Wrestling with Labor Constraints
The difficult labor market facing employers continues to plague the construction industry.
Published September 13, 2022
Unmasking the Issue
In my many discussions with business owners and managers from all facets of the construction industry, there is one current theme that we all share. It remains a difficult labor market for employers. While we’ve seen the issues with the supply chain start to diminish, labor remains an issue. It was true before the pandemic, things got worse through the pandemic but the labor issue was masked by all of the other turmoil. As the other elements of chaos have receded, we see again, more clearly, our common labor shortage issue.
As with everyone involved in building homes, there is a deficit of people who are both trained and willing to do the work. We all know how desperately housing is needed. We all know that building homes is difficult and honorable work. We also all know that there are no real short-term solutions to the problem. Labor shortages, especially in the construction trades will be with us for years to come.
Specialized Skills Shrink the Pool
EnergyLogic is no different in this regard than any other trade or builder. We do have an additional hurdle to overcome. There is no existing pool of people trained to do the multiple facets of energy, code, and sustainability inspections. For this reason, we have to train and educate our people mostly from the ground up. We work hard to find good fits for the work, but it isn’t easy. It takes people who are good with the physical and job site aspects of the job. It takes people who can learn and absorb building science, and it takes detail-oriented people.
Sometimes, in spite of everything, it doesn’t work out and the investment that we’ve made in a person, often months’ worth, is for naught. When this happens, it’s a setback for us.
Steadfastly Chasing Perfection
We are making progress in terms of building our capacity, but it does take time. I relay all of this not as an excuse, but hopefully to provide some insight into the challenges that we face in trying to recruit, train and retain excellent field personnel. I’m thankful to all of our clients not just for choosing us, but also for the patience that you’ve shown us as we build to where we all want us to be. EnergyLogic will continue to focus on two of our core values; build a better mousetrap and chase perfection, to deliver the services and value we both expect.
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