Biden visited Baltimore’s ports this week to tout a $1.2 trillion investment in infrastructure.

According to earlier analytics, that investment should create over 1,000,000 jobs. And many of those jobs will be in the trades.

But guess what—many contractors in our region can’t find enough trades people!

I have two projects under construction right now in Baltimore. And several of my contractors discuss with me how challenging it’s been to find trades people. Work is booming, but baby boomers are aging and exiting the trades.

One of my contractors shared that his firm has had to use recruiters to find trades people—something they’ve never done.

The trades are an incredible opportunity that have been staring at Baltimore for years.

For many reasons, there was already an insatiable demand for trades people in the DMV area. But with at least $1.2 trillion locked in for federal infrastructure, that demand is accelerating.

Baltimore should be supplying workers for trades jobs in droves from its high schools. Data confirms that a dollar spent on trade education is most effectively and efficiently spent in high school, rather than post-secondary school.

As someone who manages construction and hires contractors, I can’t think of a better career than the trades to prepare young people for college or simply life-long learning.

(I also can’t think of a better way to pay for school!)

As your delegate, I would champion establishing regional career and technical education schools with state-of-the-art equipment and specialty instruction.

High school juniors and seniors would spend a half-day at the CTE school and a half-day at their home school to graduate with licensure from high school.

This is a best practice for delivering CTE education in other states. And Maryland must get there. The equipment and instruction are otherwise too costly to duplicate and maintain across many high schools.

As your delegate, I’ll champion ensuring our students are licensed from high school for these in-demand careers.

The vision to Build Baltimore Back Better runs through the trades. I’m with it.

In case you missed it—on the radio!

I was blessed to share about one of my mentors, Rev. Dr. Gary Rodwell, on Two Way Talk on WEAA. Several great folks called in to share stories of those who poured into them along their journeys.

You can check out the full discussion here: