Florida Roofing - October 2021

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FRSA LEGAL COUNSEL Cotney Attorneys & Consultants

The Infrastructure Bill Will Create Jobs — But Who Will Fill Them? Trent Cotney, CEO, Cotney Attorneys & Consultants For many months, Americans have been hearing about the infrastructure bill. There have been questions about what would be included and what would not. Politicians argued about whether all the projects were actually related to infrastructure. And everyone wanted to know how the country would pay for everything. The infrastructure plan has lofty goals of rebuilding the United States and preparing this nation for our future. Everyone agrees that our roads, bridges and government buildings are in need of attention and there seems to be little time to waste in completing the necessary work. According to data from S&P Global, the infrastructure plan could result in more than 880,000 jobs within the next ten years. On the surface, that seems like terrific news. But when you talk to contractors, there is another question: Where will we get the workers?

Labor Shortage

The infrastructure projects promise thousands and thousands of middle-class jobs, many in engineering and construction. Further, President Biden has indicated that a large number of opportunities will be union jobs and college degrees will not be required. However, according to U.S. Chamber of Commerce data from second quarter 2021, 88 percent of contractors said they could not fill the job openings they already have.

And of those, 35 percent stated they had turned down jobs because of the labor shortage. Although some employees lost their jobs during the pandemic and others chose to leave their positions for new careers, construction may not be attracting workers who are available. Even if there is interest, many of these roles require training and licensing. Unfortunately, funding for expanding apprenticeships and training programs was not included in the bipartisan legislation. So, what options do contractors have?

Recruiting Strategies

If you are facing labor shortages, you may be tempted to scale back and if you are also experiencing material delays, you may have no choice but to reduce the number of projects you commit to. However, if you are willing to keep taking on new work, you may need to explore new strategies for growing your workforce. One key option is looking in-house. Are members

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