A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

As a workforce development professional in the construction industry, I am always excited to hear about new initiatives that support the skilled trades.In 2009, Senator Wendell Mitchell and Senator Del Marsh co-sponsored Act 220 in the Alabama legislature that resulted in the creation of the Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute.  The creation of the ACRI is significant for a couple of reasons.  It is funded through a fee levied on employers based on wages paid to skilled construction workers on commercial and industrial jobs across the state, and it represents a united effort from the private and public sector.The ACRI’s Go Build Alabama campaign is a full out effort to inform and educate the citizens of Alabama about the opportunities for great careers in construction.  The campaign kicked off on Labor Day of 2010 and featured spokesperson Mike Rowe who is the creator, executive producer and host of the popular Discovery Channel series Dirty Jobs.  The Go Build Alabama website offers information on the industry outlook, profiles of the various trades, links to training and apprenticeship opportunities, and a sign up page where readers can get assistance in navigating entry into the construction industry.
Katrina Kersch's picture
March 29, 2011
I recently attended the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) 2011 Membership meeting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  CURT is closely aligned with the National Center for...
Katrina Kersch's picture
February 15, 2011
Is the Economy impacting your training and development budget?  In a recent survey conducted by Metri-Mark, Inc., 55% of training managers responded that due to the recent economic climate their companies have reduced their training budget, and 25% reported a shift in the overall focus of their company.  The good news was the 31% who reported no significant changes due to the economy.Even the most responsible of construction companies are feeling pressure to find ways to bid work below their competitors.  The temptation is there to let someone else worry about training the construction craft workforce and leave recruiting
Katrina Kersch's picture
January 18, 2011
Our company has recently begun assessing our workforce using the NCCER’s (National Center for Construction Education and Research) National Craft Assessment and Certification Program (NCACP).  For a number of years, we have had no formal method of verifying of skills and knowledge of our craft professionals.  Despite that, do we have a workforce full of skilled and knowledgeable folks?  We certainly do!So what does the assessment and certification process provide for an employer?  It provides a couple of critical things actually.  By assessing the workforce, construction employers can begin to identify what specific skills and knowledge are currently available in their workforce.  Need 50 highly skilled carpenters?  Want to know how many folks you have that know something about blueprints?  An objective assessment can provide these answers and more.  
Katrina Kersch's picture
December 03, 2010
No arguing that it’s tough to be looking for a job right now. If you are unemployed and 16 to 24 years of age, you are one of 18.6 million of your peers looking for work in your...
Katrina Kersch's picture
November 12, 2010
An article written by Nick Zieminski for Reuters on August 26, “Lack of skilled workers threatens recovery” captured my attention.  The article highlighted a research paper published by Manpower Inc., and quoted their Chairman, CEO and President Jeff Joerres as saying about the skilled trades shortage “It becomes a real choke-point in future economic growth.”Construction Citizen previously wrote about Manpower Inc., a global staffing and employment services company, and their assessment that strategic migration of workers will be part of the solution to the global skilled worker shortage.Another strategy is educating the younger generation and encouraging them to seek training for careers in construction.  
Katrina Kersch's picture
October 12, 2010
"You know what the trouble about real life is? There's no danger music." – Jim Carrey in The Cable GuyIf life were a movie, we would be hearing a soft, slightly threatening lyric...
Katrina Kersch's picture
September 20, 2010
For the past few years my company has focused on recruitment and entry level training for our field force.  We have some amazing success stories.  I’ll share some of our...
Katrina Kersch's picture
August 19, 2010
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry lost 22,000 jobs during the month of June.  Some might assume this means that recruiting an adequate workforce is no longer a burning issue, but we know that despite the current conditions, there will be a shortage of construction workers by 2018 especially in the mid-level jobs.  My company recently completed the team building exercise of describing our ideal workforce for 2015.  It turns out that we have some work to do.  We are a commercial subcontractor and live and die by the talents and efforts of our supervisors, foremen, lead men, and journeymen.  In our exercise, we described each job title and how they would demonstrate leadership in every area of focus: productivity, safety, quality, company culture, and workforce development (training and developing future talent).  
Katrina Kersch's picture
July 07, 2010