Few moments provide the same solace as when you step through your front door and come home.
Whether it’s a townhouse, apartment, or single-family home, having a place where you can truly be yourself is comforting. And from laying the foundation of a home to fixture installation, as well as repairs through the life of a home, skilled tradespeople play an essential role in supporting America’s homes.
But the housing industry is facing a dire shortage of skilled trades workers that is exacerbating the overall housing challenges America is experiencing. To overcome the skills gap and tackle these hurdles head on, we must bolster skilled trades education and continue to highlight the career pathways these opportunities provide.
Skilled workers needed
The construction industry will need an additional 2.2 million workers to keep pace with demand through 2024, according to the most recent Construction Labor Market Report by the Home Builders Institute. Moreover, the Associated Builders and Contractors found that since the end of the Great Recession, construction workers aged 25-54 have dropped by 8%, while 20% are 55 or older with an average retirement age of 61.
This means a fifth of the industry is at risk of leaving within the next six years, which will make hiring enough skilled tradespeople even more difficult.
Building new homes and maintaining existing ones would not be possible without skilled trades workers. These professionals provide support from construction of a home’s frame to installation and ongoing maintenance of plumbing, electrical, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. An influx of skilled tradespeople will be necessary to fill these critical roles and help address larger issues impacting the housing market, like the significant shortage of single-family homes.
The most recent estimate from Freddie Mac puts the United States nearly 4 million homes short of what’s needed to meet demand, and its June report found that there are now 18% more people between the ages of 25 and 34 than in 2006, representing 6.6 million more potential first-time homebuyers. This stark imbalance between the number of homes available and individuals seeking one has created a challenging housing market.
To help alleviate pressure, we must continue to support the supply of quality single-family homes and to accomplish this, we need more skilled trades workers.
Doing our part
At Invitation Homes, skilled tradespeople play a critical role in making sure that our properties are ready for residents. As a leading owner and operator of single-family homes for lease, we rely on an army of skilled trade workers to help us support the day-to-day maintenance of more than 80,000 homes across the country, as well as extensive renovation processes before residents ever move in. We respond to more than 500,000 work orders from residents every year, with roughly 75% of requests resolved on the first visit.
But finding skilled tradespeople to support Invitation Homes’ superior product and service is becoming increasingly difficult. That’s why Invitation Homes is taking action to help close the skilled trades gap.
Last year, we launched a skilled trades initiative, Invitation to SkillUp. Through SkillUp, Invitation Homes is expanding access to skilled trades education, increasing awareness of the value of skilled trades, and engaging our associates in volunteer efforts. We’re teaming up with trade schools in our local market to help students kick-start careers and leveraging the experience of our associates to highlight these unique opportunities. Through these efforts, we aim to invest in the American workforce, provide economic growth, and support the single-family housing market.
Solving the skills gap won’t happen overnight. It will require inspiring the next generation of skilled tradespeople and providing them with opportunities to pursue worthwhile and rewarding careers. Invitation Homes is committed to doing this work to support our industry and to help provide people with a safe and comfortable place to call home.