Earlier this month, Harvard announced that education this fall semester will take place entirely online, and the school will invite no more than 40% of its incoming freshmen to campus. Those students will not attend live classes, but will isolate in their single dormitory bedrooms and take all courses online. Despite this, the school will continue to charge its students a total of $72,356 for the year. Other colleges and universities across the country are struggling to determine their plans.
I know Harvard is exceptionally expensive, and yet I know that conversations about the value of higher education are happening for sophomores, juniors, seniors, and their parents across Minnesota.
With COVID-19 and all the challenges it brings, have we arrived at that moment when public opinion with regard to the trades changes demonstrably? Today, a career as a plumber, electrician, finished carpenter, painter, job supervisor, or lumberyard manager looks very attractive. I think society was already undergoing this shift toward greater appreciation of the opportunities skilled labor provides and COVID-19 has accelerated that movement.
That suggests to me that now is the moment to loudly tell the construction industry’s story. This is the time to be aggressive in the marketplace communicating via social media and digital marketing to students, their parents, guidance counselors, and other influencers that the construction industry – an essential service – continues to build. That’s precisely the role of Project Build Minnesota. We formed three years ago as nonprofit to share the tremendous opportunities in our industry and the story keeps getting better. We’ve done a good job and we could do so much more with additional resources.
I encourage you to contribute right now to Project Build Minnesota via this link. You can also support our efforts by participating in our upcoming golf event, which is our key fundraising event for the year. And please follow our social media channels, and spread the word about Project Build. Please use your voice to extend the reach of Project Build so we can bring Minnesota’s hard-working youth into our industry. Let’s take full advantage of this unique moment.