NV to Open Trades High School in 2023


After recently receiving unanimous approval from the Charter Authority Board, Southern Nevada Trades High School (SNTHS) announced that it plans to open in the fall of 2023.

Located in Clark County, Nevada, the public school aims to prepare its students for both college and careers in the construction trades. It is reportedly basing its model on The Academy for Career Education (ACE) in Reno—a five-star high school (the highest ranking in Nevada) with an over 90% graduation rate.

“Southern Nevada Trades High School will promote excellence in academic and career and technical education, preparing students for post-secondary education and careers in construction-related professions,” writes SNTHS in its mission statement.

Aging Workforce

According to an analysis earlier this summer by the specialized division of staffing giant PeopleReady, PeopleReady Skilled Trades, the construction industry is one of the hardest hit by worker scarcity.

While the labor shortage was felt on a global scale because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the report revealed that many companies in the skilled trades industry are still struggling to fill positions today.

Looking back at when the pandemic started in March 2020 to as far as December 2021, the division reports that four million jobs were open in key skilled trades industries—more than double the number of vacancies pre-pandemic. Today, thousands of those open positions still remain, with most of the openings found in the following niche industries:

  • Cement masons and concrete finishers;
  • Painters;
  • Roofers;
  • Electricians; and
  • First-line supervisors.

“With so few young workers joining the skilled trades, there is real imperative for employers to develop programs that will attract new talent, while investing in and retaining their existing workforce,” said Jill Quinn, Executive Leader of PeopleReady Skilled Trades. “With thousands of openings in the skilled trades today, employers who find innovative ways to instill a sense of belonging and pride within their workforce and the skilled trades as a whole will have a competitive advantage for the future.”

According to additional data analyzed by PeopleReady Skilled Trades, 40% of the 12 million people in the skilled trades workforce are over the age of 45, with nearly half of those workers over the age of 55. While it is clear that workers are aging, or will be aging out of the field in the years to come, even fewer people are entering to replace those spots.

It is estimated that less than 9% of workers applying to these construction sectors are aged between 19-24.

In an attempt to get more workers in the industry and to foster a sense of pride for the professionals completing the work, PeopleReady Skilled Trades announced a new “Respect the Craft” loyalty program. Through the program, tradespeople can earn incentives and rewards while being celebrated and recognized for their dedication to their careers.

Incentives and reward opportunities include up to $1,500 in cash and prizes, in addition to the chance to be named Tradesperson of the Year. For more information about the program, click here.

By the end of August, the Associated General Contractors of America found in an analysis of federal employment data that construction employment in July was continuing to trail pre-pandemic levels in 15 states.

According to AGC’s findings, New York lost the most construction jobs in July (-2,000 jobs, -0.5%), followed by Louisiana (-1,500 jobs, -1.1%) and Illinois (-1,400 jobs, -0.6%). The largest percentage loss was in Washington D.C. (-3.2%, -500 jobs), followed by Louisiana and West Virginia (-0.9%, -300 jobs).

However, AGC reported that for the same month, 32 states added construction jobs, 16 states and the District of Columbia lost jobs and there were no changes in Idaho or Rhode Island.

California added the most construction jobs over the month (11,400 jobs, 1.3%), followed by Florida (7,700 jobs, 1.3%), Alabama (3,100 jobs, 3.1%) and Texas (3,100 jobs, 0.4%).

North Dakota was reported to have the largest percentage gain (3.7%, 1,000 jobs), followed by Alabama, Wyoming (2.7%, 600 jobs) and Connecticut (2.5%, 1,500 jobs).

The Association also reported that overall, 33 states topped the February 2020 employment levels. In Michigan and Ohio, those numbers were matched. In looking at state ranks, Florida was reported to have added the most jobs for the month (18,200 jobs, 3.2%), followed by Utah (15,800 jobs, 13.9%) and Tennessee (15,500 jobs, 11.7%).

The top percentage gains were in Utah, South Dakota (12.9%, 3,100 jobs), Idaho (12.9%, 7,100 jobs) and Tennessee.

As a result of the findings, the Association again called on government officials to allow employers to sponsor more foreign-born workers and support more career and technical education to broaden opportunities for individuals to gain construction skills.

Around the same time these reports were issued, the White House announced that over $40 billion in American Rescue Plan funds had been committed to strengthening and expanding the United States’ workforce.

According to the announcement, the investments in the workforce—along with the American Rescue Plan’s direct payroll support that has saved or restored jobs across a broad set of industries—have contributed to a record 9 million jobs added since President Biden took office.

The latest investment focuses on three key areas:

  • Building a Diverse and Skilled Infrastructure Workforce;
  • Strengthening Our Care and Public Health Workforce; and
  • Expanding Access to the Workforce for Underserved Populations.

Through these initiatives, it was reported that President Joe Biden and Vice President Harris launched the Administration’s Infrastructure Talent Pipeline Challenge. The program reportedly encourages partnerships by the public and private sectors to ensure a strong and diverse workforce to help rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and supply chains.

Creating SNTHS, Next Steps

Made clear by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and aging construction industry workforce, workers are becoming more and more scarce.

“In the next 10 years there will be a need for a 34.5% increase in construction workers in Nevada,” Julie Carver, Executive Director for SNTHS, told reporters. “There is a demand for workers that is not being met.”

As a result of the current worker shortage and to better prepare for future hurdles regarding construction employment in the future, Nevada’s Public Charter School Authority recently voted unanimously to approve the creation of SNTHS.

The new school, which is slated to open in the fall of 2023, will offer an initial student body of around 200 ninth and tenth graders with hands-on career technical education in the classroom, through workshops and even on the jobsite.

The curriculum is designed so that immediately upon graduation, students can move directly into construction careers. This includes getting trade credentials, such as OSHA 10.

However, before the school officially opens, officials share that they plan on hearing from the community on other programs that might be added to the varying course options.

“They will have marketable skills to support them and their families,” Carver said. “We surveyed local families and found that … over 71% felt that it was important for their student to be prepared to get a high-needs job directly out of high school.”

SNTHS notes that it has established partnerships with local industry associations and construction companies. It currently has an “opening countdown” on its website and intends to release updates on the school as they are made available.


Tagged categories: Contractors; Economy; Education; Good Technical Practice; Jobs; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Worker training; Workers

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