Associated Builders and Contractors member contractors invested $1.6 billion to provide more than 1.3 million course attendees with craft, leadership and safety education in 2021, up from $1.3 billion in 2020. The group’s 2022 Workforce Development Survey quantifies the scope of member initiatives to advance their employees’ commercial and industrial construction careers.
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 contractors and construction management firms boosted their share of the total workforce development investment to 65 percent in 2021 from 58 percent in 2020.
“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 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.”
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;
- ABC members invested in safety education for 51 employees, on average; and,
- More than half of respondents, or 61 percent, reported a labor shortage of severe or very severe variety, citing an exodus of baby boomers as the top contributor.
An all-of-the-above approach to workforce development has produced a coast to coast network of ABC chapters and affiliates delivering 800-plus craft, safety and management education programs, including more than 300 government-registered apprenticeship offerings across 20 different occupations.
Management consultant FMI conducted the 2022 Workforce Development Survey, posted at www.abc.org, 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.