Skylines across the U.S. are growing rapidly as the construction industry experiences a boom in commercial and residential projects. But even with this growth following the Great Recession, the industry is facing a major problem that could cause havoc in production work schedules.
According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), there is a lack of available hourly craft and salaried professionals. During the summer of 2015, AGC conducted a national survey of 1,358 construction companies that revealed 86 percent of construction firms are having trouble filling available positions. To meet current and future workforce needs, the roofing industry is looking for ways to recruit more talent. One way my company, Advanced Roofing Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is accomplishing this is through the creation of an apprenticeship program in Florida.
The labor shortage
There are various reasons for the current labor shortage. Many workers left the roofing industry during the Great Recession, and the current workforce is aging. In Florida, many field roofing workers are in their 40s and 50s. As the baby boomer generation starts to retire, the industry is beginning to experience an even greater shortage of skilled workers. According to the AGC survey, poaching talent from a shrinking pool of skilled workers is another concern—36 percent of respondents have lost talent to other companies.