Planning career pathways - More on the emergent labor market.

Planning career pathways - More on the emergent labor market.

Dear Colleagues,

Reports from industry are good resources to consider when developing career pathways. Citing Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census data, the home building industry reports it is facing an aging workforce and a decline of interest in the trades among younger workers.

According to a report from the Associated General Contractors of America, many firms are looking to increase their payrolls for the first time in a decade. But the lack of qualified workers, especially skilled workers, has raised doubts that the construction industry can capitalize on the recent boom.

Although there are many explanations for these present and looming shortages of skilled workers, the current capacity of CTE to contribute to a solution is questionable. In the past five years, there has been a 31 percent decrease in the number of CTE concentrators in the area of Architecture and Construction at the high school level and a 49 percent decrease at the postsecondary level. (Data available at the PCRN website:

It is not clear why Architecture and Construction and other high-demand programs are on the decline, but data like these raise many questions and challenges for how we as field can not only identify viable career pathways, but also develop strategies for encouraging more students to engage and persist in completing pathways leading to viable career opportunities.

As always, I invite your thoughts and reactions. Email me at