Reaching & Teaching Across the Aisle: A Solution to Construction Labor Shortage

“We can raise the talent bar, but you have to do something different. You can’t do what you are currently doing today.” – Lou Adler

A continuing downward trend for the construction industry has been the lack of skilled labor workers. The recession cost hundreds of thousands their jobs between 2006 and 2011. Looking for more stability, most of those workers went on to other industries, while others struggled to find work years after being laid off. If you look at the unemployment rate, many people are looking for a job, but why does the construction industry continue to struggle?

There was a time when construction industries had to worry about not having the work available to keep employees busy; now they struggle to bring in workers to fill jobs. This industry challenge tributes to the number one concern for the construction industry: not enough qualified workers. During the 50s and 60s, unskilled labor was the norm, but was down to less than 30 percent by the time the recession hit. Per the AGC of America, construction firms are pushing for more qualified workers.

“Construction firms seem particularly concerned with the quantity and quality of local construction education and training programs. Nationwide, 55 percent of businesses say the local pipeline for preparing new craft workers is below average or poor. Meanwhile, 35 percent of firms have a low opinion of the local pipeline for construction professionals.”  Continue reading

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