ABC members uphold 10-digit workforce development investment

Sources: Associated Builders and Contractors, Washington, D.C.

The Associated Builders and Contractors 2024 Workforce Development Survey indicates member investments totaling $1.6 billion to provide craft, leadership and health and safety education to more than 1.3 million course attendees nationwide in 2023, up from $1.5 billion the prior year and matching the 2021 outlay. Construction-wise management consultant FMI conducted the survey earlier this year, multiplying the amount each respondent spent on worker education by the total number of ABC contractor members. Among additional survey findings: 

  • Safety education accounts for the greatest share of total workforce investment at 59 percent;
  • ABC contractors invested an average of 7.5 percent of payroll on workforce development in 2023, slightly down from 8 percent in 2022;
  • Trade and specialty contractors continued to increase their share of the total workforce development investment, which grew to 50 percent in 2023 from 42 percent in 2022;
  • 58 percent of respondents reported a labor shortage that is severe or very severe, citing an exodus of baby boomers as the top contributor; and,
  • 81 percent of respondents who utilize virtual or augmented reality applied it for safety education.
Posted here, the annual survey quantifies the scope of ABC members’ education and upskilling initiatives to advance employee careers in commercial and industrial construction.

“ABC member contractors not only build and rebuild structures with excellence, but they also help build lifelong, durable, transferable skill sets for their employees by investing billions to cultivate their career progression in commercial and industrial construction,” says ABC Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment and Workforce Development Greg Sizemore. “This investment is in response to the need for more than half a million additional construction workers in 2024 alone. Workforce development is part of the culture of ABC member contractors, which continue to choose flexible, competency-based and market-driven methods to upskill their workforces. Construction is among the few industries where an individual can become an apprentice, earn a paycheck while learning the skills needed for their chosen craft, and receive a portable, industry-recognized credential that will further their career.”