PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The pandemic has upended the entire economy. So many people are out of work or not working enough, businesses have folded and some industries as a whole are on the bubble.

But skilled trades aren’t going away. And as Tarrell Dawson with PeopleReady Skilled Trades told KOIN 6 News, there are plenty of opportunities.

The company is starting a pilot training program in Oregon to bring more people into the skilled trades, like carpenters and electricians, plumbers, welders, any construction trade.

The new program consists of a mix of remote and in-person socially distanced classes, and will serve as a national model to address skilled trade labor shortages across the country.

People Ready Skilled Trades is a temp-to-hire company. Dawson said employers rarely say exactly what they’re looking for in a skilled laborer or helper. So they welcomed the input from employers.

“We reached out and told them that they were more than happy to come on board because we are looking to get them qualified workers that they’ve been needing in this time of need for them.”

One of the major things they’ve seen is a number of Baby Boomers retiring, Dawson said. “With all those guys retiring, everything during this economic downfall, there’s not enough qualified workers to take those spots. That is why those skilled trades have wide openings.”

A skilled trade means you’ll need training, either through an apprenticeship or classes. Dawson oversaw some skilled trade classes recently.

“Specifically when it comes to numbers, carpenter helpers, which this first class focused on, had a 38% increase in looking for jobs, needing to fill the gaps in jobs,” he said. “Going to the course, graduates receive one-on-one job coaching access that bring skilled trades pipeline to on-demand jobs in the state.”

Dawson said the course teaches workers how to utilize different skills they learn.

“Everyone doesn’t do everything perfect,” he said. “So just getting that job coaching is seeing what you can do better next time you go out there.”