Creating and Managing a Diverse Workforce in the Construction Industry
The construction industry continues to face a massive labor shortage. Not only do contractors need to add hundreds of thousands of jobs in the coming years, but they also need to fill existing positions each year due to normal attrition and the retirement of baby boomers. As a result, contractors must overcome misconceptions about employment opportunities in the industry and reach out to people who traditionally have not pursued construction careers. Contractors must embrace and foster diversity in the workplace to overcome false generalizations.
Diversity is not affirmative action; rather, it recognizes that people in an organization differ in background and experience. A diverse workforce offers clear benefits. Diversity brings a variety of experience and perspectives to an organization. It spurs creativity and promotes growth in an industry desperate to add to its workforce. Employing a diverse workforce, particularly one that reflects the community in which the company operates, opens up business opportunities and allows employers to maintain a competitive edge.
This article appeared in the March 2008 issue of Construction Executive.