Local Architect Appointed as Board Advisor, Focus on Construction Industry Shortage and Bright Futures without 4-Year Degrees

MIDLAND, TEXAS July 15, 2016 – Walter F. Pate, AIA, of Pate Architects has been appointed to serve a three-year term on the Architecture and Construction Program of Study Advisory Committee, as appointed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

When asked to describe the personal significance of this appointment and how it affects his industry, Pate responded, “I’m excited to serve on this board because it will provide many young people with an alternative path to success in lieu of a 4-year college degree. There’s a definite shortage of skilled workforce throughout Texas. From plumbers to electricians, masons to heating and air contractors, and all other building trades, the demand is high and supply is low.  It’s affecting the construction industry as a whole. That shortage is driving up construction costs and slowing down construction schedules.”

Over 30 years in architecture and 400 projects under his belt gives Pate the liberty to accurately speak on the topic of labor shortage and the ripple-effect it can have on the economy.

“Through trade schools and their 2-year programs, young people can still become business owners and entrepreneurs… be successful. They can have a very bright future without a 4-year degree and the considerable debt that can accompany it.”

Research conducted by the Idaho Department of Labor found that the average bachelor’s degree in the United States costs $127,000. Considering that 70% of students rely on loans to fund their education, it’s easy to see the daunting strain the debt can put on a young person entering the workforce for the first time. Plus, when you tack on the statistic that over 20% of students with loans owe more than $50,000 - and 5.6% owe more than $100,000 - it’s very apparent that rewarding alternative paths must be recognized and encouraged.

Another point of focus of this Program of Study is to address concerns about credit transfer agreements from community colleges and trade schools to universities. Creating industry-recognized standards between associate and baccalaureate degrees is a priority to avoid wasted credits, and in turn, wasted time and money.

For more information about the Texas Higher Education Board and the Architecture and Construction Program of Study, visit http://www.thecb.state.tx.us