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Skilled labor shortage addressed at KBIS

Karl Champley

Karl Champley

Through an event called #NextUp, the National Kitchen & Bath Association put a major focus on the need for skilled labor in the design and construction industry at the recent Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Las Vegas

“The kitchen and bath industry’s growth trajectory, coupled with the labor shortages we’re seeing in the economy, gives us an ideal opportunity to educate the next generation on the many lucrative and creative opportunities we have in this market,” Bill Darcy, CEO of the NKBA, said in a statement.

“The NKBA #NextUp program at KBIS provided an ideal opportunity for us to directly engage with local Las Vegas high school students while connecting them with kitchen and bath professionals so they can gain insight into how they might want to consider structuring their own paths.”

NKBA members invited and hosted 150 high school students from the local Clark County School District. The students were given opportunities to ask professionals what drives them, how they chose their careers and what advice they could provide.

A panel of industry professionals shared stories of their own journeys and career paths. The panel was led by Karl Champley, an Australian master builder and current guest on “Ellen’s Design Challenge”.

“This was an amazing opportunity for our students and teachers. They couldn’t stop talking about interacting with such highly-regarded industry professionals and were in awe after touring the trade show floor,” says Craig Brockett, the district’s Work-Based Learning administrator.

“We hope this experience motivates students to become the next generation of designers, fabricators, and builders. We can’t thank NKBA enough for organizing this event and we look forward to growing this partnership.”

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This article originally appeared in the May 2019 issue.

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