You have been living under a rock if you haven’t heard about the construction industry’s labor shortage. There are not enough skilled trade workers to replace those retiring. This is a big problem if you want a new school built, your restaurant renovated, your deck rebuilt, your leaking toilet fixed, or those pesky potholes filled.
There are less and less people going into the trades (carpenters, electricians, brick masons, heavy equipment operators, plumbers, etc.). We are already feeling the effects of not having enough human resources for our industry and it will become more apparent in a few short years. Jackson is working to challenge stigmas, educate, and motivate future potential workers.
Jackson works with Montana State University-Northern and the Montana Apprentice Program to offer an apprenticeship program in carpentry to our employees. We have several employees at various stages of hours and education courses to complete their apprenticeship program.
Darren Stocker and Saul McMeekin graduated from the Jackson apprenticeship program in 2010. Since then, they have worked their way up into Superintendents and continue to be great Jackson crew members.
Jackson also works with Missoula County Public Schools and other school districts across the State to enlist Junior Apprentices. Getting high school students involved early on and peaking their interest in the trades. These students are working on actual construction sites under experienced carpenters to learn the trade and get a head start in the apprenticeship program. A career choice in the trades brings good pay, great benefits, and a job to be proud of at the end of the day.
Apprenticeships are a great alternative to traditional higher education!
Apprentices are often paid to work full time, including benefits, and their employer pays for the education component of the apprenticeship.