Working with Trade Schools in Construction

Being able to find qualified talent in the local workforce is what every small business in the trade’s industry wishes they could do more easily. As the talent pool of workers seems to be gradually drying up in the New Hampshire area, contractors, plumbers, and electricians (to name just a few) are finding themselves in new territory. Not only are these businesses and tradesmen bidding for jobs and competing for contracts, but they are now also in fierce competition over attracting top candidates to join their companies.

With the housing market continuing to recover and homeowners throughout the region looking to update their homes, businesses are doing all they can to keep up with the demand whilst struggling to fill in the ranks of their company.

The Next Generation of the Construction Industry

Instead of passing the storm complacently and waiting for the labor shortage issue to correct itself, there are steps towards improvement to be taken, one big stride being to reach out to the younger generation within the community.

This presents a two-way street, each direction holding equal importance. Keeping the youth interested in the trades; and likewise, keeping the trades industry interested in being more hands-on in developing the youth into a viable workforce.

And so what’s the best way to reach out to the younger generation and introduce them to the trade industry within their community?

Some NH Vocational Schools for Construction

There are a number of vocational high schools throughout New Hampshire, offering courses from heavy duty mechanics to the building trades, and from basic woodworking to electrical engineering. These public schools have been providing such courses for years now, and with current circumstances being as they are, it’s time local businesses start taking more interest.

In southern New Hampshire, both Alvirne High School and Pinkerton Academy have exceptional vocational centers, and for students in the greater Manchester area there is the Manchester School of Technology, to name just a few.

Getting Involved with Local Schools

So where to start? Perhaps with a little research and outreach.

Not every vocational school offers the same courses. Finding out the specifics of each school can be done via their websites. Or take it one step further by reaching out to their respective directors and teachers. Inquire about the number of students they have enrolled in their courses, what challenges they face in developing their programs or students, and are they in need of any resources. Are they in need of tools or equipment? Do they follow industry trends?

Perhaps it’s also a good idea to inquire about being a guest speaker of sorts, introducing the latest technology used in the field or presenting them with case studies and asking for input from the students on how to address a real life issue. It would also be a good idea to reach out to other local businesses in the area and get them involved, providing the students with a variety of resources and options.

The overall goal with reaching out to local vocational schools and students should be to peak their interest, keep them motivated, and assure them there are plenty of exceptional, well-paying, challenging jobs waiting for the right candidates to emerge and take them. In an industry which is struggling to find qualified candidates, reaching out and taking the initiative is a much needed step in the right direction.