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Skilled Construction Workforce Shortage

It's time to coordinate industry workforce solutions. Join COAA in an effort to help resolve the workforce shortage crisis.

On Thursday, July 18, 2019, the COAA Board of Directors formally endorsed “Restoring the Dignity of Work: Transforming the U.S. Workforce Development System into a World Leader" as follows:

The Construction Owners Association of America recognizes the critical shortage of skilled labor in our industry; applauds the effort of NCCER and CII; and endorses most of the conclusions of the report, “Restoring the Dignity of Work: Transforming the U.S. Workforce Development System into a World Leader.” While COAA encourages its members and other Owners to review, evaluate, and consider adopting the policies and recommendations in the Report, COAA does not specifically endorse any particular product, system, or service mentioned in the Report.

Download the report

The construction industry is facing a serious problem - a shortage of skilled workers. Some of the reasons cited include an aging workforce, downsizing due to the economy, and an industry image that does not promote a safe and healthy work environment or transition opportunities for folks as they mature in their career.

"Whatever the reasons, the shortage must be solved."

Mike Kenig, Holder Construction

As the market continues to improve and construction in all or most segments increases, the pool of talent that performs the actual construction, renovation, and repair work dwindles both in quantity and quality, particularly in trades that demand years of training and hands-on experience. Without improved recruiting, training, and retention, we almost certainly face a decrease in quality of work, increased costs, increased safety issues, and other concerns.

COAA is taking a stand to help educate Owners, associates, and other industry partners about the workforce deficit issue and encourages Owners to begin taking steps to remedy the problem.

Strategic Initiatives Underway
  • Develop a national strategy on workforce issues.
  • Make connections on a local level to implement solutions.
  • Increase awareness of local training and apprenticeship programs.
  • Recognize Owners who are taking steps to improve or at least call attention to the problem.

Watch the Workforce Shortage webinar (on demand) to learn more about why Owners should care and what you can do to create meaningful solutions. And, watch for more content on the workforce shortage issue at future COAA conferences and chapter workshops.

If you’re a COAA member and interested in discussing this issue, sharing ideas, and learning from peers, join the Workforce group discussion in Microsoft TEAMS by contacting Jill McKenzie.