For the last 18 years, HardHat Workforce Solutions has been the leading go-to staffing company for skilled trades in North and South Carolina. Headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., HardHat Workforce meets the needs of contractors in the Southeast and Atlantic regions through 11 local offices – including seven in the Carolinas – and nationally through our dedicated National Accounts and Renewable Energy Divisions.
The tenured team at HardHat has witnessed the frustration of the entire construction industry and the urgency to encourage more people to choose trades as a career path. The need to motivate, cultivate a new culture of training, and encourage resolution cannot be done solely by guidance counselors, parent conversations or workforce development task forces. It is a problem that has a solution; one that we all can take part in!
In response, HardHat management has chosen to focus the firm’s efforts on the electrical field, in endeavors to support the staggering depletion of electricians in construction. According to the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), there are on average around 7,000 apprentices coming into the craft annually. Unfortunately, these numbers still leave a substantial shortage with the average age of an electrician being 58 and typically around 10,000 electricians leaving the field each year.
In efforts to combat this shortage, HardHat has started a program called HardHat University, a short introductory course led by our own NCCER certified electrical instructor. During the week-long sessions offered at various locations throughout the year, individuals are educated both on safety and the basics of wiring, conduit, and general installation. Although this by no means replaces a full apprenticeship program, it does provide an opportunity for individuals to gain a base skill set and be able to go on site as part of a crew that can develop and convert classroom knowledge to hands-on comprehension and use.
Over the past four years, HardHat has successfully run these courses in all of our offices, thus educating and encouraging these individuals on their path to a new career in the electrical field. With 400-plus graduates to date, the program has continually introduced some fresh faces into the construction trade.
Once a student completes the course, the training does not stop; our instructor performs in-person onsite visits to ensure that our employees continue their development. In some cases, we will sponsor our graduates as they go on to a 4-year apprenticeship program with local organizations such as the ABC or select customers. The goal at HardHat is stay committed to unwavering quality and service to our clients, and that begins with our most valued asset – our skilled team members. There is still a deficit of more than five-million workers needed across all trades per the data reported nationally. HardHat University is our way of helping to ensure the success of our clients, not only on the next project where they have a need, but also for the next generation to have a pathway into construction. We are hopeful that through programs like this, the industry can close the gap in the skilled craftsmen shortage.
For more information about classes in your local area, or if you are just looking to supplement your staffing needs, call 336-855-6575 or find us at www.callhardhat.com.
About HardHat Workforce Solutions
HardHat Workforce Solutions, LLC was founded in 2002 as a refreshing alternative to the construction staffing industry — delivering flexible solutions with an unwavering commitment to service. HardHat operates from local offices in Greensboro, Charlotte and Raleigh, NC; Greenville, Charleston and Columbia, SC; Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD.; Norfolk and Richmond, VA; and Orlando, FL., and nationally through its dedicated National Accounts and Renewable Energy Divisions.