Policy Pulse: Closing the Construction Workforce Gap

By Metro Chamber|January 22, 2020|Advocacy|

If the Capital Region has a Ready Workforce to meet the needs of our growing economy, we’ll be prepared for a new era of growth, development, and achievement that will support each of our communities. As part of the 4-Point Business Promise, we’re focusing on closing the gap between business needs and a skilled workforce.

One area where a significant gap exists is in the construction workforce. In fact, according to a 2018 report by Valley Vision and the Centers of Excellence at Los Rios Community College District, there is a “projected shortage of about 7,250 workers … annually over the next five years…including a shortfall of nearly 2,000 carpenters, 860 construction managers, 640 electricians, …520 heavy equipment operators, and 500 engineers.”

New construction and infrastructure are needed to support economic growth in the Capital Region. However, evidenced by the data above, this next wave of prosperity is in jeopardy without the construction workforce to meet current and future needs. Construction workforce gaps cause project delays and result in increased costs — often ending in delayed or abandoned projects.

With the Capital Region preparing for a boom of projects that will redefine the city’s skyline, infuse thousands of jobs into the economy, and create the units needed to alleviate the region’s housing shortage, the Metro Chamber is looking at the construction workforce gap that could hinder regional growth.

Last month, the Metro Chamber convened a working group to examine the roadblocks and policy friction points to help reduce the projected shortage of over 7,000 construction industry workers.

With city leadership including, Mayor Steinberg, the Assistant City Manager, City Council staff, and the City Planning Commission members, as well as over two dozen Metro Chamber members representing a wide array of industries — construction, housing, land developers, health care, and more,  this working group created ideas and reforms to ensure the region has a Ready Workforce as we embark on an era of growth.

As the business community’s Advocacy Champion, the Metro Chamber will continue to work with its members and civic leaders to create actionable policy solutions to support the growth of our regional economy.

Stay tuned for what’s ahead.

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