As the state faces a shortage of skilled workers, the Craft Championships, set for Nov. 17, can build enthusiasm for the trades.
On Nov. 17, Mainers will have the opportunity to see the future of our state’s construction industry in action. During a day-long event known as the Craft Championship, now in its 18th year, dozens of construction companies from around the state will be working with more than 1,000 high school students both inside and outside the Augusta Civic Center. Students will be participating in everything from electrical work to welding to carpentry, and some will even have the opportunity to drive a boom truck.
As Maine faces a true shortage in the skilled workforce, events like the Craft Championships can help build enthusiasm for careers in the trades — careers that are solid and pay well. The construction industry is growing, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting that the industry will add 700,000 jobs in the next decade alone in the United States. Right now, the Maine Department of Labor reports that the average weekly wage for construction jobs is nearly $900. When you move into heavy and civil engineering construction, that jumps to nearly $1,200.