Connectors - Spring 2019

Page 32

COVER STORY

By Lucy Perry

A UNIFIED Message SEAA part of industry-wide push to market, recruit, and train craft professionals

Joe Everett, President of Superior Cranes Inc., welcomed 350 students to the company’s Lift & Move USA event, a one-day career exploration into specialized transportation, crane and rigging operations.

W

hile SEAA’s workforce development focus is on training ironworkers, the association recognizes there is a broader need for various skilled professionals across manufacturing and construction. To that end, industry organizations are joining forces to work on marketing craft trades as a career; attracting new workers; and training those new workers to perform their jobs skillfully, accurately, and safely. According to the Manufacturing Institute 2015 Skills Gap Report, over the next decade nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed and 2 million are expected to go unfilled due to the skills gap. Lucy Perry operates WordSkills Editorial Services in Kansas City, Mo. She has spent 20 years following the North American construction industry. She can be reached at wordskillseditor@gmail.com.

And NCCER reports that 1.5 million craft professionals will be needed in the construction industry by 2021. The retirement of baby boomers, strength of the economy, and attractiveness of the industry are ranked among leading factors impacting the talent shortage.

Joint efforts Five years ago SEAA launched Superior Cranes employees shared personal stories of their an ironworker training curriculum journey into the industry and showed students different kinds designed to be delivered by member of equipment. companies to their local communities around the country. But training is just one piece of the process. “SEAA has discovFor example, the Skilled Trades Coalition ered that working with other like-minded desires to bring together an exclusive group of groups means that we can have a consistent thought leaders who are shaping the future of message and we don’t have to re-invent the trade careers. SEAA was asked to participate marketing and recruiting process for each in the inaugural meeting in December 2018 industry niche or specialty,” said Tom Under- to explore awareness, recruitment, training, hill, Executive Director of SEAA. and retention of skilled trades workers. Of the

32 | THE STEEL ERECTORS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA


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