WorldWide Drilling Resource®

35 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® MARCH 2020 Women in Construction Groups Partner with CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 Adapted from Information by CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and Women of Asphalt (WofA) have partnered with CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 to help highlight women as a viable force in the construction industry. The organizations will pool their collective influence to sponsor and engage in education and other events during the show. “As the largest construction industry-focused trade show in North America, CONEXPO-CON/AGG seeks to draw attention to and celebrate the important role women play in the industry,” said Dana Wuesthoff, vice president of expositions and event services with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and CONEXPO-CON/AGG show director. “Working together, CONEXPO-CON/AGG, NAWIC, and WofA will not only showcase women industry leaders, but reinforce the career growth potential for women, who today represent a small percentage of the workforce, and the opportunity to diversify the industry.” A partnership kick-off breakfast “Genders on the Jobsite” will be on Wednesday, March 11, with special guests Vicki O’Leary, founder of Be That One Guy; and Lorein Barlow, director and producer of Hard Hatted Women. They will have a candid discussion on how women experience jobsite opportunities and challenges, and how everyone has a role in keeping jobsites productive and safe for all workers. Social media influencer and construction business owner Missy Scherber will join other influencers, including Aaron Witt of BuildWitt, Keaton Turner of Turner Mining Group, and Stacey Tompkins of Tompkins Excavating for a panel discussion and networking event in the Tech Experience on Wednesday afternoon. The group will answer questions on topics such as using social media to recruit new hires, developing corporate values and culture, taking marketing to the next level, and the changing face of the construction industry. Other events include: j Widening Your Workforce: Executive Lunch Forum on Friday j New Approaches to Building Female Construction Leaders j Gain a Competitive Advantage Through Construction Technology j Attracting and Training Your Workforce: Operating Engineers’ Innovative Solutions j Several Tech Talks will feature influential women in the industry As the industry continues to deal with labor shortage, women are poised to help play a greater role in all areas of con- struction. Executive Administrator of NAWIC National Chrissy Ingram said, “By teaming with CONEXPO-CON/AGG, organi- zations like NAWIC and WofA can help women thrive in a male-dominated industry.” C&G Construction Employment on the Rise Adapted from Information by the Association General Contractors of America According to an analysis of new government data by theAssociated General Contractors of America, construction employment increased by 20,000 jobs in December 2019, and by 151,000 throughout all of 2019. Association officials noted the recent survey indicated most contractors expect to keep adding workers in 2020. The downside, even more respondents found it difficult to fill positions in 2019, and expect it will be equally hard or harder to do so in 2020. “More than four out of five respondents to our survey said they were having a hard time filling salaried or hourly craft positions in 2019,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Nearly two-thirds of the firms say that hiring will be hard or harder this year. In light of those staffing challenges, costs have been higher than anticipated for 44% of respondents and projects took longer than anticipated for 40% of them. As a result, 41% of respondents have put higher prices into their bids or contracts and 23% have put in longer completion times.” Simonson observed both the number of unemployed workers with recent construc- tion experience (489,000) and the unemployment rate for such workers (5%) were the lowest ever for December in the 20-year history of those series. He said these figures support the survey’s finding that experienced construction workers are hard to find. “Contractors are confident that there will be plenty of projects in 2020,” Simonson added. “Our survey found that for each of 13 project types, more contractors expect an increase in 2020 than a decrease in the dollar value of projects they compete for.” Association officials said the optimistic outlook for projects depends on having an adequate supply of qualified workers. Officials believe the TrumpAdministration and Congress can help recitfy the problem by doubling funding for career and technical education over the next five years, passing the JOBS Act to expand opportunities for students seeking alternatives to college, and allowing employers who demonstrate an unfilled need for workers, to bring them in from outside the U.S. “Construction can play a major role in sustaining economic growth, but only if the industry has an expanding supply of both qualified workers and new entrants to replace retirees,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Construction firms are working hard to overcome labor shortages, but federal officials must do their part by adequately funding career and technical education, making it easier for students to qualify for loans for short-term technical education programs and putting in place needed immigration reforms.” C&G C O N S T R U C T I O N D I S C U S S I O N