Building a Training Pipeline for Skilled Construction Workers
Eight out of 10 families can’t afford to buy a home in Spokane, and that’s partly due to a lack of skilled construction workers. One necessary solution to the housing crisis is building a training pipeline for residential construction, and that’s the mission behind Frame Your Future.
Here’s the problem: the demand for housing in the Spokane area has spiked, but the number of people entering the construction industry has not.
23% of Washington’s construction workers are over the age of 55.
One in four construction workers in Washington will hit retirement age by 2030.
School districts continue to cut career and technical education budgets, reducing student exposure to trades like construction.
Training pathways to careers in construction aren’t easily accessible to students or adults.
If a student isn’t exposed to careers in construction, he or she won’t know that a career in construction is one of the easiest ways to become a small business owner. And if a student is exposed to careers in construction, trying to find a training program to enter the field can be discouraging.
Think about it, if a student wants to become a teacher or an attorney, they more than likely have learned about the steps they need to take to start one of those careers. But if a student wants to become a home builder, they probably have very little knowledge about what they can do during and after high school to start a career. This shouldn’t be the case.
That’s why FYF is collaborating with industry leaders, high schools and other workforce development programs to build a training pipeline for construction workers. We provide industry-led programs for adults and students to increase awareness and knowledge around the training-to-career pathways that are available in the construction industry.
FYF’s construction worker training pipeline includes a mix of classroom instruction, hands-on training, and on-the-job experience for youth and adults. High school students and adults can participate in multiple programs where they’ll gain hands-on experience in the following areas:
Sheet metal work
FYF programs are taught and funded by industry leaders, many of whom offer apprenticeships and entry-level jobs to youth and adults who complete a FYF program.
FYF was launched in 2022 after raising $200,000 from building industry partners. Last year Spokane County granted the program $1 million. And our collaborative programs are also supported by fundraisers like the Spokane Home Builders Association Bull and Crab event. At last year’s event, SHBA raised around $10,000 and donated the funds to FYF.
Community members can support FYF’s efforts to build a training pipeline for skilled construction workers and close the housing affordability gap by donating here.