ONONDAGA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - It's construction projects like the one at Westhill High School that would be impossible to complete if time were to nearly phase out carpenters and craftsmen.
"Having skilled labor allows us to complete the projects having good quality, as well as on time to keep the owners and general contractors that we work for happy," said contractor John Schalk.
But those in the industry say 1/3 of those workers are getting set to retire, with very few taking their place.
"The opportunities are going to be here over the next decade, we need to fill the void and make sure that the skilled craftspeople are here," added Earl Hall, Executive Director of the Construction Employers of Central New York.
With a huge portion of the skilled labor force retiring in just a matter of years, the hope is that more students will take an interest in work like carpentry and construction, and realize the longterm benefits.
"It's an opportunity for you to make an honest earning, a nice career out of it as well, fringe benefits are excellent and you're walking away from high school knowing that you're going to a great career without accumulating debt to go off to college," said Hall.
A new training center in North Syracuse will be the first of it's kind in the Syracuse area. Current carpenters are hoping the state of the art facility will lay the groundwork to bring in the next generation of workers.
The building is set to be finished by the summer of 2018.
To view the TV news story on Channel 9, please click here.