A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Industry Leaders Come Together to Address Workforce Development

On Friday, May 6, 2016, at Brady’s Landing, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Greater Houston and Construction & Maintenance Education Foundation (CMEF) hosted a Membership Breakfast with a theme centering around Workforce Development.  Approximately 200 members, educators and supporters listened to a panel of industry leaders speak about workforce training issues affecting the construction industry.

“Our members are committed to working together to develop solutions to solve the skilled labor shortage the industry is facing,” said Russell Hamley, President of the ABC Greater Houston Chapter.  “The panelists bring perspectives from not only the construction industry, but other owner communities.”

Panelists included:

Todd Monette, LyondellBassell

Barry Klein, Shell

Spencer Moore, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Michael Richter, Construction & Maintenance Education Foundation

Moderated by ABC Greater Houston Chairman and Marek Division President, Mike Holland, the panelists were asked a series of questions to spark conversation and shed light on possible solutions.

The panelists touched on:

  • Associations and industry groups uniting to solve issues instead of having each group working independently;
  • Developing a single workforce development message from the entire industry;
  • Establishing an appropriate employee pipeline for when experienced workers leave the workforce;
  • Continuing to work with community colleges, ISDs, technical schools, and even middle schools to train and inform the next generation of workers;
  • The importance of increasing funding for training to meet the career demand the industry is pushing out; and
  • The importance of the owners’ willingness to lead the way with workforce development and training where they can.

In the effort to close the skilled-workforce shortage gap and build the construction industry workforce, ABC provides yearly scholarships to budding construction professionals in college.  Twenty-eight applications were submitted representing five schools (Texas A&M University, The University of Houston, Sam Houston State University, Prairie View A&M, Lamar University), with $20,000 of funds to disperse.  Seven students were selected to receive scholarships with four recipients from A&M and three from the University of Houston.

During the program, ABC announced this year’s ABC Scholarship recipients: Curtis Lucas, Amanda Rhinehart, Austin Luchak, Jacquelne Dunnaven, Sergio Valdez, Brandon Piganell, and Matthew Moorhead.

To learn more about ABC and CMEF workforce development and training initiatives, visit their website or call 713-523-6222.