From a construction standpoint, last year was one of the most productive in city history. According to the New York Building Congress it is safe to assume that New York has not witnessed this level of production since the early 1970s.
To maintain our place in the bidding wars we have to be even more frugal in our operations and run a tighter ship. Think new software, better use of communications, better management techniques.
We also need to have a robust workforce that supports the right people in the right positions and a set of systems and culture that keeps them excited to be there.
Concern for this was highlighted at the recent AWCI Industry Executives’ Conference & Committee Meetings held in October. A leading topic was Retaining the Right People and Building Your Talent Pool for Future Growth. It addressed the current reality for the construction industry that there is not only an insufficient quantity of craft workers, supervisors, managers and staff for available positions, but also that the industry may not be appealing enough to attract and retain the younger millennials or the upcoming Generation Z.
New York City hasn’t felt the large-scale impact of this problem yet but we have to be ready for it if we want to continue to keep union work as the best option for construction in New York. Replacing people who did not come back after the recent recession, or others who are retiring requires a significant amount of new training both in the field and in the office. This may mean providing educational opportunities, training classes and personal development for all levels of the workforce.
We will have an opportunity to discuss these and more things as we network at our upcoming WC&C Annual Convention, which will be held this year in March at the Four Seasons Resort in Costa Rica. Registration will begin in December. I hope to see you there. Make your reservations early.
I’m looking forward to seeing you at our annual Holiday Party on December 12th at the North Hempstead Country Club. If you haven’t already registered, please do it now on our website, www.wcc-ny.com.