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“American Graduate: Getting to Work” Sees Many Opportunities in Homebuilding

Help Definitely Wanted in a Tight Labor Market

Kearney School District students touring a local home construction site.
Kearney School District students touring a local home construction site. (Cody Boston | Flatland)
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A strong economy and tight labor market are creating opportunities for workers willing to swing a hammer, and perhaps much more.

As part of the “American Graduate: Getting to Work” series, we followed a group of students from the Kearney School District as they toured home construction sites.

“We’re sending a lot of kids straight into college, and then they’re finding out very quickly that college isn’t for them,” noted Beth Freeman, career readiness coordinator at Kearney School District.

For those students, a job in the homebuilding industry just might be the perfect fit. Although it’s a cyclical industry, the skills needed to build a home aren’t easily replaced by technology or outsourcing. Plenty of good jobs are available.

“We’ve had a massive change over the last five years in our immigration policy. It’s creating massive upheaval in our business,”  said Todd Lipschutz, chair of the workforce development committee at the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City.

“My labor pricing because there’s a limited supply and a lot of demand is higher, much higher than it was 10 years ago,” Lipschutz said. “If you have a good work ethic, and you enjoy what you do, there’s plenty of opportunity.”

Watch the rest of the story on the latest installment of “American Graduate: Getting to Work.”

“American Graduate: Getting to Work” is a two-year a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. As part of its participation in the project, Kansas City PBS is highlighting some highly regarded workforce development programs in our region. Follow #AmGradKCPT on Facebook and Twitter for local American Graduate content and #AmGrad to see content from across the United States.

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