4401 Ford Avenue, Suite 1100 Alexandria, VA 22302
Telephone: (703) 650-0048
Why Should I Be Concerned
Many Americans are not able to secure gainful employment upon graduation from high school. In fact, three out of ten students will drop out of high school. And of the remaining seven, only three will go on to college. Only one of those three will go on to earn a college degree. It is imperative that we never lose sight of the fact that potential high school drop-outs and high school graduates with no job prospects and no higher education plans or means are not forgotten.
The problem is not limited to our youth. Young adults as well as older adults face their own challenges with employment. Single parents, returning veterans, individuals with disabilities, people who have lost jobs due to recent economic times – all face uncertainty and, frankly, a way to support themselves, feed their families, and pay the bills. Ironically, despite the national economic difficulties, the electrical industry is facing a crisis due to a shortfall of electricians. This affects the cost and quality of products and services in all industries – ultimately the entire construction industry which impacts the entire U.S. economy. As businesses adopt new technologies to grow, improve productivity or manage their business costs the density of electrical work in new and existing buildings has multiplied. Electricians are involved with installing low voltage wiring for voice data, and video as well as installing coaxial cable or fiber optic cable for telecommunication purposes. With the shortfall of electricians, buildings may be delayed, costs may rise and quality falter.
It takes four years to train an electrician. We must ensure that as the economy improves and new construction and rebuilds amp up, our industry is ready to support the re-growth of America, AND provide solid, well-paying careers for Americans.
We are working hard to reach young people who are not college-bound or who are considering dropping out of school, to offer a leg up for those who are unemployed or have not considered a non-traditional career and we offer a hands-on approach to learning that guides them every step of the way to responsibility, a solid career and excellent compensation.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), projections show that by the year 2015, the national need for electrical workers will rise to more than 734,000 – 78,000 more than currently employed in the field. It is just one more indicator of a looming 'perfect storm' threatening the construction industry and, ultimately, the U.S. economy.
The construction industry will need to add 185,000 to 250,000 new workers annually for the next 10 years to offset the wave of workers expected to retire. The greatest shortfall in skilled labor in the construction industry will be among electricians where employment opportunities will grow by 23.4% through 2016.
Similar sentiments are echoed in industry publications. In a recent edition of CEPro it was reported, "Electrical workers are aging as is the general population. The task ahead is not only to recruit and train more electricians to meet the needs of a growing industry, but to make provisions to replace current electricians who will retire."