Crafting Careers and the Future of Construction
In 2009, a group of owners and contractors (both general and specialty) met to discuss the commercial construction workforce in the greater Houston area, and realized that there was a growing need for craftsmen. Over the years, the workforce has aged, shifted into one that is increasingly misclassified or illegal, and diminished in hourly workers. The group decided that owners and contractors needed to team up to revitalize the workforce.
- Average craft worker is 47 years old
- Average entry age into the industry is 29 years old
- Craft training is at an all-time low
- Every dollar invested in employee training in the construction industry provides a return of $54
The result of this initial meeting was the Construction Career Collaborative (C3). This alliance of socially responsible owners, contractors and specialty contractors strives to develop a professional craft workforce by enforcing three principles: hourly and overtime payment standards, safety training and craft training in hopes of attracting new talent.
Earlier this year, the Texas Legislature acknowledged the same worker shortage that C3 did, when they sought to overhaul the standardized testing and high school graduation system with House Bill 5. The bill creates different tracks for graduation, enabling students who may not necessarily be the right fit for a four-year college to still graduate from high school and look into other higher education options, such as trade school. House Bill 5 thus creates opportunities for the construction industry to advocate trade schools as a great alternative and recruit younger talent.
Pieper, too, recognizes the growing need for trained and professional craftsmen, especially if Houston, which was recently named “America’s next great global city” by Forbes, is to continue expanding and earn this title. As part of our efforts, Pieper serves as the American Subcontractors Association’s liaison to C3, and stays up-to-date on what’s happening in the industry. We invite you to join the discussion.