October is Oregon’s Careers in Construction Month Posted on October 13, 2015 by Karla Holland Oregon Joins National Effort to Recognize Construction Careers Oregon Governor Kate Brown recently declared October 2015 Careers in Construction Month (Careers in Construction Month 2015). The purpose is to increase public awareness and appreciation of construction craft professionals and the entire construction workforce. Here are the three goals of the month: Further local and national efforts to standardize training Enhance the construction industry image by promoting the hard work and dedication of our nation’s craft professionals Narrow the skills gap by guiding America’s youth and displaced workers into opportunities that lead to long-term, rewarding careers in construction A Few Facts About the Construction Industry in Oregon In Oregon, construction contributed $8 billion of the state’s GDP (3.5%) Construction wages and salaries in Oregon totaled $4.5 billion in 2014 Oregon construction firms are primarily small businesses: in 2013, 94% had less than 20 employees It has grown by over 13,000 jobs in the past five years (but we’re still 17% lower than the industry’s pre-recession peak of 103,300) We have 22% fewer workers than our industry had eight years ago The average salary of a construction worker in Oregon is $53,300, 16% more than all private sector employees in the state Oregon’s Employment Department predicts the industry will need to add over 25,000 skilled workers by the year 2020 to keep up with new positions and to replace retiring workers What Can You Do? What got you interested in construction in the first place? You now it’s a great industry with well-paying jobs and unlimited potential…it’s time to pass that information along to the next generation of workers! Mentor: Do you know any young people interested in construction? Invite them to your office or jobsite so they can see what’s involved. Or better yet, bring a group of young people along! Encourage them to prepare now for their future career. Volunteer: Attend a career fair or talk about construction at your child’s school. Contractors are always welcome! AGC has a table at many career fairs across the Willamette Valley throughout the year, and we can always use contractors who are excited about their career and industry and can pass that excitement on to young people. If not you, do you have young people at your company who would fit the bill? Support local CTE programs: Salem-Keizer School District has just opened CTEC, the Career and Technical Education Center. They could use volunteers to participate on their advisory committee, contractors to support their construction classes, and donations of equipment and money. There are also active programs at ACE Academy, Sherwood High School, Portland Public Schools’ PACE Program, Gladstone High School, and Stayton High School. Check your local districts for programs close to you. Let Us Know! There are opportunities at many school districts across Oregon and SW Washington. If you are supporting career technical education, attending a career fair, speaking to a group of interested young people, or are helping get a new program started, let us know! Contact Colette Evers, 503-685-8328. Social Media Campaign Watch AGC’s social media for the rest of the month as we celebrate Careers in Construction Month and the men and women who make our industry so great! If you are doing anything this month that supports our efforts, send us a photo or information about it…we’ll include you in our promotion! Send your information to Colette Evers, 503-685-8328.