A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

What the Worker Shortage Means for Houston [VIDEO]

In the past several weeks, I have been asked by local media to comment on the labor shortage in the commercial construction industry and how it is impacting the consumer.  Most people in our industry know the obvious answers: the consumer is experiencing higher costs for a less-skilled workforce.  Currently, the pool of qualified craft workers is extremely limited in our area.

However, the opportunity side of this shortage is equally obvious.  Legislators have come to realize that college is not for everyone – particularly the high cost of higher education and the associated debts that make it harder to afford. High schools are realizing the importance of “career ready” as opposed to only “college ready”.  Owners are beginning to understand that they should be more in control of procuring the level of worker they want and need on their projects.  Contractors are beginning to realize that to build what is anticipated to be required in the next twenty years, a “sustainable workforce” is more than just words.

So what is the obvious plan?  It’s owners demanding a qualified workforce; it’s contractors working with the Career and Technology programs in local high schools (as well as with the Community Colleges) to create a much-needed pipeline; and it’s the entire Owner/AEC Community supporting the principles of the Construction Career Collaborative (C3) to bring about a sustainable workforce.

What a great opportunity for the construction industry to become known once again for its rewarding career track, and not for just the available jobs it offers.

Editor’s note:  Watch last week’s Houston ABC affiliate Channel 13 KTRK reports below:

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