Reality Show about Construction Seeks to Close Income Gap

Published: July 16, 2019

The Percy Jobs & Careers Center launched “Master Craftsmen,” an online reality show featuring craftsmen who use their skills and specialized knowledge to build today’s modern infrastructure. The show is designed to reestablish the skilled trades as an opportunity to move up the income ladder and comes at a time when skills are responsible for the growing disparity in income. Those with skills earn a lot, and those without, according to some estimates, earn in real dollars what an unskilled worker did in 1973.

Globalization and technology have fostered high levels of income inequality and the unskilled worker has suffered most,” said Jim Kernan, founder of Percy Jobs & Careers. “By giving people the skills, they can get the well-paying work.” 

As the show indicates, there is an abundant amount of well-paying work out there. The New York Building Congress forecasts nearly $177 billion in construction over a three years span in the city alone.

“Master Craftsmen” hopes to inspire more workers to enter the hands-on, large-scale construction trades which has seen high demand in recent years. Through the first quarter of 2018, employers have been looking to fill an average of nearly 225,000 construction jobs each month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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The recent episode features Island Elevator installing an elevator in a commercial building in Great Neck, NY. It highlights a variety of trades, from steelworkers to electricians.

BR Construction, the project’s General Contractor, saw the value of the program and has apprentices in the Percy program.

“If we can help make the trades attractive as a career again, we are all for it,” said Stefan Bolozan, owner of BR Construction.

“Master Craftsmen” has its own YouTube channel where the episodes can be viewed.

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