Research + Tech

New app recruits young people to construction

The Construction Careers Foundation has created a new app to encourage young people from middle school through their early 20s to consider careers in Minnesota’s construction industry, according to

Based in St. Paul, Minn., the Construction Careers Foundation is dedicated to providing construction career exploration opportunities for Minnesota youth. According to Sarah Lechowich, senior director of the Construction Careers Foundation, the Construction Trades app seeks to engage young people based on how they already receive and share information. For example, many young people prefer notifications as a means of receiving information.

The app is intended to bolster efforts from the Construction Careers Foundation’s Construction Career Pathways website to attract and connect potential construction workers with skilled apprenticeship programs in Minnesota. Once a student or potential worker has filled out his or her preferences and information, the app can ping him or her to bring a local apprenticeship opening to his or her attention.

“That’s the whole reason the app was designed—to meet youth where youth are,” Lechowich says.

The Construction Careers Foundation also is working with every public school in the state of Minnesota and several private schools to advance the initiative. Teachers point students who show interest or proclivity toward a construction career to the app. The technology is an addition to efforts from the foundation at career fairs and job days. The foundation also sends apprentices to schools to give students hands-on experiences.

The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed in-person demonstrations and chances to connect directly with students through classrooms, but the Construction Careers Foundation plans to push for more app downloads in the fall. The next phase of the app also is in development and will include direct messaging capabilities between tradespeople and recruits.

The Construction Trades app is available through the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Cybersecurity spending will fall in 2020 but recover

A recent GlobalData report has revealed cybersecurity spending will decrease in 2020 as a result of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the industry will recover to be worth nearly $238 billion by 2030.

In the report, Cybersecurity—Thematic Research, GlobalData predicts the cybersecurity industry will experience a compound annual growth rate of 6% between 2019 and 2030. The report also reveals many organizations are plagued by cyberattacks that are advanced, persistent and capable of wrecking a business’s operations and reputation.

To counter modern cyberattacks, most organizations are relying on artificial intelligence to improve threat intelligence, prediction and protection. However, the report warns future AI-driven cyberattacks are likely.

“Cybersecurity is an unrelenting battle,” says David Bicknell, principal analyst, thematic research, for GlobalData. “Companies manage an array of assets, including infrastructure, applications, managed and unmanaged endpoints, mobile devices and cloud services, all of which can be attacked. The types of attacks include phishing, the most popular, and ransomware, which is becoming the most lucrative. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted why cyber-naïve remote workers have needed security awareness training to thwart hacker attacks.”



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