Developers and contractors continue to feel the pain of the severe skilled labor shortage roiling the U.S. construction industry. As contractors look to hire more workers, 71% report having a hard time filling craft positions, and 82% of firms expect that finding and hiring such workers will “continue to be hard” or “become harder” over the coming 12 months, according to an Associated General Contractors (AGC) survey.
For laborers, construction has always been a hard-scrabble business – long hours some months, followed by extended lay-offs, and frequent moves to find work. For many of them, the Great Recession was a turning point, as hundreds of thousands left for other industries or dropped out of the work force. Today, the average age of skilled construction workers is more than 50 years, and only one new person comes into the industry for ever five tradespeople who leave. That’s the definition of a crisis, folks!
As the industry looks to attract new workers with creative compensation packages and to develop the next generation of tradespeople in apprentice programs, you might be overlooking a set of skilled, dedicated workers who are ready today to accelerate your construction project.
Where are these “hidden” workers?
Look no farther than the factories building pre-fab or modular units for ready installation in buildings – such as our own SurePods plants in Florida and California. Instead of putting additional skilled tradespeople directly on your own payroll, workers in the nation’s pre-fab industry can help offset your labor woes. These are stable, permanent employees cross-trained in multiple functions. As a result, you not only get the workers you need to complete your projects on time and on budget, you also get a quality finished project.
Additionally, instead of the hassle of hiring and laying off workers as projects ramp-up and then finish, you contract with the pre-fab manufacturer, smoothing out many employment issues for you – from managing payroll, to paying unemployment insurance to handlings workers comp claims.