When men went overseas to fight during World War II, women had to step up to the plate and fill male roles in the skilled trades industry. Rosie the Riveter became a national icon, and women rose to the challenge in a male-dominated field. Without female participation, those businesses would have failed to meet the high demands of wartime materials.
Today, the skilled trades industry is in a similar predicament with a shortage of hired hands in the trades and an inadequate number of skilled workers to fill open positions. According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of job openings rose to 6.6 million at the end of July 2020 but hires dropped to 5.8 million. These shortages will stretch way into the future.
The unprecedented shortages in this market are the result of some of the following reasons:
- The COVID 19 Pandemic
- Record levels of Baby Boomers are retiring; most skilled tradespeople are 45 years-of-age, or older, some can no longer handle strenuous work. This factor alone can add up to about 250,000 open skilled trades jobs.
- Gender bias – World War II proves that women can do men’s work, but the old perception of men only in these roles made somewhat of a comeback.
There’s no better time than the present to bulk-up the skilled trades workforce crews and welcome more women into the mix. Here’s why:
- You are going to need more hands on the deck.
- Proof exists that women can do the work; remember Rosie the Riveter.
- Hiring the female gender helps the Country – When the women’s labor force participation rises, so does the GDP
- Women are making strides in the skilled trades; in fact, some have launched skilled trades businesses.
- The federal government intends to add $1.5 trillion to much-needed infrastructure projects, which requires a substantial increase in the workforce.
- The building trades will expand through 2026, furthering the need for additional people.
- The construction industry alone is adding 2 million new jobs by 2021.
- There are federal benefits for companies with a diversified workforce.
- Companies can now help move women up and out of poverty by offering jobs that do not require college degrees but pay well.
- Women only occupy 10.3% of the entire workforce. All that’s needed is recruitment.
The skilled trade shortage is real. Financially, you can get caught in a downward spiral that will significantly affect your business. Do not fail to fill in the gaps and hire what could be your greatest asset. Benefits outweigh any apprehension here. Find ways to attract women to your industry, offer ongoing training, and thrive on innovation.
Gillmann Services, Inc. understands your need for skilled workers. We strive to create a supportive, transparent, and safety-conscious working environment where every employee, individually and collectively, provides our clients with exceptional workmanship, extraordinary service, and professional integrity. At GSI, we work for you! Give us a call today.