The US construction industry lost more than 2 million jobs during and after the housing collapse of 2008. Now builders say, according to the AGC’s national construction survey, they can’t find enough carpenters, electricians and other craftsmen for a growing pipeline of work.
The shortage of workers can also be partially attributed to the disappearing technical education programs. Students were not encouraged to pursue craft trades. Programs were underfunded or unavailable. Fewer students meant fewer future construction workers. The downward trend in education is slowly reversing itself, but general contractors and project owners are still scrambling to find the craftsmen they need.
The prediction for coming years is that the demand for these trades will grow as the economy becomes more confident.
A simple solution for the strapped general contractor or project owner: Do more with less.
Maximize the efficiency of the workers that you have by equipping them with the proper technology. Doing so will allow you to increase the amount of work (and resulting revenue) without adding on additional workers.
Moving your projects into the cloud can improve collaboration and reduce the amount of time it takes to manage construction documents like RFIs, Submittals, Change Orders and Pay Apps by 75%. Which means each project manager can handle more work.
Using mobile apps can dramatically reduce delays (and cost overruns) by allowing for real time collaboration and communication on critical field issues.
Justin Nolan is the Director of BuildingBlok Solutions at The Blue Book Network. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2004 with a degree in History. After a few years in finance he moved over to Hill International as an assistant project manager. In 2007, he founded BuildingBlok, an online construction management software system, to help make the construction process more efficient.