The first Sunday of every month, my family and I can be found at the local home improvement store to attend a kids’ building workshop. For 45 minutes we watch our eldest use hand tools ranging from hammers to saws, to pliers to attach, modify, and create.
He’ll excitedly hurry through the written instructions, anxious to smash a nail head or attach a wheel; excited to build. At the end of the workshop he’ll happily display his creation, whether it be a birdhouse, a wooden frame, a race car, or a truck.
We’ve attended about 6 of these kids’ workshops, and we fully intend to keep participating. While I watch my stepson build, I see his confidence boost. “I made this all by myself,” he’ll boast with pride. His enthusiasm for independently creating something with his hands is worth the early morning wakeup.
Lately there’s been a lot of talk about the trades shortage- and there should be. The skilled trades are the most in-demand jobs in the United States: 48% of American employers indicate that they face the skills shortage. This number will only increase as the population ages.
So how do we combat the skills shortage? What can we do? To put it simply, we need to encourage today’s youth to participate.
How do we do that?
We build together.
We enable our children to participate in kids’ workshops, we involve them in our projects, and we share our knowledge. One of the best ways to combat the skills shortage is simple: Exposure. Show our kids what they can do. Perhaps it’ll turn into a lifelong passion and career source, but at very least, we’re providing them with real-world skills. It’s a win-win.