With the COVID-19 pandemic still gripping the country, uncertainty is plaguing an incredible numbers of schools -- from the college level all the way down to kindergarten.
As a result, many students and parents are considering other options for their futures, and for older students, that includes trade schools.
When it comes to trade schools, construction-based institutions are becoming a more attractive option, for all students really, from teenage students to adults who might have had their job affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are five reasons why.
1). The construction industry is still going strong.
Even as the pandemic shut down some industries nationwide, construction was one industry that wasn’t hindered for long in most states (if it was affected at all). Construction is a vital cog of the economy and has continued on during the pandemic.
“Private industry and manufacturing see that construction is 4% of the GDP,” said Rob Leonard, director of Build Smart Institute, a construction school based in Roanoke. “So they focus on developing products and materials.”
2). There’s a demand for construction labor.
With construction still active as an industry, companies are struggling to find help to meet all the demand.
“It’s a struggle to fill the needed skilled workers into the industry,” said Alicia Smith, president of the Build Smart Institute.
Chances are, anyone who learns a skill or multiple skills at a construction school won’t have many problems finding work once finished.
“There are literally thousands and thousands of jobs in the construction industry,” Leonard said.
3). Many facets of the industry are thriving.
The construction of commercial buildings isn’t the only thing that is still proceeding, even in the midst of the pandemic. Home renovation projects have skyrocketed with more people not venturing out.
“With folks spending way more time in their home than they ever have, they started to look around and realize things needed updating and things needed to be remodeled to help their family function better,” Smith said.
4). It can be a great value.
Many people who finish at a four-year college, but who’ve taken on a lot of debt in order to earn that degree, don’t find they get great value when the job they land either doesn’t pay what they thought, or isn’t enjoyable.
Add a pandemic that has forced layoffs and cutbacks, and people are now looking into what they can accomplish at a trade school -- or what it looks like in terms of “bang for your buck.”
“They are watching their neighbors drive away in pick-up trucks, vans or construction vehicles making $50,000, $60,000, $70,000 a year often times from the start,” Leonard said. “It’s a bit of a wake up.”
5). Gaps created by other schools can be filled.
“There are so many parents and children looking for something to occupy their time right now as schools are in a bit of a flux figuring out what they are going to do and how they are going to do it,” said Gary Feazell, founder and CEO of Build Smart Institute.
For middle school and high school students who are attending a hybrid model and only doing class twice a week, a construction school can be an alternative to further their learning during the other days of the week.
For college students who are thinking of a gap year or scaling back their load of classes for the upcoming semester, there is more time to think about a construction school.
“This is a time where they can explore a bit about themselves and their opportunities,” Feazell said.
For more information on the benefits of a construction school, click or tap here.