Construction is one of Oklahoma’s largest industries, and it is only getting bigger.
More than 82,000 Oklahomans work in construction, but more than 119,000 new jobs are expected to open in Oklahoma by 2026. In the entire country, an additional 1.4 million construction professionals will be needed by 2022.
A nationwide skills gap, however, means those construction positions may go unfilled. Oklahoma CareerTech is working to fill that gap with construction trades training and education at 58 technology center campuses statewide and at its skills centers.
“Oklahoma has a critical shortage of workforce in construction. We regularly hear from contractors who have difficulty finding qualified entry level employees, and they are holding back on bidding projects,” said Jeff Huffman, trade and industrial education program manager at ODCTE. “Careers in Construction Month showcases all of the career fields in construction. Oklahoma CareerTech can help you map a successful path to many available career options in construction.”
Oklahoma CareerTech offers education in carpentry, masonry, HVAC, plumbing, electrical work, heavy equipment operation, cabinetmaking and computer-aided design and drafting at technology centers and skills centers. The system offers construction-related certifications in 13 areas.
The system’s construction trades programs are celebrating the national Careers in Construction Month in October, and Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed a proclamation declaring that October is Careers in Construction Month in Oklahoma.
Careers in Construction Month was founded by the National Center for Construction Education and Research and Build Your Future to increase public awareness and inspire the next generation of construction craft professionals.
For more information about CareerTech’s construction trades programs, go to https://www.okcareertech.org/educators/career-clusters/architecture-and-construction or visit your local technology center.
The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 58 campuses, 394 K-12 school districts, 16 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 32 adult basic education service providers.
The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.