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Growing workforce – growing need for education

Despite signs of a slowing economy, most U.S. construction firms expect demand for their services and hiring to expand in 2020, according to survey results released by the Associated General Contractors of America and Sage Construction and Real Estate.

“Contractors are very optimistic about demand for construction in 2020,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “At the same time, many construction executives are troubled by labor shortages and the impacts those shortages are having on operations, training and safety programs, and bottom lines.”

To help with recruitment efforts, construction companies have invested more in training programs for current and new workers, the AGC stated. Two out of five of firms said they revamped initiatives to recruit labor last year.

“Firms are adopting a variety of approaches to replace workers or allow for use of workers with less experience or training than before,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. Simonson noted that 32 percent of respondents report their firms are investing in labor-saving equipment, including drones, robots and 3-D printers, while 28 percent of respondents are using methods to reduce onsite worktime, including lean construction, building information modeling or offsite pre-fabrication.

Programs such as OSHA’s 30-hour construction course are designed to give foremen, supervisors, superintendents, competent persons, safety staff, safety committee members and others with responsibility for workplace safety, knowledge about the basic OSHA health and safety regulations affecting construction workplaces. By equipping yourself and employees with the skills and knowledge required to help avoid work-related injuries, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition.

Survey details

The Outlook was based on survey results from nearly 1,000 firms from 48 states. Contractors of every size answered more than 20 questions about their hiring, workforce, business and information technology plans. Click here for Strong Demand for Work Amid Stronger Demand for Workers: The 2020 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook Report. Click here for the survey results.

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