President’s Perspective

Experts in the field of organizational management often talk about the phases of the organizational life cycle.

As Project Build Minnesota enters its third year, we’re clearly moving from the startup phase to the very exciting phase of early growth. We’ve got a well-established Board of Directors providing strong strategic leadership. We have four very purposeful committees doing an excellent job – Marketing, Outreach, Training and Fundraising; each has a piece of our new Strategic Plan.

Brand awareness of Project Build Minnesota is rising – it’s a “thing” now and it’s gaining interest both from members of the industry and from counselors and educators. Project Build is getting several inquiries a week from our target age Minnesotans looking for more information about careers in the industry.

Perhaps most important is that Project Build Minnesota now has new staff leadership through the good work of our Executive Director, Joy DesMarais-Lanz, and her team at Synergos management. Joy took on the role this January and not only does she have a background in nonprofit management, she’s personally passionate about the construction industry having previously run her own construction company. She knows first-hand how difficult it is to recruit Minnesota’s hard-working youth into the field and how essential the work is that Project Build Minnesota is performing.

Here’s the thing, economists and demographers all concur that this workforce shortage is going to get worse. That’s right, it’s going to tighten even more. It’s simple demographics – as Boomers retire, there simply aren’t enough people in the subsequent generations to fill the jobs, and construction will be hit hard. Further, many schools across Minnesota eliminated their career and technical education efforts and thus fewer students are exposed to our industry. This industry desperately needs Project Build Minnesota.

What we need from you is support. We are doing good work, and we could do so much more with additional resources. Any contribution you make is tax deductible so please consider supporting your industry’s workforce effort. And share the news of Project Build with your colleagues.