Middle Tennessee State University announced a new school in response to demand for trained laborers and managers in cities booming with growth, like Nashville. The School of Concrete and Construction Management will focus on training desperately needed superintendents, foremen, and more.
"This industry needs labor in a big way right now,' said Dr. Heather Brown, the school's director. "There's a 25 percent shortage of labor in the Nashville market. You see the cranes in the air, they do not have labor. But they also do not have managers."
Previously, MTSU offered four separate degrees related to concrete and construction. Now, all classes will be brought under the same program, which Brown hopes will help attract potential students to receive their educations in Tennessee instead of leaving the state.
"Right now, if you look across the southeast, you might think of schools like Auburn, Purdue, or NC State as big construction schools," Brown said. "Tennessee didn't have that. There was a big hole here."
But as more construction sites pop up around Nashville and surrounding cities, Brown said finding a way to meet that demand in Tennessee was crucial. Right now, there are seven jobs waiting for each concrete and construction graduate at MTSU.
"There is definitely a lot of room to grow," Brown said.