Published in Brevard Business News, April 27, 2020
by Ken Datzman
ROCKLEDGE — Workforce shortages pose a significant challenge for the construction industry, a major contributor to the U.S. economy.
And the shortages, particularly in the skilled trades, are a problem for firms of all sizes.
The construction industry is expected to see 12 percent employment growth over the next six years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That percentage could be higher if President Trump’s proposed $2 trillion infrastructure bill is passed by Congress, with money going to repair roads and bridges and going to investments made in rails, water systems, and other infrastructure projects around the nation.
The government’s infrastructure package will create an even bigger demand for construction workers around the nation.
The construction industry comprises three subsectors: specialty trade contractors, construction of buildings, and heavy and civil engineering construction. Employment in all of these subsectors is projected to grow over the decade, with more than half (485,600) of the new jobs overall expected in the specialty trade contractors’ segment, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Construction of buildings along with heavy and civil engineering construction are projected to add 170,300 and 208,800 jobs, respectively.
Locally, CareerSource Brevard is ramping up its industry relations team and has hired Grace Svitak, a business liaison whose focus is on the construction sector. She works closely with area companies within that industry.
“Grace is dedicated to serving the employers in the construction industry in Brevard County,” said Judy Blanchard, vice president of industry relations at CareerSource Brevard, which is part of the statewide network of 24 regions known as CareerSource Florida. “In the past, we had a business liaison who worked in that area, but when the recession hit, we pulled back.”
Blanchard added, “Now with the construction surge that we are seeing, not only in commercial building but also on the residential side in Brevard, it made sense to bring on a new staff member who will be responding to the workforce needs of the construction industry in the county.”
Construction employment and construction spending are expected to bounce back in the months ahead as the coronavirus is contained.
Read the rest of the article in Brevard Business News online.