Federal Hearing Scheduled to Investigate Construction Labor Shortage
Originally published by: Builder Online — August 7, 2015
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The U.S. building industry is under increasing pressure to deliver high-performance buildings to meet the needs of owners, occupants and government. Owners and contractors are looking for opportunities to improve certainty in schedule, performance and cost while managing risks. At the same time, there is an increasing concern from multiple segments of the industry on the availability of a skilled workforce, as well as the productivity of the buildings workforce today and into the future. In recognition of the impact the productivity and availability of a strong workforce has on all aspects of the building industry, the National Institute of Building Sciences will conduct a representative hearing on productivity and the workforce on September 25, 2015, at the organization’s Headquarters at 1090 Vermont Ave., NW, Suite 700, in Washington, D.C.
Efforts are underway on a variety of fronts to address productivity challenges, including the expansion of off-site construction techniques; development of enhanced tools and processes such as building information modeling (BIM); enhancing mid- to long-term forecasts of workforce needs; and attracting new, technology-savvy entrants to the workforce through development of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs.
The hearing, which is open to anyone interested in attending, will provide an opportunity for representatives from the planning, design, construction, operations, ownership, finance, insurance, regulatory, manufacturing, academia and other segments of the U.S. building industry to speak about the challenges they face and offer potential solutions. The Institute is particularly interested in receiving testimony from organizations that have moved beyond traditional approaches to address needs related to advancements in productivity, safety and project certainty. Case studies, best practices and data on the benefits of such approaches are encouraged.
Presiding over the hearing will be Dorothy Robyn, Past Commissioner, Public Buildings Service, U.S. General Services Administration; Institute President Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA; and Charles L. Greco, President of the Associated General Contractors of America and Chairman of Linbeck. Sue Klawans, Past Institute Board Member and Director of Operational Excellence and Planning at Gilbane Building Company, is serving as an industry advisor for development of the hearing and resultant outputs.
Both written and oral testimony will be accepted from all interested parties. The testimony the Institute receives will inform the development of a strategic vision to help the industry overcome the challenges posed by business as usual. The vision and accompanying principles and practices are intended to provide the industry as a whole, and individual participants, with a path forward to advance productivity and address workforce challenges. Results will inform activities within the Institute, including discussions during the Institute’s Annual Conference, Building Innovation 2016; development of the 2015 Consultative Council’sMoving Forward Report; and activities of the various Institute councils and committees.
Parties interested in providing oral testimony must notify the Institute of their intent by September 1, 2015, at 5:00 pm EDT. To view the procedures for submitting oral and written testimony, download the Guidelines.