Apprenticeships play a vital role in supplying the construction industry with its skilled workforce. Unfortunately, at their current enrollment and completion levels, registered apprenticeships alone aren’t enough to meet the current and projected demands for the industry over the next decade. To be fair, apprenticeships have never been the sole provider of labor to the construction workforce but they are a key piece of the puzzle. The potential for apprentice programs to play a larger role in training and preparing the next generation of skilled labor is high, but changes are needed. Dealing with construction labor shortages has been a growing issue over the past few years and establishing a stronger network of apprentice programs can go a long way in resolving those issues.
The construction industry is in the midst of a growing labor shortage. Just this month I’ve run across a half dozen local news reports of construction worker shortages across the country. Construction firms in Phoenix, AZ; Bradenton and Sarasota, FL; Long Island, NY and the Lowcountry of South Carolina, which includes Charleston, are having difficulties finding enough skilled workers to meet demand. These aren’t isolated events. Every month you’re bound to find new reports of areas feeling the pinch.
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Networking is all about making new connections and building longstanding relationships. In the commercial construction industry being able to effectively network is a vital skill that as an individual could land you your next job or put your company on the path to your next big project. While networking is something that you should always be doing it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It’s as simple as meeting new people and forming an initial bond with that person that can be nurtured into a relationship. We’ve put together some simple and easy networking tips and tricks to help you further expand your network of contacts.
Worker misclassification is a serious problem in the construction industry that often goes unchecked and unpunished. Penalties for misclassifying employees as independent contractors can be severe, but unfortunately, the risk of getting caught has historically been minimal. They payoff for unscrupulous business owners who purposely misclassify workers can be enormous. It’s a classic risk vs. reward scenario where, for the most part, the rewards for purposely misclassifying workers as independent contractors far outweighed the risks of getting caught.
Is your construction company still not using Building Information Modeling (BIM)? If your firm hasn’t adopted BIM yet I’m sure there’s a valid reason. Perhaps you think it’s too expensive or you don’t have the resources to implement adoption. Maybe your estimators love spending countless hours doing manual takeoffs from plans and specs when preparing bids. It could be you enjoy doing costly rework that eats away at your profits.
Jobsite thefts of tools, equipment and materials continues to be an issue plaguing the construction industry. Unattended construction sites are easy targets for thieves, especially those lacking adequate security measures. Heavy equipment, power and hand tools and materials such as copper are the most targeted items. According to the National Equipment Register (NER), heavy equipment theft has been on the rise the past couple of years with 11,625 thefts being reported to law enforcement in 2014.
Is your construction firm planning to increase headcount in 2016? That could prove to be a difficult task. According to a recent survey by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), 71 percent of firms indicated they plan to increase headcount this year. Unfortunately, 70 percent of firms reported having a hard time finding qualified workers and 52 percent stated worries over worker shortages was their biggest concern for their business.