Need a GOOD job or know someone who does? The only requirement is a high school diploma or GED – and, no, we’re not talking about some minimum wage gig.

But, first, let’s back up a minute.

The 2008 financial crisis and housing debacle hit our industry hard. Construction-related jobs declined by nearly 1 million or 16 percent overall, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Commercial and residential workers left the industry in droves.

Flash forward 10 years and we’re still dealing with the fallout. The industry has rebounded – there are plenty of jobs – but the workforce has not. Many of those who left the industry simply never returned, instead pursuing professions they consider less cyclical. We still have a critical worker shortage, particularly in the 25- to 45-year-old age group.

Now for the not-so-depressing news: Because of the shortage, wages have gone way up. For men and women who are motivated and willing to learn, there are excellent opportunities that can lead to long-term careers. Keep reading…

Solving the Problem: The JLG Apprenticeship Program

Few things change unless you take action, so that’s what we’re doing.

Jack Laurie Group, in partnership with Associated Builders and Contractors, has launched the nation’s only merit shop floor covering apprenticeship program.

With help from the Flooring Contractors Association (FCICA), we developed a four-year curriculum in floor covering installation that certifies participants as a licensed journeyman. Participation is this program is completely free. In fact, participants are paid to work throughout their training.

Better yet, apprentices have the opportunity to earn a free associate’s degree from Vincennes University. That’s right – no charge. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Not even one dollar. Kudos for that go to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, which is providing grant money to cover the cost.

We’re So Excited We Can’t Even Stand It (Really)

Calling something a “win-win” is such a cliche, so we’ll say it a little differently but still simply: We are so pumped because this program helps a whole lot of people.

It gets local people who are unemployed or underemployed into great jobs with high wages. Hardwood flooring installers make an average of $52,477 per year, according to Salary Expert. The average journeyman at Jack Laurie Group also makes north of $50,000 annually, and the minimum starting rate is $18 an hour.

The program removes one of the greatest barriers to training and education – the cost. Many people who want to further their careers are discouraged by the high price tag of education or don’t want to take on all that debt.

This helps the local economy. Young workers who are not college-bound can find jobs with fair, decent wages. Wages that are actually enough to live on, unlike many entry-level jobs in the market. Workers who are getting paid well spend more, pumping that money back into local businesses.

Finally, this helps us. We find the skilled workers we need to build our current workforce and create the workforce of the future.

For more information about the program or to apply, please fill out the short form below and we will contact you.

Or, if you know someone who would be a great fit, please spread the word.