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CTE month highlights need for skilled trade workers

Stan Osnowitz
Posted at 6:10 AM, Feb 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-01 08:39:54-05

PHOENIX — Industries across the board are struggling to recruit and retain staff right now, including trade jobs like electricians, plumbing, and HVAC technicians.

This February is Career and Technical Education Month and there's a push to get more young people interested in those fields.

At the National Technical Institute in Phoenix, students can get certified in about four months.

The Vice President of Operations at NTI, Dr. Maria Dezenberg, says contractors regularly come to the school looking for new graduates.

"We have a lot of contractors that literally come knocking on our door because they're looking for skilled people, they're our customers," Dr. Dezenberg said. "We're trying to help them find labor because we all want our AC to work in the summer."

In 2018, the Copper Development Association found over one-half of trade professionals were nearing retirement age, and that statistic is expected to have gotten worse over the course of the pandemic.

According to Build Your Future Arizona, the state will need 260,000 craft professionals by 2024 as the number of construction projects continues to surge.