A research report that was published last month by the Foundation of the Wall and Ceiling Industry (FWCI) has industry leaders talking about their workforce development programs. Titled
Attracting Young People into Construction Field Positions, the report focuses on the need for employers to make their workplaces more attractive to the new generation which is now entering the job market. It resonates with one of the themes we have been reporting for the past three years, as the construction industry approaches a critical shortage of skilled workers.
Steven Etkin, Executive Vice President and CEO of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry (AWCI), said:
“As the construction industry continues its recovery, competition for new young workers with other industries – construction, agriculture, and oil and gas – is going to intensify. The quotas being discussed by Congress and the Administration in new immigration legislation will make the scramble for new workers worse. Those who pay top dollar and those that meet the unique needs of this young work force will be the most successful in recruiting. The Foundation of the Wall and Ceiling Industry’s new research report is written to help construction contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers better understand the needs of the young workforce so that they may improve their recruitment.”
The following overview excerpted from the report sums up the main conclusions of the research:
“Here are this paper’s five take-away points:
- Young people thrive on regular communication. They enjoy collaborating on teams. Mentoring programs will encourage them to stay on board with your company.
- What matters to a young person about work differs from older generations. Young people enjoy technology, and the construction industry is using more of it. Experts recommend appealing to young people’s interest in technology.
- Company culture is important. Young people want jobs that come with perks and ‘come and go as you like’ atmospheres, which are common among high-tech firms. To be appealing, construction firms need to create ‘good fit’ cultures.
- Develop new recruitment strategies. Long-term employment forecasts are positive, so industries will be competing to fill entry-level positions. Is the construction industry ready to recruit a prime crop of youth? They can be by gearing up in this area.
- The construction industry needs to target the right group of young people for field positions -- those out of high school but not in college. An older group attending two-year community college programs is an up-and-coming recruitment target; they have tried a career path or two and are ready to settle down.
The overriding conclusion is that successful construction companies need to think of themselves not so much as builders, but as talent developers.”
Visit the FWCI website to download the entire report, read other research reports, or to make a tax-deductible donation.
The Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry [IRS 501c(6)–Trade Association] and the Foundation of the Wall and Ceiling Industry [IRS 501c(3)– Educational and Charitable Association] are separate and independent not-for-profit corporations each with its own Board of Directors. AWCI is focused toward helping members operate a profitable business. The Foundation is focused toward research/education and charitable giving such as the AWCI CARES program. There is a strong and mutually beneficial relationship between the organizations in working to advance the wall and ceiling industry.