Facing Retirement Surge, Construction Council Roadshow Inspires Future Industry Leaders
Addressing the imminent talent shortage in West Michigan’s construction industry, the West Michigan Works! Construction Careers Council visited 15 schools, 17 classrooms and engaged over 500 students during Careers in Construction Month. The council’s construction roadshows initiative offers middle and high school students firsthand experiences, live demonstrations and insights into the opportunities within the construction sector, aiming to inspire the next generation of industry leaders.
Construction Careers Council uses Careers in Construction month to kick off Construction road shows that continue through the academic year. Employers and teachers can fill out a contact form to learn more about participating.
According to a 2022 Forbes article, over the next decade 40 percent of construction industry professionals are set to retire.
“We are bridging the gap between classrooms and employers, ensuring students are aware of the plethora of opportunities within the construction industry. What sets our roadshows apart is the immersive experience they offer — students witness live demonstrations and get a genuine feel for the daily activities of construction professionals,” said Mac Dodds, Construction Careers Council Lead at West Michigan Works! “We're not just promoting jobs; we're introducing students to rewarding career paths.”
In addition to benefiting students, the roadshow engagements provide a valuable platform for employers to showcase their companies and the diverse career opportunities they offer. The Construction Careers Council provides employers with an easy-to-follow curriculum to help guide them through the classroom visits.
Steve Huizinga, president of Freedom Construction, who rose from entry-level roles to his current position, emphasizes the vast opportunities the construction industry offers.
"My journey in construction is a testament to the industry's potential. There are countless opportunities for growth, and I strongly believe that anyone willing to work hard and be dedicated can find a fulfilling and prosperous career in construction," Huizinga said.