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IWF Education: Finding and Training New Employees Through Apprenticeships

17. April 2020 15:27

By: Brett Miller, NWFA Vice President Technical Standards, Training & Certification and Stephanie Owen, NWFA Vice President Education

The United States is facing a skilled labor crisis.  For decades, high school students have been attending college, leaving millions of skilled trade jobs unfilled each year.  In 2020, the number is estimated at 31 million.

 One obstacle to filling skilled trade jobs is that they are viewed as low-paying, but the lumber industry employs more than 350,000 people with an annual payroll of more than $3 billion.  Many are high-paying jobs in rural communities, yet potential candidates often lack the necessary skills.

 One way to combat this issue is through apprenticeships.  The National Wood Flooring Association has established a Wood Flooring Specialist apprenticeship that has been approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.  The program helps employers identify qualified candidates in their local communities to fill mission-critical jobs.

 If you think the skilled trades gap issue doesn’t affect you, consider this: in April, a popular job search site listed more than 75,000 skilled trade job vacancies.  The situation is projected to get worse as Baby Boomers continue to retire at a rate of 10,000 a day, creating even more vacancies.  With numbers like these, it makes good business sense to be proactive and use apprenticeships to attract qualified employees.

Learn more on subject and other wood floor related topics during the " Wood Flooring Symposium" presented by the NWFA - National Wood Flooring Association at IWF 2020.




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