The availability of skilled workers has become one of the biggest challenges faced by the home improvement industry as activity has increased and grown since the years of the recession. Also, the rise in prices for both new homes and existing homes has increased demand for remodeling work as people are staying in homes longer. The labor shortage is only expected to intensify as current skilled workers become older and reach retirement age. As a result industry leaders and associations are putting a real effort into solving this problem.
There are several reasons at the root of the labor shortage.
What Can Be Done?
Industry leaders must work with schools – high school and college level – in promoting trades and entrepreneurship/business ownership. College is not the right path for everyone and getting educated in the trades must be presented as a viable option, early and often.
The industry has much to offer women and it’s a matter of making a concerted effort to seek and attract women to skilled labor fields. Women are detail-oriented, thorough and anxious to work on diverse projects. As a result, female professionals excel in project management, design and planning.
Positioning the construction and remodeling industry as a path to business ownership is an attractive alternative to a four year degree for both millennials and women. But it needs to be supported by educational institutions and policy makers at all levels in order to offer these alternatives to students as a viable career option. The industry associations are hard at work reaching both and will continue to try to make strides in this area.
Here are some related articles on the subject:
Best Buy: Women in Remodeling
Remodeling Industry Labor Trends: Research Overview for Panel Discussion (at the Remodeling Futures Conference)