In Texas, the majority of multimillion-dollar construction firms report that they’re having trouble hiring qualified workers in a variety of trade specializations, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.
The association, which has been surveying and assessing worker shortages in the U.S. since 2013, recently surveyed over 2,000 construction firms across the United States, including 210 in Texas. Of those 210, 84% said that they had regular, ongoing difficulty finding skilled workers for hourly positions, and 60% said that they found it difficult to find people for salaried positions.
The positions that Texas firms found toughest to fill were project managers and supervisors, although the firms reported shortages in almost every trade in the survey. These included iron workers, truck drivers, plumbers, carpenters, and cement and concrete professionals.
Although many firms in Texas and around the nation are investing in technology such as 3D printers, robots, drones and virtual construction modeling methods that allow them to become more efficient in the absence of qualified workers, people are still essential to the construction industry’s success.
“If left unaddressed, construction workforce shortages could undermine broader economic growth,” said AGC chief economist Ken Simonson. The association recommends career and technical training programs to address the worker shortage.
AGC also recommended attracting a currently untapped demographic in the construction industry—women—by offering improved maternity and family leave policies and by promoting a culture of respect and collaboration.
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