Sometimes, life is redundant in the most interesting ways. Sometimes it’s mundane, like a workday morning routine (dress, take dogs out, fix breakfast, brush teeth, kiss husband goodbye). Other times, the same theme keeps coming back, like employment in the construction industry — or lack thereof.
The topic was put back in front of us yesterday when Tim Lambert and I attended the 2018 Builders Classic Golf Tournament at Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club in Southern Pines. For the first time, Practical Software Solutions was a sponsor of the event.
Now in its 16th year, the tournament supports the North Carolina Home Builders Association’s Educational and Charitable Foundation. The organization awards scholarships to college students majoring in a construction-related field. According to the NCHBA, the golf tournament has raised more than $145,000, providing financial assistance for 61 college students.
The construction industry is in serious need of some young blood. And its no wonder: Since January 2016, I’ve been highlighting how we as a society have let intellectuals convince us careers in blue-collar industries were for “losers.”
While the national unemployment rate has dropped to 4.1 percent as of the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey, the construction industry is still begging for hardworking people to come into a career where you can easily earn a six-figure salary.
— Practical Software (@consultPSS) April 11, 2018
With that in mind, organizations like the NCHBA and the mikeroweWORKS Foundation are trying to right the ship and steer people into the construction industry by offering scholarships.
It is a bit ironic these organizations are saying you don’t have to go to a university to find a fulfilling, good paying job and then offer college scholarships. But these scholarships can be used at trade schools and two-year colleges.
It also highlights the need for workers in all segments of the construction industry. While there’s a huge lack of skilled tradesmen (3 million jobs are available, according to the mikeroweWORKS Foundation), other jobs require four years of higher education or more.
Think about it: What would the construction industry be without architects, engineers, accountants, business managers, and other back-office personnel? It would be in the same place if all these white-collar business people were expected to also construct the hospital their company was contracted to build.
We think of it in this perspective because the people with the two- or four-year business degrees are most likely the ones who would use the products we sell: Sage 100 Contractor, Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate, and Sage Estimating. But they also need the people who go to a trade school to learn how to mix concrete, plumb a wall or set up an electrical breaker box.
Both organizations are accepting applications for their scholarships, while the NCHBA also has links to other construction industry scholarships.
The deadline to apply for the 2018 North Carolina Home Builders Educational & Charitable Foundation Scholarship is Monday, April 30. For more information, including eligibility requirements and applications, visit https://www.nchba.org/wp/scholarships/.
The deadline to apply for the 2018 Work Ethic Scholarship Program through the mikeroweWORKS Foundation is Monday, June 4. For more information, including eligibility requirements and applications, visit http://profoundlydisconnected.com/scholarship/.