Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is celebrating Careers in Construction Month this October by recognizing the investment its members and chapters make each year to attract and train the construction workers of the future. ABC member firms spend $1.1 billion on workforce development and train approximately 476,000 construction industry professionals annually.
“The construction industry continues to offer excellent career opportunities for millions of Americans, and we are very proud of the investment our members make in developing the workforce of the future,” said ABC Vice President of Environment, Health, Safety and Workforce Development Greg Sizemore. “Our industry has a well-documented shortage of skilled workers despite well-paying jobs, rising wages and entrepreneurial opportunity, and that’s a message our chapters, members and training partners are delivering to high schoolers, college students, adults whose jobs were lost to the recession and anyone else looking to make a smart career move.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that we will need 1.6 million new construction workers by 2022 due to growth in the industry combined with an aging workforce. Already more than four in five ABC members say they are facing a shortage of skilled labor.
“Construction is among the few industries someone can enter as an apprentice, get paid to learn career skills on the job, and then work their way up to owning their own business,” said Sizemore. “In fact, the opportunity to continue to grow within the industry was one of the biggest reasons a survey conducted earlier this year found construction professionals were happier than employees in any other industry. Careers in Construction Month is a great time to tell this story and highlight our members’ impressive investment in training.”
ABC is working to address the worker shortage through more than 800 apprenticeship, craft training and safety training programs set up by its chapters around the country. The Trimmer Construction Education Foundation, ABC’s nonprofit charitable organization, provides funding for the direct support of training programs and the expansion of training facilities around the country.
The association has also signed on to an industry pledge to hire 100,000 veterans—who already comprise 23 percent of the trade/craft workers employed by ABC members—in the construction workforce over the next five years, and it promotes the value of diversity and inclusion in the construction and subcontractor/supplier workforce. Additionally, ABC administers numerous competitions, awards programs and student outreach initiatives to promote life-long learning and recognize achievement at every level.
People interested in learning more about craft professions and construction management can visit buildyourfuture.org, an industry-supported website devoted to making career and technical education a priority in secondary schools; shifting perceptions about careers in the construction industry to reflect the wide range of professions available and providing a path from ambition to training to job placement in the construction industry.