Last month, the Association of General Contractors released some dismal information about the construction industry. In a recent survey, 74 percent of responding contracting firms reported that they are having a hard time finding qualified craft workers. They also reported a fact that should not be a surprise to our readers. The firms stated the onsite construction jobs 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 applicants for driver and plant positions will be more difficult.

This producer frustration in the recruitment process was expressed last month on The Concrete Producer’s LinkedIn Group. A producer sought some help. “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 to the producer’s post.

You might consider sharing the results of our survey in your recruitment folder. The results might become your convincer. Potential applicants will learn that our industry is starting to rebound quicker than other industries. They’d learn that as a whole our company leaders are positive about our futures.

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

This message of encouraging employment opportunities should also be carried 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 2013-2014, hundreds of companies sought to hire CIM graduates, only to find there were none available.

Yet the best thing about the opportunity in concrete production is most jobs are local. Those of us who are employed in our industry participate in community activities. While 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. Readers are encouraged to join The Concrete Producer’s LinkedIn group. This group is focused on the women and men who work in the sales, marketing, quality control, production, mix design, and delivery of ready-mixed concrete, precast concrete, prestressed concrete, and concrete block. The group will be able to monitor, share, and comment on the technological advancements and news events that are affecting all forms of concrete production. Join us on LinkedIn.