As the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recognizes Careers in Construction Month, home builders across the country are seeking skilled workers as the market continues to grow.
According to the NAHB analysis of the federal government’s latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, the number of open construction sector jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis rose to 232,000 in July.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the demand for construction jobs to continue to climb as the number of construction industry jobs is projected to grow by 12.9 percent by 2024.
Hickory Construction, an East Tennessee-based general contractor, continues to seek quality personnel amid the industry’s urgent demand for workforce.
“We’re thankful for our industrywide and company growth – but with that growth, the effort to recruit skilled workforce has remained intense,” said Hickory Construction President Ben Pinnell. “Motivated individuals with any number of professional interests and skill sets can seek a rewarding career path in construction.”
In response to the thriving market, companies like Hickory are exploring innovative ways to add qualified personnel in ways that positively impact the community.
For instance, during Hickory’s 40th anniversary celebration in May, the company announced “Hickory-Built Careers in Construction”, a $40,000 investment of scholarships – including the start of a permanent endowment – at Pellissippi State Community College’s Engineering Technology program. This program includes numerous construction-related course offerings among its associates degree options, as well as certificate programs such as “Construction Business Principles.”
Hickory-Built Careers in Construction” will provide $10,000 in funding to Pellissippi State over each of the next four years – with $4,000 per year invested in immediate scholarships and $6,000 per year set aside to build a permanent endowment.
Funds invested in the Hickory Construction Scholarship Endowment will be matched one-for-one by the United States Department of Education Title III Challenge Grant. This special grant opportunity will build capacity for scholarships for years to come.
Hickory’s scholarship adds money on top of the Tennessee Promise Scholarship for tuition-free attendance at a community college or technical college to assist with the cost of books and supplies not covered by Tennessee Promise – which can add up to hundreds per semester.
“Our industry is facing some challenges in its ability to recruit a large enough workforce, and we wanted to do something about it,” Pinnell said. “Hickory Construction’s scholarship helps students afford college and obtain the skills needed to be successful in the construction industry while also positively impacting a recognized workforce need in East Tennessee.”
Students or prospective students living in Blount or Knox counties interested in scholarship support will need to apply directly to Pellissippi State, which will oversee all recipient selections. The first round of scholarships will be granted in January for the spring 2018 semester.
For more information on a career with Hickory Construction, or to view and apply for open positions, visit www.hickoryconstruction.com/careers_landing/.