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Kojo is now a national sponsor of the Heavy Metal Summer Experience (HMSE). This non-profit organization is solving one of the most important problems the construction industry faces today – not enough young people entering the construction trades.
Creating a Talent Pipeline to (Literally) Build Our Future
There are over 650,000 workers missing from the construction industry today. In addition to that, 41% of current construction industry workers are expected to retire in the next 5-10 years. This means that making sure projects get completed on time and on budget will only become more challenging.
These projects are critical to the flourishing of our communities - they are the hospitals, schools, roads, stadiums, housing complexes, and transport hubs we all rely on. To make sure they can get built at the pace we need them to, we need to build up the construction workforce of the US.
How HMSE Solves This
HMSE targets underserved areas, diverse applicants, and applicants who are looking for alternatives to college. They run summer camps that give high schoolers direct experience to building trades such as sheet metal, piping, plumbing and electrical. Each camp offers hands-on learning through projects and working alongside experts in their fields.
Under Angie Simon and Rick Hermanson’s leadership, HMSE has seen tremendous growth. Starting with 28 students in 2021, they’ve had over 300 students participate in its program in 2023 - with that number expected to double next year. In 2023, 16% of the student participants were female - an improvement on the current 11% of the construction workforce that is made up of women - and over 25% of participants applied for an apprenticeship or expressed significant interest in subsequently working in construction.
Thank you, HMSE
Thanks to HMSE, young people across the country are learning about life-long career opportunities they may have otherwise been unaware of, and the perception of what it’s like to work in construction is changing.
As for Kojo's involvement, their company mission is to help make it faster, easier, and more sustainable to build the world around us. Investing in the future construction workforce and building up the next generation of construction professionals is crucial for making their mission a reality.
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