BY: KEITH ELDREDGE, CPA, RKL
ABC KEYSTONE 2022 CHAIR OF THE BOARD
The pandemic has changed how people view their personal and professional lives. A description used to describe our current time is “The Great Resignation.” People are changing careers, where they live, and some are even deciding to retire early. Many people I know are making those decisions and significant changes.
With the pandemic changing the way we live, work and play, we need to adapt. Before the pandemic, construction was staring at a large hole in the workforce. We were wondering where we were going to find that next generation of workers. With people reassigning their career choices, it is now time for us to get out and tell the story about the great career one can have in the construction industry.
I have learned that contractors take great pride in their work. For those that may not know my story, I grew up in a family of construction workers. My grandfathers and uncles would always talk about the jobs on which they were working and the issues they faced on each. They loved driving us around and showing us the work they had accomplished. And to this day, when I pass certain jobs, one of them being the Walt Whitman bridge in Philadelphia, I remember the stories and the sense of pride they had working on that bridge.
I have one owner with whom I work who tells me his father explained to him, “Learn a trade, and you will never go hungry.” He learned to be a concrete worker, and today he owns a successful construction company. He tells me he is earning more money than he could have ever imagined as a child.
Isn’t this the story we need to tell about construction? Learn a trade, have a great career and have pride in what you do for a living. Help build your city, town and neighborhoods. What better calling could there be for a career?
ABC Keystone is helping with this call to a career in construction by meeting with schools and talking about these opportunities. One of the exciting workforce development events that ABC Keystone puts on each year in March to highlight careers in construction is “Construction Wars.” For those who may not know what this is, it is three days of hosting 200 middle school students in an interactive career exploration event with hands-on activities providing the students with an understanding of the many possible career paths available in the construction industry.
Another exciting event is ABC National’s Craft Competition to be held March 16. I’m looking forward to traveling to the National Competition in Texas to cheer on our members. It is exciting to see people showing off the trades they’ve learned. They have been educated by some of the best instructors in all of ABC’s apprenticeship programs. We are proud of those representing ABC Keystone, and I want to wish each participant the best of luck.
ABC National and ABC Keystone continue to be leaders in construction education and career development for our members by encouraging and providing training to all who are interested in a career in construction. ABC is providing a path to a better life to those who wish to earn a good living for hard work. This is how our country was built.
Posted March 7, 2022