Why You Should Advocate for and Celebrate Skilled Craft Careers

We have a problem. The construction industry is going to need nearly 600,000 new workers in 2023 — that’s on top of normal demand and maintenance needs — to support all the work that’s available in the U.S., according to the Associated Builders and Constructors (ABC). But there aren’t enough people interested and qualified to fill all those positions. 

This mismatch isn’t just a problem for us in the power and industrial sectors doing lots of work in the manufacturing and chemical markets — it’s a problem for the future economic prosperity of our country and communities nationwide. 

The silver lining is that our country’s young people have access — right now — to unprecedented numbers of high-paying, meaningful jobs that don’t require a four-year degree or taking on a ton of college loan debt. As federal dollars from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act pour into states, there is a tremendous opportunity to help new generations find work in their hometowns or to offer them the chance to travel the country and live in new areas while contributing to the country’s pursuit of energy independence and infrastructure modernization.

As industry members and as parents, aunts, uncles, friends, and student mentors, we need to balance the traditional career advice that steers kids toward bachelor’s degrees by introducing the option of skilled trades. Jobs in our industry not only offer high pay with shorter and less expensive training, but they also offer flexibility, the opportunity to travel and explore new areas of the country, and a way to make a real difference for the success of our country and future generations.

Day & Zimmermann is a loud and proud advocate for skilled craft careers. We’re working to raise the profile of craft and technical professions and the well-paid, long-term career paths they offer. We’re making it easier for skilled workers to find thousands of available jobs at our sites across the U.S., and we’re focused on the following three areas to make sure that D&Z is a place where people don’t just come to work, but to thrive. 

  1. Fostering a safe, inclusive workplace – We’re refreshing our Why Not Zero?® safety campaign as an extra measure to return our well-trained workforce home to their families safe and injury-free at the end of each shift. Our Executive Diversity and Inclusion Board is also examining D&Z employees’ experiences and making every effort to embrace diverse voices and foster innovation, creativity, inclusivity, cultural competence, and social responsibility. 
  2. Connecting skilled craft to jobs – We’ve developed a new mobile app called DZ JobLinX to make it easier and faster for skilled, craft professionals to find available positions across the country that meet their schedules and skillsets. DZ JobLinX is like Indeed for skilled craft professionals. Not only does it let job seekers know what openings are available to them, but it also alerts them to hiring events in their area, allows them to sign up for upcoming outage and training opportunities, and gives them easy access to recruiters who can answer their questions about careers in our industry. DZ JobLinX will be available later this month to download in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play App Store. 
  3. Advocating for workforce development – We’re supporting states like Nebraska that are prioritizing funding for skilled craft workforce development, which is critical to the power, manufacturing, and industrial sectors and all markets that rely on skilled and technical craft disciplines. Many D&Z leaders, like Alan Bassham, James Chesnut, and Gene Thompson, are also actively partnering with high schools, community colleges, and technical schools to encourage students to pursue craft careers.

Public officials everywhere have a vested interest to invest in skilled craft and technical workforce development programs, and Americans everywhere depend on these essential workers to maintain our modern lifestyle. With college application season approaching, now is the time to introduce skilled and technical craft careers as an affordable, promising career option to the students in our lives. And then, as Ross McConnell told Nebraska’s senators, “we must celebrate these career choices with the same support and enthusiasm we do for athletes on college signing day.”

Be heard!

Help us elevate the perception of skilled craft work by taking this short, one-minute survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DZCraftCareers

Your participation will give us a better understanding of how to raise appreciation for this meaningful work and promote craft careers through social media, communications, and presentations to high schools and trade schools.


  • ,
  • ,
  • ,