Workforce Under Construction
Every day, the construction industry’s workforce in Alabama changes: it gets older, and it gets smaller. The average age of a construction worker is 47 years old. In fact, almost half of the workforce are people between the ages of 47 and 65. And the industry is only producing one replacement for every four workers who leave. Numerous studies have shown that, nationwide, there will be a shortage of nearly two million workers in the next few years. “In truth, we all should be concerned—these are the skilled workers who build the factories, hospitals, schools, roads and bridges in Alabama,” said Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce Greg Canfield. “Workforce shortages in the construction sector could cause serious disruptions and even slow economic progress.”
In Alabama, effort is being made to alleviate this problem. Organizations around the state have formulated plans and programs to combat the labor shortage. ABC of Alabama is working tirelessly with state and organization leaders to ensure all of the necessary tools are available to recruit and train future industry tradespeople. “There is a lot going on around Alabama to solve the workforce shortage problem,” said ABC of Alabama Vice President and Workforce Development Director Todd Walker. “Many tools are available through a variety of different entities. At ABC of Alabama, we aren’t trying to recreate the wheel when it comes to workforce development. We’re helping these entities provide the best education and tools to train workers and educate the industry on how they can take advantage of these programs to better train their workers.”
Numerous organizations are hard at work implementing programs to solve the industry’s workforce shortage. Over the next few weeks we’ll take a look at who’s involved, how to get involved and what ABC of Alabama is doing to help.