Our world is changing fast. Developing communities are growing and using technology to keep up with the world we live in. We use these technologies to build faster, smarter, and safer. In order to keep up with these changes, building professionals must stay on top of industry advancements by participating in strong continued education programs. These programs help create a consistent foundation for the building industry which strengthens our built environment.

The importance of professional development can’t be stressed enough. According to a survey in 2014 by the National Institute of Building Sciences, the building industry will lose nearly 80% of its skilled workforce over a 15-year period. While this poses challenges, it is also an excellent opportunity for growth, advancement and a possible new career path for new and experienced job seekers. Universities and Technology/Trade schools recognize the importance of these types of education and continue to build aspiring individuals all the time. Each level of experience is critical to the future of our “built” communities.

 Code officials range in age from 20s to 70s and come from diverse backgrounds and industries. These individuals gain experience not only from the work and education they have received, but also from older generations that have shared their knowledge and different experiences. Remember the old adage: those that don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. We often think of that as it relates to history, politics, and war, but it goes for our building industry as well. The value of our experienced personnel can’t be ignored, we need those individuals to pass on the “lessons of yesterday” to the builders of tomorrow.

Now, we can’t ignore technology either. We know that industry continues to move at a remarkable speed. It only stands to reason that with the electronic age upon us that we can get information faster, respond to questions faster, install faster, do nearly everything faster. Jobsite superintendents, foreman and project management can use tablets to see plans, keep up with changes and recognize challenges while on the jobsite. This technology enables groups and trades to simultaneously track changes and progress from their own devices. They can order material, view specs and quickly find resources online that we used to have to wait days for. Even our code officials use these technologies to have electronic access to codes, interpretations and regulations. No wonder our communities are building so fast. However, with this opportunity, comes the arduous tasks of training (even the individuals that shy away from technology).

So remember, the transferable skills you are learning now can help you and others to use these technologies to build a safer tomorrow.

This blog was written by Jeremiah Weckesser, Senior Mechanical Inspector III.

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