Attend any kind of construction industry event and the topic of workforce development will inevitably come up in conversation. Is there a skilled workforce shortage just around the corner? Many would say yes and some would argue that this time, the crunch time has already arrived.
Chris Buckman, Vice President of Corporate Construction at BMWC Constructors, Inc., says he has been hearing rumors of an impending workforce shortage for years. “As long as I have been in construction, a labor shortage has been forecast for ‘a year or two from now,’” says Buckman.
Is this time different? Buckman believes it is. “If things progress as forecasted, there will be a shortage. This is why we need to focus on training and development now, before it is too late.”
BMWC Constructors Inc. is an industrial construction heavyweight. The company prides itself on finding solutions for the most daunting projects, especially when others say it can’t be done. The company has been in business for six decades, works all across North America and prides itself on being dependable.
Dependable, of course, means no lost time, budget overruns or scheduling issues due to a shortage of skilled labor.
Buckman says that while the company wasn’t specifically looking for a labor forecasting tool, attendance at a Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) meeting and subsequent conversation with Brian Stamper, CURT’s Member Concierge, led to a demo of the Construction Labor Market Analyzer® (CLMA®), and that demo pretty much sealed the deal.
“Brian set up a webinar and we liked what we saw,” says Buckman. “We were working on a very large project in Indiana and it was a challenge, labor-wise. We were looking at other projects in the mid-west and even into Canada, and we immediately saw the benefits of being able to look at labor forecasts for the near future, five and ten years out.”
Buckman says the company uses the CLMA® as an additional resource whenever looking at opportunities in different regions. “We can determine risk factors ahead of time, build this into our estimates, or decide maybe we shouldn’t even bid on a project at all. The algorithms in the program far exceeded our expectations, and now that we’ve used them, it would be hard to do business without them.”
While BMWC Constructors, Inc. is a contractor, Buckman urges all segments of the construction industry to start taking workforce planning seriously―contractors, owners, unions and training providers. “I can’t think of a good reason not to enter your data into the CLMA®,” says Buckman. “The program is completely confidential, it is accurate and the value will be apparent almost immediately.”
“Just one demo sold us,” Buckman says.
The CLMA is designed to help owners, contractors, unions and other industry stakeholders dynamically understand the skilled labor market in a collaborative environment and more effectively know how to employ risk mitigation strategies.