What to Do about the Labor Shortage

Laura M. Porinchak / May 2019

Let’s begin with the main feature article on page 30. It’s a great place to start. Why? Because it’s about the number-one problem facing the construction industry today: finding—and keeping—skilled workers. Some companies aren’t having too much of a problem finding workers, the problem is finding workers who are skilled, no (or very little) training required.
    
“Construction Trends” (page 11) begins with an article that says 70 percent of contractors are having a difficult time meeting project deadlines, mostly due to labor shortages. So we spoke with several representatives of AWCI member companies to learn how they’re handling the situation. Their suggestions for finding and keeping workers include the obvious, such as good salaries and benefits packages. But then there are some not-so-obvious ideas: keeping morale up is important, and so is using your current employees to engage new employees. I can’t spill all the secrets here or you wouldn’t read the article, so I’ll let you take it from here. I’ll just warn you ahead of time that you may want to take notes on this one.
    
Another article with not-so-obvious tips that can help you put more money in your company coffers at tax time is on page 48. Eric Tyson, the author of “Small Business Taxes for Dummies®,” gives small business owners nine often-overlooked ways to legally (of course!) keep more revenue. Perhaps a change in your filing status is in order. Or maybe you aren’t taking all the deductions you can. You could give more to charities, or maybe you just need an IRA. There are lots of things to consider here, so start implementing some changes now to prepare for next tax season.
    
The feature article on page 38 is lighter fare that involves creating the perfect architectural bid package, which, the author notes, is very difficult to do when you don’t have any help from the design community. From phone calls that go unanswered to “crayon client sketches,” you’re sure to get a chuckle out of this one.
    
I also want to draw your attention to this month’s “Estimator’s Edge” column (page 23). We have recently presented you with articles on advanced technologies such as virtual reality and drones on job sites, and this month our author delves into the first of a two-part article on the use of artificial intelligence in construction. His take on the subject isn’t what you’re used to reading in this magazine, so give it a read and feel free to share your thoughts on the subject.
    
It was great talking with all the contractors and exhibitors at AWCI’s Convention & INTEX Expo last month, but not all of our magazine readers were there. When I say on this page that you should “share your thoughts,” I mean it! You don’t have to talk to me in person to get your point across. Just email me: porinchak@awci.org. I look forward to hearing from you!