by Christy Heitger-Ewing

The good news, according to the National Association of Home Builders, is that the U.S. housing market continues to show signs of recovery following the pandemic, and people are eager to build new homes. The bad news is that the demand for new home construction outpaces the workforce required to meet this demand. This is why the Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation (ICRF) launched Build Your Future (BYF), a collaboration of employers, state agencies and industry associations. The goal is to encourage Indiana residents to learn about construction craft careers and training opportunities in the state, and to qualify for and get jobs in these high-demand occupations. By exposing Hoosiers to careers in the construction industry, workforce shortages in the field can be filled.

“We’re challenged here in Indiana, facing a never-before-seen shortage of construction labor, and it’s only going to get more challenging in a few years with an aging workforce,” says Andrew Brindley, Real Estate Developer with H∙E Homes.

Students who are uncertain about what jobs would satisfy them both practically and financially crave something more but are unsure of the opportunities that exist. That’s where BYF comes in, as it connects students, parents and teachers with resources regarding careers in construction.

“The Build Your Future program is the best chance we have as an industry to help promote and resolve the workforce shortage, as well as promoting the construction industry, especially residential,” says Brindley. “It’s an exciting way to get the kids in Indiana engaged.”

Some people think of construction as nothing more than hammering nails into 2x4s, when the truth is that careers in construction are varied and plentiful. They include homebuilding, commercial construction, industrial, and roadway work. Plus, construction offers job security since we will always need to build and renovate homes and businesses, and roads will continually need paved.

A career in construction can take a variety of paths, depending on one’s interests and goals. For instance, we need craft laborers, masons, pipefitters, operation engineers, electricians, welders, sheet metal workers, and glaziers. We also need bricklayers, boilermakers, carpenters, HVAC technicians, insulators, ironworkers, millwrights, painters, riggers, and roofers. Possibilities are endless!

Some people may not pursue a career in construction because they fear that they don’t have the time, energy, or money to complete all of the schooling necessary. However, there are many good-paying jobs that only require a high school diploma and an apprenticeship program.

“BYF is an outstanding opportunity to help kids understand that the trades are an excellent and rewarding way to make a living and create a positive successful future. It’s a great alternative to a traditional four-year degree,” says Brindley.

While a four-year college degree isn’t a requirement for many career paths in the construction industry, success is achievable through different levels of education and/or experience (i.e., education options include high school diploma, GED, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, technical school, professional certification/license or trade certification, apprenticeship programs, and on-the-job experience).

To determine the right career path for you, take the Career Quiz on the Build Your Future website at

If you are an industry professional who would like to promote workforce development, you can visit the website and sign up to become a BYF ambassador and get connected with schools and events in your area.