Brian T. Cresap 2016-11-22 23:00:28
Brian T. Cresap of Millie and Severson discusses the challenge of balancing California’s shortage of qualified labor with an ever-increasing demand. ENR: How are California contractors faring as firms struggle to contend with shortages in the workforce? BTC: We’re seeing a lot of growth across every sector, and there’s plenty of work for everybody. That’s great for our business, but the downside to this is that qualified labor is in steep demand. Frankly, there just isn’t enough of it out there, particularly in Southern California where [construction] activity is so strong. We are being awarded great opportunities, but sub coverage has been a challenge. Some subs are having to drop out of bids because they simply can’t find enough of the right talent to do the job. Meanwhile, developers are eager to quench the thirst for creative office, life science and e-commerce space, which are growing at record levels. ENR: What can the industry do to address this issue? BTC: The industry needs a long-term view of education and recruiting to fill this gap. There are already many trade groups that are getting the word out to young people about the benefits of working in the construction industry. For example, the ACE Mentor Program exposes teens and young adults to all aspects of the building industry, from engineering and architecture to construction management and trades. And we are partnering with Youth Build on two of our projects to prepare the next generation of skilled workers. As these young people become aware of its value and impact, we hope to see an equal influx of new talent into construction, as is currently happening with STEM careers
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