This story originally appeared on WKRN.com.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — As the area expands, our need for trade works grows too, and right now we’re struggling to meet demand.
Currently, only one tradesman is entering the industry for every five that leave, according to Go Build Tennessee.
One of those tradesmen is currently enrolled at MTSU, studying construction management. He’s taking his education hands-on. Literally, building his school’s classroom of the future, and Michael Urban said it will enable MTSU to have one of the top construction programs in the nation.
“I’m just honored to be here,” Urban said, selected as a summer intern with Hoar construction, the general contractors working on MTSU’s new School of Concrete and Construction Management.
“Michael reminds me a little bit of me, because I went here and was a part of the program,” Matt McCann said, General Superintendent at Hoar Construction. “The construction industry as a whole lets you go as far as you want to go with it.”
The sky is the limit for the former sailor turned college student, who said his experience on the USS Harry Truman served him well.
“It relates pretty well, surprisingly,” Urban said, adding that he’s learning a lot with this new experience.
“Working on the building you’re going to go to school in, and it’s going to be there for many years to come. It’s a great feeling and honor to be here,” Urban said.
McCann admitted the new building will help their business grow, well at least that’s the hope.
“We want to further our industry. There’s a massive need for manpower in our industry. There’s a big opportunity in our industry, but we’re seeing we need more and more people to come up in the ranks.”
McCann continued, “It’s something different everyday. Managing people, seeing these projects go from 2D image on paper to what it is when were done with it, I get a lot of enjoyment out of that.”
Across the country, employers need more than 1 million workers to meet demand with the construction industry projected to grow 22 percent through 2022.
One of the people hoping to help the industry grow is Urban, who is set to graduate in May of 2022 and hopes to one day become a superintendent like McCann.
The $40 million, 55,000 square foot school building on MTSU’s campus is set to be completed in August of 2022.