The release of its newest building block set, Mighty Machines, can be used to teach children about the construction trade, Click-A-Brick Co-Founders Jason Smith and Georg de Gorostiza say. This, in turn, could help get more people interested in construction work and help with the well-documented shortage of construction workers in the United States, the entrepreneurs say.
The construction industry is estimated to have lost 2 million workers when the last big recession ravaged the economy in 2008. And with parents pushing teens towards college and older workers opting to retire, it has left the construction industry dealing with slowdowns in work and rising construction costs. Although the industry employs about 6.4 million Americans, which is the highest number since 2009, 83 percent of construction firms are struggling to find skilled workers and 30 percent say they have had to turn down work because of this, according to a study done in October of 2014 by Associated General Contractors of America.
This is where the Click-A-Brick 100-piece Mighty Machines set comes into play. With it, children can create a loader, a dump truck, a digger and a backhoe, plus a helicopter and other construction-related vehicles. The set features bricks of yellow, black and red. It also has clear bricks and comes with moving axles and wheels so the built toys have moving parts and kids can play with them like they would a pre-built toy.
Playing with the Mighty Machines construction-themed building block set gives children a double dose of learning, Smith says, as they improve their cognitive development and motor skills with the set and can learn about how these machines help build the buildings they go to everyday. This may prompt them to take an interest in the construction trade that could prove beneficial to the construction industry in the long run.
“Obviously we’re not saying that Click-A-Brick is going to solve the skilled worker shortage in the construction industry overnight or even solve it at all,” Smith said. “But, people start to develop their interests early in life. If the Mighty Machines set can spark an interest in construction in boys and girls, it may stick with them into adulthood. As a new generation grows up, hopefully many of them will realize that construction is a lucrative and fulfilling career. We think Click-A-Brick can at least help get them interested in knowing how things like buildings and bridges and stuff are made. Obviously, it takes parental involvement, too. Parents can always tell their kids about the vehicles they are making with the Mighty Machines set and what those vehicles do.”
The Mighty Machines set was recently launched simultaneously with the 30-piece bird-themed Feather Friends set and both are available for purchase on Amazon and the Click-A-Brick website.