Moving the Needle: Professional Development, Construction and the Bottom Line
According to a recent FMI study, the construction industry will be short 1.5 million workers by 2014. This statistic is staggering and must be addressed now by workforce development professionals if we are to prepare our current and future workforce for the challenges that lie ahead in a recovering and highly competitive construction market.
In the latest issue of The Cornerstone, NCCER’s bi-annual publication, we discuss the sizeable impact recruiting will have on the future of the construction industry. Acutely aware of its declining numbers, major players in the construction sector are targeting untapped workforces and developing robust recruiting programs. These programs promote the development of young students seeking a career in the construction market and allow students to gain exposure to craft-specific skills and career opportunities.
NCCER and the Construction Workforce Development Center are working together to head the Choose Construction Initiative (CCI), which focuses on recruitment, training, retention and image-enhancement within the construction industry. CCI will take a well-rounded approach to careers in construction, by leading new potential candidates to opportunities in advanced education, training and job-placement opportunities. We believe this multifaceted strategy will help recruits invest in long-lasting careers in construction.
Even in a down economy, employers should be readying their workforce for the upturn with heavy recruitment and training practices. With the aging workforce, and no room in the budget for safety concerns, attracting young new entrants and training employees is a must for any successful contractor. In the end, investing in the skills and certifications of your employees will provide your company with an excellent ROI through increased employee loyalty, motivation, safety and a more competitive stance for your company in the market.
Construction is one example of how important professional development can be, to safety, to revitalizing the workforce and to a company’s bottom line.
About Donald E. (“Don”) Whyte
Don is the President of the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and has been involved in the development of NCCER for nearly 20 years. Prior to taking the reins of NCCER, Don served for six years as Vice President directing all training operations and program development. During his tenure, he assisted NCCER in achieving extraordinary growth and distinction as one of the premier workforce development organizations in the construction and maintenance industry.
Don’s background includes experience as a vocational educator, corporate management trainer and operations manager in structural steel fabrication, erection and maintenance.
Don holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Virginia Tech University.