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A Labor Shortage with No One to Fill It – And What We’re Doing About It

Lead carpenter Patrik working at a project outside Boston

The construction industry is facing a labor shortage of skilled tradespeople and laborers. The bad news is that it’s now a constant struggle to find people to do the work. But the good news is that there is now an incredible opportunity for people interested in pursuing these fulfilling, hands-on, increasingly lucrative careers. Fortunately, many industry organizations are beginning to respond to this crisis by promoting the trades among students and offering apprenticeship programs and funding for young adults interested in this field. We’ve had the pleasure of working with This Old House and their GenerationNext campaign as well as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s Youth Remodeling Career Day

Inspired by this development and after participating in several programs and events for these students, we realized we have an obligation to do more.  So, we made the decision to start our own in-house carpentry training program. This program would provide formal and informal training for our Field Techs. By providing them with this training, we hoped to offer them a better path for advancement; whether they chose to follow a career here at Alpine, or embark on a career path with someone else – or even on their own! This program would also further our commitment to our employees by training and promoting employees from within.

Now, we just needed a carpenter with the right skills, desire, and ability to train and to lead this program. We knew we were undertaking a daunting task especially in an environment where it’s nearly impossible to hire a good carpenter – never mind trying to find one with unique qualifications such as teaching experience. Fate must have been on our side because shortly after starting our search we found Patrik Dreist. He and his experience were a perfect fit. With over 40 years’ in the trades, Pat brings a deep knowledge base and a love for carpentry. He also holds a CSL and HIC License and is a NARI Certified Lead Carpenter and a Fully Approved Vocational Education Instructor. But most of all, it is his love for both carpentry and teaching in his quiet, unassuming way that is the perfect cornerstone for our carpentry program.

carpentry toolsAt Alpine, Patrik is doing finish carpentry and working with the company’s up-and-coming carpenters to build a strong, capable carpentry team. Alpine president Ron Peik says of the program: “Over the past 30 years, there’s been a clear decline in the number of capable craftsmen in this industry. This is especially true in the past few years. We have a great team of hardworking and conscientious people already at Alpine. What better way to create more carpentry capacity than by training interested team members in-house, improving their career path here, and building a stronger team to serve our clients?”

To learn more about this program or job openings at Alpine, feel free to contact us.