It frustrates Ned Seawell and Tony Friday that so many ambitious, hard-working students turn their backs on construction as career. To some extent, they agree, it’s because youngsters don’t learn enough about the industry and don’t understand the great potential.
"They don’t see the career path, they think it’s just a heavy-labor job," says Seawell, who serves on NAHB’s Labor Shortage Task Force. "As advocates, we have the opportunity to reach out to students in career programs and encourage our profession to be their career choice."
Seawell and Friday are working with local organizations, including Job Corps training centers and other vocational facilities, to ensure young people are aware of the opportunities both in construction and, more specifically, with Home Finishes. "I want to make more presentations as a businessman with strong opportunities available to create a good life," Seawell says. "Not enough of us stress this as a viable option for a career choice."
Friday is looking at ways to encourage women to consider the field, using NAHB’s tapes and books to plan his strategy. "Men and women both aren’t aware of the opportunities we offer," he says. "We need to tap into high-school programs and career professionals to let them know we will serve as a resource. Construction makes a great, great career."