Trade Jobs Aren’t Just for Men


Skilled trades industries are historically dominated by men. One organization is out to change that: Oregon Tradeswoman, Inc (OTI). Their goal? To educate women about opportunities in the trades and support their pursuit of a career in the field. And the great news? They are only one of many organizations joining the movement to bring more women into trades careers…


An article in the Portland Tribune highlights Anjanet Banuelos’s success with the program. When she began the Oregon Laborers Apprenticeship program, she was a single mother of 3, struggling to make ends meet. Banuelos completed the program, earning more than $50,000/year plus retirement and health-care benefits.


Attracting more women like Anjanet to the industry just makes economic sense. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction trades outlook projects a 22% job growth by 2022. This is great news for our economy! The only problem is that we’re already facing a shortage of construction workers. Bringing women into this male-dominated industry is a GREAT way to increase the size of the skilled workforce, closing the skills gap. In an era of increasing concern over the wage gap, getting more women to enter trades careers is also a promising way to achieve equity.

“In Oregon, the median annual pay for a woman with a full-time job is $38,801, while median annual pay for a man who holds a full-time, year-round job is $47,194, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families.”-The Portland Tribune

Becoming a certified plumber, welder, electrician, carpenter, mason, or skilled person requires training. Through organizations like OTI, this training is now made accessible. Women have a clear path to career success, with the potential for true job security. Not to mention, their programs do not carry the same crushing debt typical of a college education.


This isn’t the first time there’s been a robust effort to bring more women into the trades. Women played a major role in filling factory work during WWII, while the male population fought overseas. Over the course of the war, the female labor force grew by 6.5 million. This new labor force was supporting the industrial work that men were no longer able to provide. ‘Rosie the Riveter’ was born: a cultural icon and symbol of a hardworking American woman.

The government-backed groundswell of support  for the American woman’s trades career during WWII is similar to what we see today. In fact, Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. is only one of many organizations promoting skilled trades for women. Others include Washington Women in Trades, Chicago Women in Trades, Women in HVACR and Sisters in the Building Trades.

“Women constitute half of the workforce and bring skills that are needed to enhance our manufacturing capability. This is the face of what our future workforce will be in order to meet customer needs and grow our businesses.”-Laura Lyons 


So if you want to recruit more women into your workforce, start making connections with these organizations. Talk to your local trade schools, unions, and coalitions. Build a network of people with the same goal and collaborate. With their expertise and support, you can start recruiting more women into the trades today!

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Recruit from these Talent Pools for Quality Skilled Workers


The skilled trades industry is saturated with companies similar to yours that are looking for the same quality talent YOU need. Relying on traditional recruitment processes simply won’t cut it. HR directors, recruiters, and staffing directors alike… are you struggling to find the talent your company needs to grow? If so, you’ll need to explore unique pools of talent that other employers are not tapping into.

The team at CraftForce has identified the following three demographics as majorly overlooked talent pools: 

  1. High-school graduates
  2. Recently laid-off skilled tradespeople
  3. Returning veterans

Check out the following suggestions on recruiting from these demographics. Leave us a comment… How is your company faring in the labor shortage? Have you tried out any of these tactics in building your skilled workforce? Do you face any particular struggles that these tactics don’t address?


It is no news that college tuition prices are soaring at an unprecedented rate. High school graduates face tremendous stress in deciding whether the promise of a higher income is worth soul-crushing debt . Fortunately, there is a less costly and appealing alternative: a career in the trades. Unfortunately, this alternative is not voiced in our nation’s dialogue on career options. Our youth is all but unaware of the option to pursue a vocation, bombarded by a misconception that  a 4 year degree is the only viable career path.

As experts in our industry are well aware, the fact of the matter is that work in the skilled trades is rewarding, challenging, and pays well. Consider the high cost of a college degree and the two extra years not earning income. Skilled tradesmen will often enter the workforce $140,000 ahead of college graduates.  

This is where you come in. Recruit for a strong skilled workforce early, targeting high schoolers who are exploring career paths. Be sure to communicate the sense of fulfillment that comes with a career in the trades. Here are some ways in which your can build these relationships early on:

  • Attend high school job fairs, career days, and related programs. Showcase the benefits your company has to offer by speaking one on with kids.
  • Build an email list of high school students to send a monthly newsletter filled with facts, opportunities, and news on your industry. Communicating the benefit of a career in the trades with YOUR company is key to attracting future prospects!
  • Sponsor high school athletic programs or club activities to amplify awareness of your company. The appeal of your company’s benefits and culture will catch the attention of high schoolers seeking a meaningful career path.
  • Hold an annual scholarship contest for high schoolers to fund their trade school education. Spark their interest in working for your company.


Much to our country’s dismay, unemployed veterans constitute a stark percentage of the population. In 2015, about 495,000 veterans were recorded unemployed; 57% of which were 45 or older. CraftForce is humbled to recognize a groundswell of programs like Helmets to HardHats and Troops to Trade that provide resources to support servicemen and women transitioning into meaningful civilian careers.

Still, we believe that companies play a major role in decreasing the unemployment rate of returning veterans. It comes as no surprise that veterans are in fact some of the most promising and capable candidates to recruit. This is where you can play a part in catalyzing the mutual benefit. Adopt a veteran-hiring program that is aggressively recruiting veterans: a proven, incomparable talent. The following tactics can guide this process:

  • Advertise your services in publications or newsletters written for retired servicemen.


Adults who have been laid off through a plant or mining closure find themselves in an incredibly difficult position. They are highly qualified, with a lifetime of experience, yet out of a job on account – often times – of a volatile economy. Many of these laid-off employees have families to support, which adds to the stress. Build out your recruiting process to attract laid-off workers: an often overlooked talent. The following tips can help with this:

  • Hold or attend community job fairs in communities that have been struck by major layoffs.
  • Provide information about your company to churches, community groups, and other venues that are popular pitstops of the local working class.
  • Advertise your services in local newsletters.
  • Offer on-the-job training, trade-school grants, tuition reimbursement, assistance with childcare costs and other financial incentives that would benefit this demographic.

The foundation of a powerful recruiting process is relationship-building. Like you, the CraftForce team believes in investing in top-quality talent, long term, through meaningful partnerships.

CraftForce is a marketplace for skilled trades. Industrial companies can find top-quality skilled workers to meet the needs of their projects instantly. We provide job site ready skilled workers, handling hiring, training, placement, benefits, disability, and unemployment liability. Once a worker has applied for  a position, we conduct drug tests, run background checks, offer safety training, and call the applicant’s resume references to ensure they are a qualified candidate for the job.

Want to contribute to the CraftForce blog? Submit your blog topic idea(s) at 

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Looking for a new job? CraftForce is putting America back to work.

CraftForce is America’s Jobsite.



CraftForce’s powerful online and mobile platform matches talent to opportunity in the skilled trades… instantly. Are you a job-seeker in the trades? Construction, manufacturing, or other industrial field? Our powerful search engine and JobMap locates YOUR next job or career based off your criteria. Employer in the trades seeking a guarantee of top quality talent for your next big project? CraftForce is a marketplace for qualified skilled workers, ready to work TODAY. Just plug in what you’re looking for, and opportunity will come to you. [WATCH OUR 30-SECOND INTRO VIDEO] Find your next job at ‪

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We are excited to announce that we’ll be featured in an upcoming episode of Innovations with Ed Begley Jr., airing on Discovery Channel.

In this segment, viewers will learn about CraftForce’s offerings, and ability to connect craftspeople/talent with industry-leading employers or opportunities around the country. In addition, Innovations will explore how CraftForce works with everyone, including talent and opportunities that work within and outside of unions.

“We are excited about the opportunity to share this application through Innovations and spread the news of our job and talent hunting solution,” said Dustin Grutza, Founder of CraftForce. “Our web and mobile platforms will change the way the skilled workforce and employers interact. Now, with just one click, resumes will be displayed in front of the employers in need of skilled talent.”

“CraftForce allows employers to post a job opportunity simply and easily, and enables skilled talent to access industry-leading opportunities through its extensive database,” said Robert Sikich, Senior Producer for the series. “We are excited about supplying this information to our viewers.”



Innovations is an award-winning television series hosted by actor, director and environmentalist, Ed Begley Jr. Innovations is dedicated to bringing viewers the most up-to-date, cutting edge information across a vast array of industries. From health and wellness to global business, renewable energy, and more, Innovations features practical solutions and important issues facing consumers and professionals alike.

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