Everywhere I go I hear the same issue voiced by Green Industry contractors… lack of workers is holding them back.
A Common Problem
All of the construction trades are suffering and it’s not just in the United States. Turner & Townsends tracks and reports on international construction labor. Their 2018 survey shows that of the 47 countries they survey, 27 complain about finding laborers to handle the increasing volume of construction work.
Constraints on H2B visas aggravated the problem this year. Many in the landscape trades did not get any foreign laborers until recently, so a large part of their year was stymied. We’ve been supporting efforts by trade associations and I have personally been writing legislators.
This is an issue that will be with us for many years. The long term fix is to get more young Americans interested in our industry. Support the associations, such as the ONLA who does the Landscape Olympics (OHLO) for high schoolers each year.
Cost Effective Solutions
For the shorter term, most contractors are working on becoming more efficient. Throwing bodies at issues no longer works. Getting more done with the labor already being paid for does make a difference.
Here’s a sobering statistic: Clemson university reports that the average construction trade worker is only operating at 40% efficiency!
Why? They give a list of reasons but all of them relate to the systems and tools management provides and the quality of leadership management gives. So the message is clear; improve our systems and tools and be better leaders!
Our goal at Wolf Creek is to make your life easier, so we are trying to help by making it easier to manage materials. We deliver so you can keep your employees on site. Our eStore is huge tool and WolfDen program is a game changer. Lets talk about how we can help reduce the time necessary for product supply.
-Article by Scott Knowles, President of Wolf Creek Co.