— Problems Facing the Construction Workforce —
— A Brief History of Construction Trades — Construction work has been the responsibility of people of various backgrounds for centuries. In the 19th century, the German-Speaking Framer’s Union in New York was at the forefront of growing communities, along with a growing Irish and Italian immigrant population at the turn of the 20th century. Historically, the immigrant construction workforce was willing to work for much a much lower wage than US-born workers, causing some people to think of them as second-class citizens. Could this be the root of the “dumb brute” stereotype that Sim noted in his article? Construction workers have played a critical role in building the foundation for America and other countries alike. Their skills have been some of the most invaluable in building civilizations and driving economies across the globe. But still, problems facing the workforce persist.
1. TECHNOLOGY IS ADVANCING FASTER THAN THE INDUSTRY
“Among all civilian jobs in 2016 requiring different strength levels, 45.5% of construction and extraction occupations required heavy physical strength at work” — BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
Lunch atop a Skyscraper (New York Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam), 1932
THE EUROPEAN WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING AWARDS >> MAY 2019
As time goes by, technology is advancing faster than the industry can keep up. This means that while workers are busy building...new hardware, software, and processes like BIM (Building Information Modeling) are being created to make jobs faster and more efficient. 2. LACK OF INTEREST IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY In the heat of increased demand for buildings, construction firms are missing out on educating students and encouraging interest from potential workers. Architecture and design are increasingly more appealing than construction to aspiring industry professionals, but even then, hiring a qualified detailer or design professional remains a huge challenge.
2019 WICE awards and summit summary.