A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

The Race to 1.6 Million Construction Workers by 2022

Who's responsible for erasing America's shortage of skilled workers?  That is the question posed by The Atlantic last month in a story on why our workforce suffers from unemployment and underemployment while businesses say there is a shortage of workers with the skills needed to fill thousands of jobs.

October is Careers in Construction Month, so let’s talk specifics about who will build the communities of the future.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics says we will need 1.6 million new construction workers by 2022.  Already about four in five members of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) say there is a shortage of skilled labor, and a quarter of construction workers are expected to retire in the next ten years.

That’s a big challenge, but ABC is making headway in attracting talented people to construction.  Our members invest $1.1 billion annually in training – that’s billion with a “B”!  Our chapters offer more than 800 apprenticeship, craft training, and safety training programs around the country.  Collectively our members train 476,000 construction industry professionals a year.  And we’re proud to support education initiatives like Build Your Future that attract young people to careers in construction.

We have also made strides in outreach to groups traditionally underrepresented in our industry.  For example, women now hold 21 percent of management/supervisory positions at ABC member firms.  While veterans already account for 23 percent of trade and craft professionals at ABC member companies, we are committed to helping them translate their skills and leadership into jobs, and we recently joined in a pledge by industry groups to employ 100,000 veterans in the next five years.

ABC Greater Houston Chapter and CMEF

The ABC Greater Houston Chapter recognizes that Houston cannot continue to grow without skilled workers to build it.  ABC Greater Houston is committed to growing the construction industry the right way and is devoted to shifting perceptions about careers in the construction industry to reflect the wide range of professions available.

ABC Greater Houston works tirelessly to provide members with opportunities to train, network, obtain political action involvement and a connection to skilled workers.  Our events calendar is filled with opportunities for members to expand their business and grow professionally.  From legal and marketing seminars, to OSHA 30 or 500 training, to mayoral debates and more – ABC Houston is at the helm meeting our member’s needs.

Through our NCCER accredited educational affiliate, Construction & Maintenance Education Foundation (CMEF), we’re able to service the workforce development needs of the contractor community through programs ranging from craft and safety training to management and leadership instruction.  Through the upcoming Construction Careers Expo, ABC hopes to engage and educate over 400 students about the many opportunities available to them after high school.

We not only provide opportunity to our members, we recognize and honor the skills and talents of our workers through competitions and awards like the Excellence in Construction Awards, STEP Awards, and Accredited Quality Contractor.