A severe labor shortage poses a threat to the booming environmental construction industry. The causes of the labor shortage can be debated, with blame placed on an education system that devalues the trades for a sometimes overpriced and undervalued college degree.
Whatever the cause, thriving construction firms cannot find enough trained workers despite burgeoning business prospects.
A recent survey of more than 1,300 contractors from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) shows that construction executives remain confident about their market prospects for 2019, although they remain concerned about finding qualified workers to execute projects.
The optimism about workloads and the worry about worker availability cut across all regions, project categories and types of contractors
The AGC’s survey shows the anxiety surrounding trained labor to be the paramount issue facing most construction firms with 78 percent of respondents saying they are having a hard time filling positions,
more than two-thirds expecting it will continue to be hard or become harder to hire personnel in the coming 12 months. Far more respondents listed worker shortages as the number-one concern for their firm than any other worry.”
Throwing bodies at the problem is not sufficient for most firms, as the demand they seek to fill is one of trained, skilled labor. The survey shows that “The most frequently mentioned challenge—listed by 43 percent ofrespondents—
The survey shows that the most frequently mentioned challenge—listed by 43 percent ofrespondents—is inexperienced skilled labor/workforce shortage.” In order to meet this problem head-on, most construction firms have made decisive, aggressive steps toward training their existing workforce and any new employees they can hire in the increasingly shrinking labor pool. In fact, “Sixty-three percent of firms report they plan to increase investments in training and development in 2019, up from 52 percent who planned to increase their training investments at the beginning of last year,” according to the survey. ”
Within the environmental construction field, experienced, trained, and qualified labor is even more paramount then general construction because of the highly specialized and highly regulated nature of the industry. Projects cannot move forward without certified, licensed employees; therefore, employers must invest in their employees and their training, otherwise their firms will cease to exist.
At CHC Training, we provide the skilled labor training that construction firms and environmental construction firms need in order to stay competitive. Research has shown that whenever employers prioritize the training of their employees in both safety and licensure, productivity and output increase as well as employee retention. We offer the means to make this a reality for the industry as a whole through our environmental asbestos, lead, and mold courses, as well as our construction safety courses ranging from OSHA’s new silica safety standard to HAZWOPER training. Don’t let the labor shortage diminish your businesses prospects of expanding and acquiring more market share. Retain your share of the labor pool through specialized training and an ongoing partnership with CHC Training.