August 27, 2019
83% of Idaho Contractors Report Shortages Compared to 80% Nationwide: Contractors Fear Situation Is Not Improving
August 27, 2019 – Boise, ID – Eighty-three percent (83%) of construction firms in Idaho report they are having a hard time filling hourly craft positions that perform much of the day-to-day activities on construction sites across the state, according to the results of an industry-wide survey released today by Autodesk and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). That figure is larger than the eighty percent (80%) nationwide average.
Finding qualified craft personnel is not a new problem in Idaho, but Idaho’s booming economy and rapid growth have made it even more difficult to keep up with the demand for skilled construction workers. Compared to one year ago, filling open positions in almost every field – from carpenters to truck drivers, concrete finishers to electricians – is more difficult now according to the Idaho contractors who participated in the survey.
“Workforce shortages remain one of the single most significant threats to the construction industry,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC’s chief executive officer. “However, construction labor shortage are a challenge that can be fixed, and this association will continue to do everything in its power to make sure that happens.”
Unfortunately things might not be getting any better in the near future in Idaho. A majority of the state’s contractors – sixty-three percent (63%) in Idaho compared to only forty-five percent (45%) nationwide – also stated the believe the adequacy of the local pipeline for supplying these much needed craft personnel who are well trained is “poor.”
“Fixing the problems in Idaho’s workforce pipeline is the single most important priority at the Idaho AGC,” said Wayne Hammon, Idaho AGC’s chief executive officer. “All across Idaho we have built portions of the workforce development pipe in this community or that one, but nobody has yet connected them into a reliable pipeline. That’s why we are partnering with state officials, local school districts, community colleges, the state’s workforce development council and their training centers, and everyone else we can identify to coordinate all efforts into a seamless and fully integrated effort.”
Hammon noted that much progress has been made since the Idaho Workforce Development Council was reorganized a year ago. “Idaho is committed to connecting education and training efforts to life-long careers including those in construction,” said Wendi Secrist, Executive Director of the Council. “We recognized that construction is key to expansion in other sectors of the economy and therefore fixing the workforce shortage in this industry will help all of Idaho continue to grow and prosper.”
The Idaho AGC and its partners at the College of Western Idaho and College of Southern Idaho offer training for those who might be interested in learning more about a career in construction. The We Build Idaho Career Launcher program is sponsored by a grant from the Idaho Workforce Development Council and is open to all Idaho residents. Classes are a few hours a night a couple nights a week and start October 1 at CWI and November 5 at CSI. Details and registration information available at www.webuildidaho.org.
“Together we can fix this problem and the Idaho AGC is committed to leading the way,” Hammon said.