Chao announces skilled trades initiative

April 6, 2004 at 2:28 PM

WASHINGTON, April 6 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao announced Tuesday a new federal initiative aimed at attracting young people into skilled trade occupations.

Citing an expected shortage of skilled workers over the next 10 years, Chao announced the creation of the Skills to Build America's Future initiative, which is described as "a nationwide outreach and education effort designed to attract young people and transitioning workers to careers in the skilled trades and to address the growing need for workers in America's construction industry."

Over the next several years, the department says, the United States labor force is expected to experience a shortage of workers in a number of skilled construction-related crafts including carpenters, iron workers, bricklayers and truck drivers.

Joining in the effort are the Construction Industry Round Table, the National Heavy and Highway Alliance and its affiliated international unions, and the National Association of Home Builders.

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