Source: Associated Builders and Contractors, Washington, D.C.
Associated Builders and Contractors members invested $1.6 billion to provide more than 1.3 million course attendees with craft, leadership and safety education in 2021, according to the group’s 2022 Workforce Development Survey, up from $1.3 billion in 2020. The annual assessment quantifies the scope of ABC member workforce development initiatives to advance employee careers in commercial and industrial construction.
Safety education accounted for the greatest share, or 56 percent, of total workforce investment, while craft education outlays increased significantly to 34 percent of the 2021 total, up from 22 percent the prior year as contractors addressed the need for an estimated 650,000 additional construction workers approaching 2022. General and construction management contractors boosted their share of the total workforce development investment to 65 percent in 2021 from 58 percent in 2020.
Leading construction industry management consultant FMI conducted the 2022 Workforce Development Survey earlier this year. Aggregated data was derived by calculating the average amount each respondent spent on education and multiplying that by the total number of ABC contractor members.
“ABC member contractors are building the people who build America by investing billions to cultivate their long-term skill sets, creating a brighter future for their workers and their families,” says Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment and Workforce Development Greg Sizemore. “Members are investing in flexible, competency-based and market-driven education methodologies to build a construction workforce that is safe, skilled and productive. Continually upskilling our people, our most valuable asset, means the merit shop construction industry is ready to realize the economic gains of the $1.2 trillion 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.” Every $1 billion in extra construction spending generates an average of at least 3,900 new jobs, he adds.
Among key 2022 Workforce Development Survey takeaways:
- ABC member contractors invested an average of 7.4 percent of payroll on workforce education, or $112,412;
- Women in management/supervisory roles ticked up to 19 percent in 2021 from 17 percent in 2020, and from 14 percent to 15 percent in craft/trade roles over the same period;
- ABC members educate almost four times as many trade/craft personnel than the next highest positions, field managers/superintendents;
- More than half of respondents, or 61 percent, report a labor shortage of severe or very severe, citing an exodus of baby boomers as the top contributor.
An all-of-the-above approach to workforce development has produced a network of ABC chapters and affiliates across the country that offer more than 800 apprenticeship, craft, safety and management education programs, including more than 300 government-registered apprenticeship programs across 20 different occupation