A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Is “Go Build Georgia” a Model for the Nation?

Around the country, more local and state leaders are starting to understand that there has to be a proactive approach to dealing with the impending labor shortfall.  The shortage is already starting to hit some builders and other businesses in Texas, and it will only get worse if current trends hold.

In Georgia, they’ve started a program to address this called Go Build Georgia.  It includes big-time promotion from big-name talent: Mike Rowe of Mike Rowe Works and Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs”.  State and industry leaders are working together with educators to try to get kids excited about the idea of a career in the skilled trades.

Governor Nathan Deal’s office put together some statistics that are truly alarming, including:

  • For every 4 trades people who retire, only one person is replacing them.
  • America’s highly skilled industrial workers are aging, and there are not enough young people entering the industry to replace our retiring workforce.
  • 185,000 new skilled tradesmen are needed every year.

Among other things, the “Go Build Georgia” team traveled around the state to present educational tools to school counselors.  The idea is to help kids at the high school level understand that careers of integrity can be found in skilled trades.

As the Atlanta Journal Constitution editorial board recently noted:

“Georgia seems to be focusing on tactics to school a better workforce. Governor Nathan Deal’s Georgia Competitiveness Initiative’s final report rightly concludes that, ‘A supportive business climate, sound economic development strategy, and world-class infrastructure are of little value to business without a dependable pipeline of qualified workers.’

The “Go Build Georgia” program is a bold attempt to fill that pipeline with the workforce of tomorrow by raising the profile of skilled trades.  Check out the entire update report from the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, then let us know what you think in the comments section.


Administrator's picture

In this distressed economy lots of workers are not employed why would you need more? In there area I live the work has been good compared to others but not enough to support all the workers.

Jim Kollaer's picture

In a recent blog we noted that there is a current shortage in Arizona and framers and mason are being recruited from California to help out. Residential completions are being delayed because of it.

They are looking for skilled tradesmen. What part of the country do you live in?
I agree that there are parts of the country where the industry will be slow to recover. Hopefully over the next 2 years every part of the country will be back on track.
If you look at the average age of the industry at 49, then it is apparent that we will have some retirement related shortages.

We are trying to raise the image of the industry so that we can recruit and train them in advance of any long term shortage. Thanks for the comment.

-Jim Kollaer

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