A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

The C3 Owner's Dilemma

“It’s a ‘which comes first: the chicken or the egg’ issue.”  That is how Pete Dawson, Senior Vice President of Facilities Services for Texas Children’s Hospital, expressed his thoughts as an owner working to advance the principles of the Construction Career Collaborative (C3).

The dilemma for the owner, according to Mr. Dawson, is accepting the need to pay more now for a skilled workforce that will only be available in the future.  However, most agree that the young men and women who decide to forego college are not likely to choose an industry that might have a job for them, but not a career.

Mr. Dawson said he certainly understands the owner’s concern about higher costs with minimal short-term results.  But he added, “I tell them to think about the cost to your project five to ten years from now due to the low productivity and missed schedules of an untrained workforce.  I think we as owners need to get engaged now.”

As Jim Kollaer pointed out in a Construction Citizen post back in 2010: “Without the owner there is no construction.  The owner has the ultimate responsibility for the built environment whether in the public or the private sector.”

Mr. Dawson made his comments as part of a panel discussing the future workforce at the Construction Owners Association of America (COAA) -Texas Spring Conference in Austin.  For more information on C3, visit the Construction Career Collaborative website.


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