SIOUX CITY, IOWA (KCAU) – According to, the average age for a tradesman in this country is now 55. But today’s signing day for Tytan Webb of West High School is a good indication that more students are choosing trade work careers.

“There definitely is a shortage of skilled craftsmen out there. The economy is calling on, is requiring more skilled craftsmen than there are available. So events like this where we reach out, try to get the community educated on the importance of these skilled labor jobs, which are very high paying, great jobs, is very important,” Trinity Electric’s Jason Bowman said.

West High School was host to a career signing day for Tytan Webb, a carpenter starting his career with local contractor WA Klinger.

“It was very easy to get into this type of job. It’s very simple. All you have to do is call Ernie and they’ll set you up. I mean it’s really easier than what you think. I’m probably going to be the youngest one there, but it gives me more boost to keep working,” Tytan Webb said.

The north central states regional council of carpenters helped organize the signing to highlight the need for more tradesmen.

“This has actually been going on for several years… it’s a great opportunity for the students to start off their careers with a good paying job with great benefits,” NCSRCC’s Ernie Colt said.

WA Klinger’s president says a number of factors led to the trade worker shortage.

“A lot of it had to do with the pandemic, a lot of it had to just do with the baby boomer generation retiring. So there’s been a push out there for the younger generations to start looking at the trades as a viable career option for them,” President of WA Klinger Matt Thompson said.

And recruitment hasn’t been easy.

“We’ve been having trouble finding enough guys to do the work. And so the high schools have recognized this and we’ve started bringing curriculum back into the high schools,” Colt said.

But more interest is now being shown for trade work and those jobs aren’t easily replaced.

“We’re in the age of IT and AI and all these computer things, but at the end of the day, we need people to build buildings. We’ve got to have boots on the ground, gloves in hammers, you’ve got to be able to physically put the work in place,” Thompson said.

Colt also said he wants students to know that college isn’t the only option, that there are avenues you can take outside of college that can lead to successful careers.