One of the greatest challenges before the construction industry today is the recruitment and retention of workers to support rapid development across the Northwest. To advance the industry’s workforce development efforts AGC made a strategic investment in Build Oregon to mobilize jobseekers in Oregon and SW Washington to research and apply for careers in the skilled trades.
Since relaunching last summer, Build Oregon has quickly become the ultimate hub for resources and information to inspire the next generation of construction workers. The Build Oregon message has been seen over 6 million times and referred almost 2,500 people to local training programs. A lot of time, dedication, and passion from members, staff, and partners, made the workforce development effort possible. Let’s take a look at the last year:
Diminishing construction industry misconceptions
We know the construction industry is a multi-faceted, hardworking community full of passion and opportunity, but not everyone does. There’s a certain stigma around the industry that we set out to correct. The first step to changing hearts and minds was modernizing the Build Oregon brand – visually elevating the vast opportunities in construction. The new brand is centered on Gen Z visual trends like bright teal hues and Swiss design elements. To maintain the brand’s roots, we integrated a bold orange and authentic local photography from construction sites across Oregon that showcased the pride and grit of the industry. A meaningful new tagline that aligned with Gen Z’s sense of purpose – Build What Matters – completed the new brand.
Next, we sought to diminish industry misconceptions through storytelling and imagery by showcasing our vibrant community. To do so, we captured authentic imagery and videography from work sites, jobs, and most importantly, people. We also showcased the phenomenal individuals who are already in the field through our blogs. Each story helped bring a personal and relatable face to our movement.
Simplifying pathways into the skilled trades
With so many different pathways into the industry it isn’t always easy for jobseekers to get their start in construction. To change this, we revamped Build-Oregon.com to be a one stop shop for all things construction careers. The site now features a careers quiz, searchable training program database and job board. To date we’ve welcomed more than 36,000 visitors to explore the skilled trades, get connected to jobs and training programs and learn about the many different benefits of a career in construction.
Promoting the value that construction careers bring to the next generation
For better or worse the majority of Gen Z spend five or more hours per day on their phone and say social media is essential to their lives. Knowing the best way to reach Gen Z is through their phone, we crafted a digital ad campaign to drive awareness for skilled trade jobs and get young people excited about the many benefits of a career in constriction.
Build Oregon ads were featured on some of the platforms that the next generation frequents most – YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Streaming TV. We used our authentic imagery and message to showcase Build Oregon’s mission and reached over 6 million views and drove over 20,000 visits to the website.
To complement the paid advertising program, we filled Build Oregon’s social channels with job features, member content and overall industry benefits. Over the past year, our community grew, and now we connect with more than 2,500 followers across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. With authentic visuals and a steady cadence of social content, the Build Oregon message has been seen more than 1.4 million times and received 20,000 likes, clicks and shares on social media.
The power of influencers
The next generation is heavily influenced by their peers. They trust recommendations from influencers more than any other form of advertising. To capitalize on this, we partnered with three influencers in the industry to generate positive awareness about construction careers.
Our most successful partnership was with Beaverton-local, Jacob Suarez, also known as Biggie Clean. Jacob has amassed a following of over 5 million on TikTok by showcasing a day in the life of a hazmat cleaner. His TikTok posts featuring Build Oregon were played 930 times, drove more than 15,000 people to the website and nearly broke our quiz app.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the support of AGC members. Members opened their jobsites to us, shared job openings and apprenticeship info, and identified stellar individuals to highlight. We’re proud to have the support of the best in the industry.
Thank you for a great first year full of milestones. Build Oregon couldn’t have done it without you.