Constructor - January/February 2015 - (Page 20)

WORKING for a LIVING For decades, the industry's image suffered as college became the go-to goal for career success. Now, as the products of the information age struggle to find work, construction firms battle to find qualified labor. The tipping point, many believe, has finally arrived. by aMy DreW THOMPSOn "it's ALmost too much good news," says Ken Simonson, chief economist for AGC of America. He's talking about the latest number from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Construction employment is up 3.9 percent from a year ago; 231,000 more workers." Indeed the number of unemployed construction workers actively looking for work has shrunk to the lowest level in eight years. The national unemployment rate continues to fall, as well; down to 5.8 percent at the time of this writing. "And what that says to me is the industry is going to have more and more trouble finding workers," says Simonson. Indeed, the latest stats from AGC's national survey indicate some 83 percent of firms are reporting difficulties in finding qualified employees 20 constructor | Jan u ary/ Febru ary 2015 - particularly in the craft trades. It's a nationwide issue, affecting chapters from coast to coast. What caused it? Most agree it's an amalgam, a potent tea that began with the steady stripping of technical education programs from public schools and steeped in the way our society - parents and educators - perceived how career paths are best determined.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Constructor - January/February 2015

Construction Industry to Get Wet With New Definition of ‘Waters of the U.S.’
Working for a Living
Moving in the Right Direction
Legalization of Marijuana: Feeling the Effects in a Zero-Tolerance Industry
Where You Need to Be
Sunken Ships: Environmental Cleanup Project Saves Port From Drowning
The Digitized Highway
Missouri Contractors Associations Merge to Build a Better Future
A New Year and a Great Time to Decide: Top-Line Growth Versus Intelligent Growth

Constructor - January/February 2015