Archive for March 5th, 2020

Service of On the Job Training

Thursday, March 5th, 2020

Last Saturday morning Lou Manfredini interviewed Paul Robinson on his weekly WABC HouseSmarts Radio program. I no longer have a house but many of Lou’s tips that solve callers’ challenges also apply to apartment dwellers. And Lou is fun to listen to.

Robinson is founder and CEO of ConstructReach, St. Louis, Mo. Its objective is to train high school students and enlighten them–and their parents–about the construction industry as a passport to a good living. At the same time the organization is creating a crucial trained workforce.

In particular, Robinson described the “I Built It” program. “High-school students aged 16 to 18 from neighboring school districts will gather at Target stores in Los Angeles, Calif., Denver, Co., St. Louis, Mo., and Miami, Fla., to learn about the construction industry and participate in elements of the stores’ remodel.” Vincent Salandro wrote about the “I Built It” program in Remodeling magazine.

Salandro continued: “The company aims to connect general contractors to interns and to create content and experiences to expose a diverse population to sustainable construction careers. It also fosters close relationships with educators to work on closing the gap between the industry and educators. Educators are on the front line and are in ‘a prime position’ to speak to young people and their families about the next steps in life, Robinson said, and ensuring construction has a place in those conversations is important for the future of the industry.”

The construction industry has bad PR: People consider that students “fail into it,” according to Robinson, and educators, parents and kids need to be shown an accurate perspective. In addition, “More than half of skilled workers are nearing retirement age and the industry is not doing a good job of filling those positions at the same rate they will be vacated,” reported Salandro.

Robinson told Salandro, “If you’re not exposed to what you can do, or what’s in front of you, that’s a lot of untapped potential.”

I represented building products and industry trade organizations for years and have long felt that little is done to elevate/recognize the significance of careers in building trades. Kudos to Robinson!

Further, as a former homeowner, I lived and suffered by my appalling lack of skills and knowledge in plumbing, electricity, laying flooring, painting, plastering, how a furnace works and so forth. I wish I’d been trained and think that if these skills were taught in college–or made available to students–it would benefit them and automatically elevate the trades in the eyes of those with doubts. I went to a private NYC school that didn’t teach typing but in high school a bunch of us attended the Y to learn what turned out to be an essential skill. What do you think?

Paul Robinson, ConstructReach Founder

 

Get This Blog Emailed to You:
Enter your Email


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Clicky Web Analytics