The global pandemic has all but transformed most industries in some shape or form. The construction industry, which suffers already in finding skilled labor, has been significantly challenged. According to a 2020 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook report by the Associated General Contractors of America, 81 percent of construction businesses have difficulty finding qualified, skilled labor to fill open positions.
The report examines contractors’ optimism about their ability to find work—the building is plentiful—but stress about finding qualified workers dampens the positive outlook. Top concerns centered around workforce issues include lack of available workers or untrained or unqualified workers.
Shortages in the workforce have cascading negative effects. When companies are unable to find workers, schedules can change, and deadlines can be unmet. Competition for new work is often lost without labor to bid, secure properly, and fulfill new projects. Plus, the bottom line can take a hit. Companies feel the financial strain from increased wages to support the current workforce and its inability to source new jobs because of a lack of workers.
While many companies are taking matters into their own hands with training programs, reduced applicant requirements, and unique staffing solutions like a contingent workforce, the report also points to systemic changes. With many Baby Boomers exiting construction jobs and no one waiting to take their place, the report asserts that the government should consider funding for career and technical schools to draw interest and training during impressionable years.
Further, the report also encourages that the administration review guidelines for evaluating high schools and appropriately recognize them for their role in placing students into careers like construction versus higher education institutions.
America’s economic backbone is built on a thriving construction industry—one that provides countless opportunities to so many workers. Investment in youth programs, on-site training, and working together with the administration to influence and encourage a career in the trades are all positive steps to help narrow the talent gap adversely affecting so many.
If you are experiencing your own talent gaps within the construction industry, considering alternative solutions that aim to reduce workforce stress, decrease financial strain, and improve your workforce environment, could help your business operate at peak performance. Working with a reputable staffing company is one way to solve these complex business problems.
If you are interested in learning more about what NSC is doing to help fill the skilled labor gap, we would love to discuss your needs and share some best practices that our construction clients are using to help them reach their business goals.