A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Mobilization 2 Completion

I created the Mobilization 2 Completion initiative as a means to address the growing need for a sustainable skilled construction workforce.  Research has shown that the construction industry will face workforce shortages which will increase cost of delivery and time to completion.  In addition, the negative image of the construction industry needs to be studied and strategies formulated to increase the number of students enrolled in construction education.

Currently the Mobilization 2 Completion initiative has been working on three areas of research made possible through a grant awarded by Marek Brothers Systems.  The grant is dedicated to increasing recruitment and retention of potential workforce through construction education and awareness.  The three areas of research are focused on

  1. High School Juniors’ perceptions of a construction career
  2. Factors of recruitment and retention of Skilled Trades construction education students
  3. Asset-based mentoring program approach for construction education students.

This blog will describe the research model that the Mobilization 2 Completion initiative is using to base the methodologies developed for transformative capacity building for the construction industry.

The initiative name, Mobilization 2 Completion, was created from construction terms that reflect the focus of the research.  Mobilization is defined as the activation of manpower and resources.  Completion is defined as the end of the project.  The number 2 represents direction from beginning to end.

The research model at its most creative is conceptualized in the form of an ever evolving flower and is inclusive of those research domains in the most current literature.  The four domains are: Family Unit Cultural Impact, Career Path Perceptions, Educational Attainment, and Career Advancement.  Also there are four action verbs used to link the domains: Guidance, Recruitment, Core Competencies, and Career Development.

The Family Unit Cultural Impact domain includes areas of research focused on those issues that impact the decision making from the family unit.  These focus areas include but are not limited to

  • cultural identity,
  • decision making,
  • values/morals,
  • needs assessments, and
  • demographics.

The Career Path Perceptions domain includes areas of research focused on career path decision making from both students and schools.  The focus areas include but are not limited to

  • career choice,
  • counselor impact,
  • mentoring,
  • outreach, and
  • college readiness.

Both Family Unit Cultural Impact and Career Path Perceptions act as the Guidance for the future construction workforce.  The Guidance becomes integral in the supply of those students that will serve to meet the industry workforce needs.  This workforce will shrink because of those leaving the workforce as they age, while the demand for this workforce will increase with the growth of work needed to sustain a growing population.

The Educational Attainment domain includes areas of research focused on preparing the students for a career in the construction industry.  The focus areas include but are not limited to

  • capture and retention,
  • campus climate,
  • mentoring,
  • pedagogy, and
  • a path to graduation.

Both Career Path Perceptions and Educational Attainment act as the Recruitment for the future construction workforce.  The Recruitment becomes the strategies to increase the construction education student population.

The Career Advancement domain includes areas of research focused on climbing the career ladder as they transition into a career.  The focus areas include but are not limited to

  • job readiness,
  • diversity,
  • mentoring,
  • safety,
  • entrepreneurship, and
  • workforce development.

Both Educational Attainment and Career Advancement act as the Core Competencies for the potential workforce.  Core Competencies are those skills both hard and soft needed to succeed in a construction career.

Both Career Advancement and Family Unit Cultural Impact act as the Professional Development for both the workforce and the impact their career has on the family unit.

Each study completed within these domains acts as a new petal within the conceptual research model flower.  The domains are exclusive, but the research and cross pollination between those domains are unlimited.

The Mobilization 2 Completion research model was developed to create those methodologies/strategies for transformative capacity building for the construction industry.  Future blogs will post the current research studies this initiative is working on.  If you have any questions or comments please contact me at eescamilla@arch.tamu.edu.

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