Construction Career Ladder Roundtable


Kevin DuBose
[email protected]
(865) 215-2865

400 Main St., Room 532-J
Knoxville, TN 37902

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The Construction Career Ladder Roundtable is a solutions-oriented workgroup of community stakeholders tasked with increasing the number of construction workers and contractors in Knoxville. The group, which meets quarterly at the Knoxville Area Urban League office, is rooted in equity and committed to serving low- and moderate-income individuals.

The workgroup was founded in late 2022 in response to a request from the Knoxville NAACP to further analyze the community's construction workforce capacity.

Knoxville has a construction labor shortage, which creates challenges for developers of housing and other projects and drives up overall construction costs.

In January 2023, the Knoxville Chamber estimated that Knoxville needs 2,028 Construction and Extraction Workers in 2023 to meet current needs.

The greatest need is for construction laborers, electricians, first-line supervisors, carpenters, plumbers / pipefitters / steamfitters, and operating engineers / equipment operators. Most of these positions pay above the MIT living wage.

  Construction Career Ladder Resources
  Image of the Construction Career Ladder Resources document
Click image for larger view in PDF format.
Knoxville's public and private partners must be intentional about recruiting, training, and supporting new construction and trade workers. The Construction Career Ladder Roundtable identified resources that are actively serving the community to meet this need, creating the Construction Career Ladder Resources document.

Resources are listed across the top and bottom of the document with hyperlinks for easy access to the organizations' websites.

The Roundtable also identified a list of barriers that keep people from entering and/or advancing in the construction trades. Those needs include, but are not limited to: job training (apprenticeships, mentoring, credentialing); mental health care; affordable housing; and transportation.


To learn more about the Construction Career Roundtable, contact Assistant Community Development Administrator Hope Ealey at [email protected]