Despite the industry facing critical labor shortages, organizations are using this week, National Apprenticeship Week (NAW), to emphasize the importance of workers in the labor force. That includes positions within the glazing industry.

Lee Worley, executive director of apprenticeship and training for Iron Workers International, says the organization uses this week as an opportunity to engage the public and attract interested individuals to join the trades.

“NAW is an opportunity for us to promote our trade and open our training center doors so the public can get a taste of what we have to offer for a career,” Worley says. “Many people do not realize that entering the building trades is a path to a great career without going to college. I’ve asked our training coordinators to have informational fliers on display and hands-on activities for those who want to see what it would be like to be an ironworker.”

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is also using this week to cast a light on the important role apprentices play in the construction industry.

“Apprenticeships represent one of the most effective ways to recruit and prepare new construction workers into the industry,” says Brian Turmail, vice president of

public affairs and strategic initiatives for AGC. “In addition to allowing people to earn while they learn, they represent the gold standard in training and professional development for this industry. In their open shop and union forms, apprenticeships play a key role in supporting the continued excellence of the construction industry.”

President Joe Biden released a proclamation on November 12 signifying this week as NAW. The statement urges “the Congress, State and local governments, educational institutions, industry and labor leaders, apprentices and all Americans to support Registered Apprenticeship programs in the United States of America and to raise awareness of their importance in building a diverse and robust workforce to strengthen our national economy.”

“Apprentices are our future foreman, superintendents and local union leaders, and we cannot do enough to attract qualified individuals to our doors. NAW is a great opportunity to showcase who we are,” Worley says.

The U.S. Department of Labor also released a statement recognizing the week as one to celebrate those in the trades and to continue building a diverse labor force, and noted a number of events and opportunities for the public to support NAW.