Facing labor shortages and an ageing workforce, companies across the construction industry are struggling to find qualified employees. The construction industry lost about 2.3 million jobs, or 29 percent of its workforce, from 2007 through the end of 2010. Those who left during that time period are not returning and younger generations are not entering the construction workforce like they once were.
NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, together with the city of Newark, NJ, recently launched Project IMPACT. The program is designed to help Newark residents prepare for aptitude test and to develop other skills sets; with the goal of earning a position within carpentry, plumbing or construction unions. The ultimate goal is to to help combat the labor shortages in Newark while providing good paying jobs to the residents of the city.
Related: Construction Employment Numbers
Project IMPACT is similar to the Associated General Contractors of America’s Workforce Development Plan, which focuses on ways to bring more workers into the construction industry before older workers age out. O’Neal, who grew up in Newark, has backed several development projects in the city of and believes Project IMPACT will help reduce rising construction costs caused by labor shortages.
Construction in the United States is expected to add jobs at the second-fastest rate among U.S. industries, after healthcare, according to estimates published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The construction industry is expected to experience 1.2% compounded annual growth for jobs during 2014-2014.