Last month, the Associated General Contractors of America released some dismal information about the construction industry. In a recent survey, 74% of contractors reported they are having a hard time finding qualified craft workers. And they added a fact that should not be a surprise to our readers: Onsite construction jobs such as carpenters, equipment operators, and laborers are the toughest to fill. Even more disturbing, 53% are having a hard time filling professional positions, “especially project supervisors, estimators, and engineers.”

This labor shortage is not just affecting contractors. With so many deep layoffs in our ranks, many locations are trying to rehire positions only to be stymied by lack of interest. With so many other industries with seemingly more glamorous jobs also trying to find qualified applicants, encouraging people to apply for driver and plant positions will be more difficult.

This frustration in the recruitment process was expressed last month on The Concrete Producer’s Linked-In group. A producer asked, “Is anyone interested in sharing interview questions for ready-mixed concrete truck drivers? I’m tired of feeling like I am selling them on the job.”

I have a suggestion.

Consider including a copy of this issue in your recruitment folder. Our magazine might become your convincer. Applicants will learn that our industry is starting to rebound quicker than other industries. They would learn that as a whole, our industry leaders are positive about the future.

They would also learn that concrete production is becoming high tech. They’d read about the investments being made to simplify employee responsibilities while aiding customer service. They would also recognize that our industry is working to be not only more environmentally responsible, but also to adopt new technologies to increase concrete’s durability and service life.

This message should also be passed on to your current employees. Our Concrete Industry Management programs are still only about 60% filled. As high school juniors begin their application processes, we need to remind them of the opportunities awaiting CIM graduates. In 2013-14, hundreds of companies sought to hire CIM graduates, only to find none were available.

Yet the best thing about the opportunities in concrete production is most jobs are local. Those of us who are employed in our industry participate in community activities. While the hours are often long, we enjoy a home-based lifestyle. And we participate in building the footings and foundations upon which our communities and countries are built.

Our Linked-In group

I encourage readers to join the TCP LinkedIn group. This group is focused on the men and women who work in the sales, marketing, quality control, production, mix design, and delivery of ready-mixed, precast, and prestressed concrete, and concrete block. The group monitors, shares, and comments on the technological advancements and news events that are affecting all facets of concrete production.