For recent high school graduates, people interested in changing professions and those seeking a second chance at the American Dream, there is no better time to join the construction industry.

A career as a construction craft professional doesn’t require a four-year college degree; workers are educated through earn-while-you-learn, continuing education or apprenticeship programs, which can be completed without incurring any student loan debt. And with recent college graduates shouldering an average of $37,000 in student loans, this education model is especially appealing to young people joining the workforce.

The construction field not only allows for professional development but a high earning potential. Through on-the-job and classroom components, the construction industry emphasizes lifelong learning and challenges workers to constantly hone their trade, learn new techniques and advance professionally. Construction workers can also earn portable and stackable credentials through programs like NCCER, a national education and certification program, which are recognized at jobsites across the country.

Even so, there are currently an estimated 500,000 open construction positions in the United States. And with a significant part of the construction workforce nearing retirement, Associated Builders and Contractors of Greater Houston is committed to recruiting and fostering the next generation of workers to close the skills gap. Through ABC Greater Houston’s educational affiliate, Construction and Maintenance Education Foundation, industry and craft professionals in the Houston area receive formal training. ABC/CMEF’s goal is to recruit new entrants and retain existing workers through a variety of programs focused on assessment, training, and continuing education. To learn more about construction career opportunities, visit


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