ABC Highlights Construction Worker Shortage During National Apprenticeship Week
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) commends the U.S. Department of Labor for declaring Nov. 13-19 National Apprenticeship Week. It’s the third consecutive year that business, labor, government, education and other partners are highlighting the tremendous job opportunities apprenticeships provide and the need for an infusion of Americans to pursue a skilled trade.
“The construction industry has a critical shortage of skilled workers,” said ABC President and CEO Michael Bellaman, who this week participated in his first meeting as an appointee of the Trump administration’s newly created Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion. “ABC is thankful for the Department of Labor’s continued efforts to emphasize the merits of apprenticeship as a potent recruiting tool for an exciting and rewarding industry that needs to develop its next generation of talent.”
According to ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator, the amount of work construction companies are contracted to do in the future stands at more than eight months. Meanwhile, ABC estimates there are roughly 500,000 unfilled construction jobs today. That shortage has real consequences, not only for contractors and the economy, but for everyday people. For instance, Hurricane Irma recovery continues to be a slow process in Florida as the high demand for builders far exceeds the supply to repair homes and commercial properties.
Like many trade groups, ABC is working hard to shore up the labor supply and believes apprenticeship and other industry-recognized training programs can bolster the construction workforce in an efficient and meaningful way. ABC member companies invest $1.1 billion annually in workforce development, training 476,000 industry professionals. And there are plenty of opportunities to pursue a career in construction through more than 800 apprenticeship, craft, safety and construction management training programs at 70 ABC chapters across the country. These programs promote learning and career development at every level of the industry. ABC is also working to heighten interest in careers in construction through competitions, awards programs and student outreach initiatives.