Workforce shortages are weighing heavily on the minds of construction owners as they prepare for rapid expansions in infrastructure, petrochemical and energy projects in many parts of the country. To address these issues, the Construction User’s Roundtable held a Skilled Workforce Summit last week in conjunction with their Fall Meeting in Naples, Florida.
One of the event’s panels featured a deep dive into how industry associations are leveraging their resources to address the workforce shortage. Doug Curtis, vice president of Chapter Services from Associated Builders and Contractors, participated as one of the panelists and highlighted the association’s commitment to workforce development — specifically, the current programs being delivered through chapters and training affiliates. In addition, the association is currently planning significant expansions of their Trimmer Construction Education Foundation and the National Craft Championships.
Mr. Curtis also identified the areas where ABC will focus its workforce development efforts to address the looming crisis. They include capacity and pipeline expansion, increasing the association’s funding of new and innovative programs, industry image enhancement, workforce development public policy and sharing best practices with industry partners.
Another of the panelists that focused on industry associations was Mike Bennett, a human resources executive at CIANBRO and the chairman of ABC’s Workforce Policy Committee. Mr. Bennett’s remarks during the session focused on a number of the innovative programs that the association’s chapters and member companies have put into place to start chipping away at the pending skilled worker shortage. Many of the programs he shared have been covered by WF_C in detail, such as Louisiana’s Course Choice Program, ABC of San Diego’s Apprenticeship Collaboration with the US Navy, and the ABC Greater Michigan Chapter’s innovative partnership with area community organizations to teach the trades.
Also participating in the panel were Steve Sandherr of the Associated General Contractors and Kevin Hilton of IMPACT.