Strengthening workforce development and shortening the labor gap are high priorities at Master Builders Association of Pierce County. Master Builders presented the Pierce County Skills Center (PCSC) with a $5,000 donation in June to kick-start a partnership that will benefit local students enrolled in the school’s construction trades program.
PCSC offers career and technical education programs and serves 10 school districts in Pierce County. Master Builders Pierce County and PCSC are jointly committed to the success of people in the building industry.
“The partnership between our organizations is part of our strategy to bolster workforce development and let students know that the building industry offers more than just a job, it’s a pathway to a great career earning a great salary,” said Master Builders Pierce County 2021 President Corey Watson.
Master Builder members plan to support PCSC’s current construction trades curriculum in several ways. Builders will donate excess materials from jobsites for hands-on training, provide scholarships for students to purchase tools and supplies upon graduation, attend annual job fairs, and connect students to internship opportunities that lead to full-time employment.
“Our partnership with Master Builders Association of Pierce County elevates program opportunities for both students and instructors,” said PCSC Director Michelle Ledbetter. “Donations, guest presenters, joint community service opportunities, and internships all prepare PCSC students to successfully enter the pipeline to high wage, high demand construction careers in Pierce County.”
The top 25 percent in most construction trades professions earn at least $60,000 annually. By 2028, more than 1 million craft professionals will be needed in the residential construction industry. Virtually all professional trades are in high demand, including carpentry, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roofing, and painting.
“In 2010, Master Builders created a scholarship program to support students pursuing an education in construction,” said Watson. “Through this partnership, we expect to funnel even more support directly to students enrolled in the PCSC trades program.”
The current labor shortage translates into higher housing costs, increased home prices, difficulty completing projects on time, and lower economic growth. A 2020 survey of builders from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that 85 percent of builders expect to face serious challenges regarding the cost and availability of labor this year.
NAHB’s 2020 economic impact study estimates one-year economic impacts of building 46,968 single-family homes in Washington include $13.83 billion in income for residents, $4.78 billion in taxes and other revenue for the state and local governments in the state, and 157,041 jobs.
For more information about the PCSC partnership, contact the Master Builders Association of Pierce County at 253-272-2112.