Greater Portland is growing and the high-wage construction industry is growing with it. There is an anticipated need for 15,000 new construction jobs in the next 10 years at a time when 20 percent of the region’s workforce is nearing retirement age.
Our shared challenge
There is a lack of diversity in the construction trades in greater Portland – especially across higher skilled construction occupations. People of color and women face multiple barriers in accessing and sustaining construction careers. The inconsistent nature of construction work, lack of career ladders at construction firms, and insufficient funding and resources for education, job training and support services are among the factors that limit career employment.
The path forward
To address these challenges, the Construction Career Pathways Project is convening stakeholders at the regional level to learn more about the problem and identify strategies to provide reliable career pathways – from pre-apprentice and apprentice to journey level – for people of color and women in the construction trades.
The project seeks to create a roadmap for government that will:
- support and grow a diverse construction workforce
- gain efficiencies in public construction projects
- promote equitable growth in the region’s economy.
Metro will partner with other public agencies and our region’s workforce investment board, collaborate with community based organizations and labor groups, and engage industry stakeholders throughout the project to accomplish our shared goals. Additionally, Metro will:
- conduct a comprehensive market study to build a shared understanding of opportunities and challenges facing people of color and women in the construction trades
- convene stakeholders to develop an agreed-upon set of tools and policies for adoption by government partners.