this problem for the past 20 years, not much will be accomplished. As we know doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result does not make sense. The problems in the minority community are economic not social.