We’re proud to announce Kojo is now an official national sponsor of the Heavy Metal Summer Experience (HMSE). HMSE is a non-profit organization solving one of the most important problems the construction industry faces today: not enough young people entering the construction trades.
At Kojo, our mission is to help make it faster, easier, and more sustainable to build the world around us. Making sure we’re investing in the future construction workforce and building up the next generation of construction professionals is a crucial part of making our mission a reality.
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.
The Challenges The Construction Industry Faces Today
Compared with a college education - the cost of which has risen sharply over the past decades - the benefits of pursuing vocational training have too often been overlooked.
Construction is now seen by many as an industry that is highly physically demanding, involves dangerous conditions, doesn’t embrace diversity, and lacks career growth opportunities.
Many high school students we’ve met simply aren’t aware of all the technological innovation happening in construction, the wide range of roles and skills the industry offers, the profound impact it makes in all our lives, and the lucrative career opportunities that exist within it.
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.
The construction industry is open to all and full of opportunity. Roles across every part of the industry - from work in the field to project management, procurement, accounting, and IT - are available, and in need of passionate people to fill them.
If you’d like to become part of the movement to keep our nation’s building trades thriving for generations to come, visit https://hmse.org/ or reach out to us directly.
Thank you, HMSE, for everything you do. We’re honored to support you!