Local Construction Companies & Technology Firm UpSmith Reimagine Upskilling to Address Memphis Labor Shortage

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Local Construction Companies & Technology Firm UpSmith Reimagine Upskilling to Address Memphis Labor Shortage

MEMPHIS, TN – Today, UpSmith, Inc. and the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of West Tennessee announced a partnership to create high-wage, high-purpose career opportunities for aspiring electricians in the Memphis market. 

The parties are launching this program through UpSmith’s technology platform, which connects talent with employers seeking to identify, qualify, staff, and retain skilled tradespeople. Members of ABC, a trade association serving more than 200 general construction and subcontractor companies in the Greater Memphis area, will sponsor candidates sourced through the platform to earn credentials as electrician apprentices via paid 8-week training bootcamps delivered by ForgeNow, a leading training provider focused on skilled construction trades. 

“We are excited to announce our partnership with UpSmith in addressing the shortage of skilled workers in the greater Memphis region,” said ABC Board Vice Chairman and Pyramid Electric, Inc. Vice President, Brian Haines. “Along with several of our innovative peers, our firm is proud to pioneer these paid on-ramps to welcome new, hard-working talent into our industry. More than just offering construction jobs, we are inviting bright, ambitious young men and women to build fulfilling careers in a rapidly advancing industry.”

West TN ABC board member and Turner Construction Vice President Andy Davis joined the announcement, saying: “With over $10 Billion of construction investment in the mid-south region planned in the next three years, we realize our trade partners will require thousands of trained workers to meet this demand. UpSmith’s effort to expand the supply of skilled talent in our industry will help close this gap, and we are excited to partner with them.”

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee praised the announcement, saying: “Our commitment to career and technical education will help meet the needs of the state’s growing economy and ensure every Tennessean can thrive in our workforce. I thank UpSmith and all local partners for their efforts to expand opportunities in West Tennessee.”

Memphis City Council Chairwoman Jamita Swearengen also applauded the announcement, saying: “Citizens across our region possess unmatched potential, they just need an opportunity to unlock the skills necessary to jump-start their careers. I am pleased UpSmith is launching with ABC in Memphis to create pathways for our community to gain high-demand credentials in the skilled professions.”

“UpSmith and ABC are bringing needed workforce training opportunities to Memphis,” said Rev. James Kirkwood, Executive Director of the Memphis Christian Pastors Network. “We are excited and supportive of Memphians committing to new careers in this program.”

Senior Pastor Rufus Smith, IV of Hope Church in Cordova joined in support, saying: “Careers in the skilled trades provide first-rate earning opportunities, and we plan to encourage our community to take advantage of these worthy professions.”

“We join UpSmith in seeking to put people on a path for a sustainable, fulfilling career,” said ForgeNow President Rob Holmes. “Through our intensive eight-week bootcamp, our promise is to train, equip, and credential a candidate to start their apprenticeship in the electrical trade and develop professional skills to take care of their families and build their futures.”

“Memphis is a proving ground for how to create fast, affordable pathways to jobs of the future,” said UpSmith CEO and Founder, Wyatt Smith. “We are partnering with leading construction industry players and community-based organizations across Memphis to bring high-wage, high-dignity, high-growth careers to life, starting with apprenticeships in the electrical trade.” 

Today, UpSmith launches UpSmith.com to accept applications for employer-sponsored bootcamps offering electrician apprenticeship training in eight weeks. Candidates interested in careers as electricians should visit the site, learn more, and apply to build their futures.

UpSmith and ABC will host a press conference at the Falls Building (22 N Front St, Memphis, TN 38103) in downtown Memphis at 10:00a CST on Thursday, April 7, 2022.

About UpSmith

UpSmith’s mission is to address the skilled worker shortage by creating high-purpose, high-pay, high-dignity career opportunities for talent. The company leverages its technology platform to solve employers’ needs by identifying, qualifying, and vetting high-potential candidates. Where necessary, UpSmith facilitates sponsored, accelerated, foundational training to credential talent for entry-level roles in skilled professions. UpSmith’s initial focus is addressing the 1.2 million unfilled skilled construction and manufacturing jobs in the U.S. This shortage is poised to triple to over 4 million openings by 2030 at an opportunity cost of more than $1 trillion. Globally the problem is even greater, with an 85 million skilled worker shortfall across industries poised to cost $8.5 trillion by 2030. For media inquiries, contact press@upsmith.com. Media kit available here.

About Associated Builders and Contractors

Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association representing more than 22,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 69 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. ABC’s membership represents all specialties within the U.S. construction industry and is comprised primarily of firms that perform work in the industrial and commercial sectors.

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