A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Singing the C3 Anthem

Sometimes, I feel like a broken record when I talk about the workforce. There aren’t enough people for the projects; they need to be better prepared to increase quality and productivity, and don’t forget to keep them safe. It is an anthem I’ve been singing for seven years now at Construction Career Collaborative (C3). Sometimes, I force people to listen, but sometimes, like this year, people ask me to sing it.

We are about to embark on a tour that includes three conferences in two weeks. Starting here in Houston with DBIA’s annual conference, C3 was asked to lead a discussion on the impact the workforce has on owners. Taking a blended approach, I am including some of my speaker’s bureau to help me navigate the issue from owner, contractor, and association points of view. I find this one to be very invigorating because our sphere of influence up to this point has not knowingly included the Design-Build community. This indicates to me that the anthem must be gaining popularity, and more people are anxious to learn the tune.

Our second engagement is with Leap TA Construction in Chicago. This national event is leveraging our skills in outreach to the upcoming generations to help round out their Talent Acquisition Pre-Conference Workshop Day. That means attendees are paying an even higher fee to hear the C3 song. As soon as we finish in Chicago, we hop on a plane to Florida to be the guest of CURT (Construction Users Round Table) at a meeting on the value of external mentorship. CURT recently awarded C3 a workforce development award for the Craft Training Endorsement program, and we are grateful that our audience with them includes some additional significant influencers. It is incredibly important that we continue to share our safe, skilled, and sustainable refrain with anyone who is willing to listen.

Finally, we swing back to Houston for COAA’s (Construction Owner’s Association of America) spring symposium, where we will discuss how vital paying attention to the metrics on their projects is for owners, especially those metrics aligned with the workforce. Again, the speaker’s bureau will arrive like the Marine Corps band to accompany me throughout this performance. That speaker’s bureau is getting a workout this spring, and I think it would be great if you wanted to give them more opportunities to share with your other organizations and associations.

Do you have recommendations of places where the C3 message needs to permeate? Want us to share with your Houston, regional, or national office? Need a guest speaker to fill out a conference you are helping to plan? We are willing to do them all. Why would I want to speak all the time about the same thing? That’s simple because, in the end, what we invest in our workforce in 2024 will be reflected in the workforce of 2034 and 2044. Our economy is slow, and historically, that has led to cutting things that directly impact the workforce. However, we have seen what that did in Houston commercial construction in the past, resulting in our mission of today; we have a chance to sing a different tune, invest a different way, and move the future to a better place. Now is the time for the raising and waving of the workforce flag lest we drop the ball and repeat history.