Message from the Executive Director

Posted by Michelle Glassburn, Executive Director, EM NARI


As we close out another program year at NARI, the same themes continue to arise.  Again this month, we surveyed our members.  Of the contractors and sub-contractors that responded, 90% cited the labor shortage as one of their top business challenges. The impact is far reaching – with the most notable impacts on increasing project timelines and project costs.


Here’s the challenge. In the midst of this time when remodelers are being squeezed by the labor shortage, it’s critical that the industry double down and invest the time in ending the cycle. On the current trajectory, the problem continues to worsen. The current workforce is aging quickly and there are not nearly enough young workers to take their place. This is the time that we must ask you – what will YOU do? Read on in this issue of the newsletter to hear Asher Nichols’ (Chair of EM NARI’s Workforce Development Committee) speech inspiring NARI contractors to get involved!


Through the work of our Workforce Development Committee, we have created a variety of ways that NARI contractors can get involved to inspire youth to pursue a career in the trades. Whether you have one day or one year to give, there are opportunities for you to participate in our efforts. Our hope is that every EM NARI remodeler will find a way to join in the effort.  Here are just a few ways you could participate:

  • Youth Remodeling Career Day – Wednesday, October 16th. Offer an activity or volunteer for the day!
  • Work with the Workforce Development Committee to:
    • Join the advisory board for a carpentry program at an area Career and Vocational Technical Education school,
    • Offer a student jobsite experience like a tour or shadow day,
    • Be a guest speaker in a class, or
    • Participate in a growing number of expanded work-based learning opportunities.

This spring the EM NARI Foundation applied for, and was awarded, a grant to develop and deliver a replicable series of experiences that would create the opportunity to connect and build relationships with carpentry students during their high school career.  From mock interviews, to classroom presentations, jobsite tours, and internships, NARI members are building relationships with students that allow them to reinforce the benefits of a career in remodeling. We will be sure to share more about the pilot as the program progresses.

One of the first tasks we must undertake is to begin to improve the way we talk about the opportunities that exist with a career in remodeling. We know that the industry offers incredible growth potential for an employee, unparalleled job security, and the opportunity to enjoy a well-paying job without the burden of significant college debt. What we haven’t done is communicate this effectively to students, parents, and teachers. Over the coming months we hope to work closely with our school partners to refine the message about the opportunities that exist in the remodeling industry and expand the ways in which we can leverage the wealth of knowledge and experience of our members to inspire more students to follow a career pathway into residential remodeling.  Will you join us?

Contact me!

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