Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 25, 2022

Labor shortage addressed at International Builders’ Show

The cost and availability of labor was reported as a significant problem by 82% of builders in 2021 and is expected to rise to 85% this year, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index reports.

To help ease severe worker shortages that are raising housing costs and delaying construction, homebuilders must make fundamental changes to the way they do business, Ed Brady, CEO of the Home Builders Institute, said recently at the 2022 International Builders’ Show in Orlando.

Brady, a former NAHB chairman and a second-generation homebuilder for more than 30 years, said the ongoing labor shortage is a “long-term structural crisis.”

He issued a “call to action for an all-hands and industrywide effort to increase training, compensation, diversity and productivity.”

While construction wages are increasing, prospective workers are looking for a more solid future in the residential construction industry.

“We need to take a look at the traditional business model of homebuilders and ask ourselves whether it’s properly structured to attract, retain and build the next generation of the nation’s construction labor force,” Brady says.

HBI’s most recent Construction Labor Market Report shows that to meet the nation’s housing demand, the construction industry will need to train and secure an astounding 2.2 million new workers within the next three years.

Brady laid out the following steps the industry must take to draw more workers into home building:

• Recruit more women

• Train and place more minority, lower-income and second-chance youths and adults

• Provide trade skills education and training to veterans and transitioning military

• Develop a national immigration policy that works

• Change entrenched and misguided perceptions of careers in construction

For its part, HBI is ramping up several major programs to address these issues, Brady said. “With the generous support of our financial partners, HBI is building and sustaining a multi-faceted attack on the problem.”

To learn more about the NAHB’s nonprofit partner, Home Builders Institute, and how you can secure a future in the construction industry, visit www.hbi.org