The following Letter to the Editor was authored by Brandon Mabile of Performance Contractors and Chairman of ABC Houston.
Recruiting, educating and upskilling our workforce is a cornerstone of the U.S. construction industry, and an essential component to supporting our most important asset—our people. In 2018 alone, Associated Builders and Contractors contractor members from across the country spent $1.6 billion—up from $1.1 billion in 2013—to develop their employees, which translated into more than 980,000 course attendees receiving craft, leadership and safety education to advance their careers in commercial and industrial construction.
This 45% increase in spending from 2013 shows the ever-growing commitment our industry has to creating and expanding pathways for people of all backgrounds and education levels to both join and excel in the U.S. construction industry. We pride ourselves on an earn-while-you-learn education model, which provides not just a job but a career with limitless opportunities for advancement and high earning potential. In Texas, a welder can earn an average salary of $71,067, while the national average salary is $41,380, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
ABC Greater Houston, through its training programs and workforce development outreach through its educational affiliate Construction and Maintenance Education Foundation, is working to recruit new construction industry professionals in the Houston area while giving them the tools to succeed in their field. Programs such as the Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) provides ABC members with the framework and tools to reduce recordable incidents by up to 85%, while being 680% safer than the industry average on the jobsite. Through multiple outreach events such as the Construction Girls Camp, Veterans Committee, and Construction Careers Expo, ABC and CMEF are reaching the younger generation and veterans.
With construction spending at an all-time high, and an estimated 440,000 construction jobs that need to be filled in 2019 alone to meet current demands, we’re hiring. To learn more about ABC’s workforce development initiatives, visit www.abchouston.org.