GENERAL PRESIDENT DOUGLAS MCCARRON:
High-Skilled Professionals Pouring Concrete? You Bet.
Accelerator for America
Dec. 5, 2018
“When I read construction industry journals and talk with contractors and owners, the buzz is all about a looming worker shortage. In fact, many jobsites already are short-staffed, but I contend that the real trouble isn’t a worker shortage—it is a skilled worker shortage.
“Real training is the answer.
“Despite the dysfunction in Washington, D.C., state and local efforts are finally gaining traction. Measure M in Los Angeles is a prominent example—and with leaders like Mayor Garcetti and others who are part of the Accelerator for America movement, states and cities can make a difference sooner rather than later.
“When done right, like in Los Angeles, the new development that often accompanies infrastructure improvement helps communities by including features like mixed-use high-rise construction and higher density near transit.
“A vastly more technology-minded construction industry also drives the need for higher skills. From layout to lathing; floor-covering to finish work, the book-knowledge, tools and what we used to call “manual-arts” skills that usher in ever-greater productivity require more sophisticated training than ever.
“Our workers need to be up to the task or they won’t get the work.
“Within the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) , we poll our members to learn what they like about being a union member. Topping the list is access to training and the safer worksites that training ensures. Without it they don’t see their craft as a career. Younger workers want to see a way to advance when they start working. Without real skills training that path forward is closed to them.”