August 22 - August 26, 2016

A recent survey found that less than 10 percent of Millennials are interested in working in construction, retail or manufacturing careers. What would help the construction industry attract these workers?


Answers Votes
Other (please comment) 95%
Offer apprenticeship programs 2%
Provide leadership opportunities and career advancement 1%
Increase starting pay 1%
Offer more health and life benefits 1%


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Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Business operations; Coatings manufacturers; Coatings raw materials manufacturers; Construction; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Good Technical Practice; Labor; Latin America; North America

Comment from web stokes, (8/24/2016, 8:39 AM)

A shift in culture where working for a living and building things is not portrayed as menial. Decades of telling kids that they wouldn't be successful if they didn't go to college kind of screwed us in many ways...


Comment from Jesse Melton, (8/24/2016, 11:56 AM)

The construction industry has done a terrible job positioning the field as something desirable. Even though the average "knowledge worker" makes less money than entry level construction workers there's a damning stigma attached to the work. Everybody knows the only reason people go into construction is because they aren't smart enough for real work and/or have a crippling substance abuse problem. Primary schools don't help when students ask the eternal question "when will I ever use this". The teacher inevitably replies with some ridiculously impractical example related to construction. "Juan's ladder will support 500lbs and Juan weighs 150lbs. How many bricks can Juan carry each trip if the bricks weigh 3.5lbs each". That gives you kids who already had a dim view of construction now thinking Juan, potentially a coworker one day, is an idiot. Kids are never exposed to the STEM parts of construction. Building and designing something as straightforward as a carport that doesn't collapse after one day involves applying a broader STEM skill set than most post graduates are capable of. Hammers, hard hats, mud, drugs, and beer guts is the perception of construction. CAD, FEA, physics, chemistry, geology, geography, meteorology, structured thought, logic, proposal development and delivery, fairly advanced financial planning, hydraulics and hydrodynamics, and so on. Things like that are reserved for white collar specialists who will probably never swing hammer or spend a few days on a hot rubber roof. That's very unfortunate and it's a disservice to almost everyone who lives in a building. Clever, effective people are pushed into offices and denied the chance to work in fields they may be better suited for. You want to encourage the next generation of construction workers? Put construction into STEM curriculums, and stop hiding the vo-tech building and the people inside it behind the maintenance barn.


Comment from Jesse Melton, (8/24/2016, 12:54 PM)

I think the fact STEM is even a thing reflects poorly on our education system. The kids coming out of primary schools focused on STEM still know considerably less than kids coming out of some South American countries. Adding insult to injury, some of those countries have half-day school schedules; 8AM - Noon. The statistics on comparable learning are a bit skewed because a lot of kids outside cities and towns simply don't go to school but they are included in the figures. If truant kids were excluded students from the US and the UK would look even worse. Considering the stunning amount of money we throw at education you'd think kids coming out of the system could do at least basic calculus and trigonometry, be able to properly pronounce the scientific names of plants and animals, understand mechanical drawings and blueprints, read a map, identity three things in the night sky and have a conversation in at least one language other than their primary language. But no. We get a system that's continuously dumbed down, completely leaves out the basic underpinnings of a decent education. It leaves us herds of kids with four year science degrees that are dangerous to themselves without constant handholding but still feel deserving of salaries far beyond their value in the workplace. The only viable way I've come up with to fix the education system is for everyone to stop hiring college graduates for anything beyond ice cream vendor or valet. Creating dumb kids and foisting them off on the workforce as useful is unfair to everyone.


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