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YBA Workforce NOW is committed to helping parents, educators & students explore the many career choices available to them in the construction trades. We offer skilled trade career resources, tools, and tips to help you play an important part in the career exploration journey!

Another Future Path

Perspectives have shifted in recent years on the importance of a college degree. It’s been proven time and time again that it is possible to have a rewarding career that pays well and is in-demand without a college degree or student debt.

Studies show that job satisfaction in skilled trade careers is remarkably high. Nearly 9 out of 10 (83%) of skilled trade professionals note their job satisfaction as “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied”. Fewer than 1 in 20 people said they are somewhat or very unsatisfied in their current line of work. Students today have many options for their future career paths. Although there are many opportunities, it can be challenging to face such big decisions! Unfortunately, many students feel pressured to attend college even though it might not be the right path for them.

The Cost of College

According to, the average cost of college in the United States is $35,331 per student per year, including books, supplies, and daily living expenses.

Considering that the overall dropout rate for undergraduate college students is 32.9%, it is also important to keep in mind that those students will still have an obligation to repay student loans without the degree or training to help pay them back. This can also set them back in finding the right path for them.

Parents & students concerned about college costs should consider a skilled trade career. According to some research, after five years, a person who attends trade school and then starts working will be $140,000 ahead, on average, compared to a student who enrolls in a four-year college before working!

Advantages of

Skilled Trade Careers


High Earning Potential

Start Working/Earning Quickly

Opportunity for Growth/Entrepreneurship

High Job Satisfaction

Do Essential Work that Matters

Many Roles to Choose From

Resources for Parents

What is Next for

Your Students?

Making plans for a professional future can be confusing – even scary – for parents and students. Students are often in a position to make a decision that will impact the rest of their lives. What to do after graduating from high school is a decision that a young person often makes before they even know what it is they want or what will bring them fulfillment – all while being influenced by the expectations of others. It isn’t easy!

You’re likely here because you or your student are considering a skilled trade career path. That’s fantastic! We have many connections in the construction trades in York, PA, and resources that you may find helpful as you navigate this path. Please check back often or join our email list as we will publish new information and opportunities for skilled trade careers in York County, PA, regularly.

How Can Parents Help?

Talk to your student about their personal strengths. Ask them questions, like what kind of things they enjoy doing that give them satisfaction?

Participate in researching careers with them. Make sure to find information on the kind of training/education necessary, salary potential, job outlook, and day-to-day responsibilities. Discuss what opportunities there are for advancement in the field.

Recommend that your students discuss career opportunities with teachers and guidance counselors to get additional perspective.

Encourage your student to take skill assessment quizzes.

Help them make connections and speak with professionals in a variety of roles.

Help them explore internships, mentorships, apprenticeships, and job opportunities. There are many opportunities for students interested in skilled trade careers in York County, PA.

Try not to influence your student’s decisions. After all, what you truly want is for them to be happy, fulfilled, and do work they enjoy.

Join our email list for the latest information

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How YBA Workforce NOW Can Help

We have the inside scoop on local skilled trade career opportunities and training in and around York, PA, and we are always developing

Mentorship Opportunities

Apprenticeship Opportunities 


Job Shadowing

Now Hiring – Skilled Trade Careers in York County 

Detailed Information on Skilled Trade Career

Helpful Posts and Videos

Seven Myths About Skilled Trade Careers Debunked

10 Reasons Why Parents Should Advocate for Skilled Trade Careers

You Don’t Need a College Career to Be Successful. Here are 7 Careers That Prove It

Resources for Educators

As an educator, you likely see first-hand the pressure students are under to make decisions about their future. You also probably know that college is not the right or best path for everyone.

As you help students explore their strengths and learn more about themselves, we hope you’ll find our resources on skilled trade career paths useful. You will also find individual construction trade career exploration flyers, direct connections to employers offering skilled trade apprenticeships, information on YBA Workforce NOW Construction Career Days, scholarships, and more.

How Can Educators Help?

Help us educate others on the benefits of skilled trade careers by accessing and sharing our resources: Job Description Flyers, Skilled Trade Careers Fact Sheet, WFN Video Playlist, and Relevant Blog Posts

Learn about Construction Career Days and encourage students to attend

Rely on YBA Workforce NOW as a resource to build direct connections with employers in the construction trades

Share information on skilled trade career training and job opportunities in York County and surrounding areas: Jobs Available, Job Shadowing Opportunities, Mentorships, Internships, and Apprenticeships

Subscribe to our email list to stay updated

Follows us on Social Media

Local, State, and National

Additional Resources

The YBA Workforce NOW is your resource for opportunities, support, and information about the trades industry.

Local Resources

York County Alliance for Learning – YCAL

Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology

YCEA Workforce Development

YOCO Pathways To Prosperity

Employee Recruitment & Retention in a Post-Pandemic World

How to Start an Apprenticeship/Training Program

State Resources

Pennsylvania Builders Association (PBA) Endorsed Trades Program

PA Office of Apprenticeship and Training 

PSU Sokolov-Miller Family Financial & Life Skill Center

National Resources

Generation T

National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Careers in the Construction Trades

NAHB Construction Jobs

National Housing Endowment – (scholarships and grants for industry)

Tool Box Talk – Mental Health and Wellness

Workforce NOW Board MemberLaurie Lourie

York Builders Association 

Executive Vice President 

How long have you been a YBA member?  
8 years as YBA Executive Vice President 

Involvement in YBA 
As Executive Vice President, I work closely with the York Builders Association Board of Directors on the strategic direction of the association, manage our talented team of employees, develop the culture of the organization, build relationships with YBA members, the community, and other stakeholders, identify potential sources of income and oversee income generating activities. Prior to my role with YBA, I served as Executive Vice President of the Wayne County Builders Association for 22 years. 

Why did you get involved with Workforce NOW?  
With direct experience working alongside members in the construction trades for three decades, I see first-hand how the lack of skilled workers impacts the ability to meet consumer demand, ultimately affecting our communities and the economy. I also see evidence of how successful and personally rewarding a career in the skilled trades can be. I am committed to generating awareness about the benefits of working in the skilled trades and inspiring more young people to consider the construction trades as a career path. 

Workforce NOW SecretaryEd Hesson

Traditions Bank 

Business Services Partner.  Commercial lending, deposits, and other business products and services. 

How long have you been a YBA member?
16 years 

Involvement in YBA
Previously served on the Workforce Committee 

Why did you get involved with Workforce NOW?
To educate younger generations about the importance of the trades and the viability of a career in the skilled trades. 

Other Community Involvement
Finance Committee & Board Member (York Day Nursery), Finance Committee & Board Member (DreamWrights Youth & Family Theatre) 

Workforce NOW TreasurerMichael Lohss, Jr.

Regal, Inc. - Plumbing, HVAC & Home Automation 

General Manager - Running day-to-day operations, building/developing business strategy, and assisting other managers in developing and growing their team. 

How long have you been a YBA member? 
38 years 

Involvement in YBA
Vice President of the York Builders Association, Chair of Workforce NOW Committee 

Why did you get involved with Workforce NOW?
As a mechanical contractor that is directly affected by the labor shortage, I am very passionate about developing our youth. I see and feel the impact of what's happening to our trades locally, let alone in America. I chose to partner with the York Builders Association and the Workforce NOW Foundation due to their direct contact with the premier builder and associate members locally that are also directly affected by this. By working together, we can achieve an outcome to boost our local economy and help spread the message that college isn't for everyone and that a career in the trades can be just as valuable, if not more valuable, than earning a college degree. 

Workforce NOW Vice PresidentWilliam Rickard

Eastern York High School


How long have you been a YBA member?
2 years

Involvement in YBA
Workforce NOW Committee

Why did you get involved with Workforce NOW?
To help our students connect with the construction trades workforce.

Workforce NOW PresidentShonna Cardello, NTP

White Rose Settlement Services Inc.

President of White Rose Settlement Services and a founding partner when the company opened in July 1996.

How long have you been a YBA member?

22 years

Involvement in YBA

Board of Directors (Life Director), 2019 Board President, Women’s’ Council of the York County Builders Association, Marketing Committee, Workforce NOW Committee

Why did you get involved with Workforce NOW?
Working directly with the Builders and trades within the YBA has opened my eyes to the dire need for skilled tradesman.  We are all part of the same team and when one team member needs help, we all pitch in.  The idea to start a program came from necessity.   Our industry is aging and we need younger skilled tradesman.  It was a simple endeavor for me to support and become involved in the Workforce NOW initiative.  I look forward to continuing to promote this amazing Foundation!

Other Community Involvement
Shonna Stock Cardello is the President of White Rose Settlement Services and Inch Settlement Services LLC and a founding partner with the companies. She is a licensed title agent and has earned the designation of Certified Land Title Professional and in 2015 was awarded the National Title Professional designation by the American Land Title Association (ALTA).   She is a Life Director of the Pennsylvania Builders Association and a Past President of the York Builders Association.  Ms. Cardello was President during the Charter Year of the Women’s’ Council of the York County Builders Association.  Shonna currently is a TIPAC Board of Director for ALTA and is the Pennsylvania Trustee, and serves on the Title Action Network (TAN) and Government Affairs committees for ALTA. Shonna serves, and has served, on many committees for the Realtors Association of York and Adams Counties (RAYAC) and the Pennsylvania Land Title Association.

Staff LiaisonMelissa Longenberger

Melissa Longenberger leads the Foundation’s efforts to advance awareness about the skilled trades as a rewarding career path and build connections throughout the community with local organizations, educators, school administrators, employers, and more. She also oversees the Foundation’s efforts to develop resources and programs supporting the mission to empower more students and build our future workforce. In her role as staff liaison, Melissa works closely with the YBA Workforce NOW Board of Directors. 

Melissa Longenberger is currently the Vice President of Member Relations for the York Builders Association, where she’s served in a membership role since 2015. Melissa has been at the forefront of the Workforce NOW initiative, including spearheading its inception in 2018.