Our industry continues to see a major impact from labor shortages which currently stand at an approximate 500,000 deficit nationally and 30,000 deficit for Pennsylvania. ABC Keystone is taking on this challenge with an outside-the-box approach to bring about opportunity to help toward solving this challenge.

According to Stephanie Larkin, V.P. of Education, Safety & Workforce Development at ABC Keystone, “With an unprecedented number of job openings in the industry, construction companies must consider looking to non-traditional populations to find talent.” Our workforce development efforts continue to expand across all channels, including:

1) Reentrants: Persons with a criminal history often have access to trades training while incarcerated, allowing them to quickly come up to speed if
hired. ABC Keystone has been working with county and state correctional institutions to create pathways from incarceration to registered apprenticeship.

2) Refugees: Refugees and legal immigrants are another source of untapped talent. We have been working closely with Church World Services to educate our members on the definitions, legal status, paperwork and reporting surrounding hiring refugees.

3) Veterans: It can be difficult to translate military skillsets to civilian construction careers. This year, the Workforce Development Committee will prioritize working with the veteran community to bring this talent into the industry.

We will continue to pursue our traditional recruitment pathways through articulation agreements with the high schools, career and technical centers and community-based organizations in our footprint. Our yearly Construction Wars events for middle school students will be held March 19-21, while All ‘bout Construction Girls Camp will be held in June. We will take advantage of every opportunity to share our pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship programs and provide access to hands-on career awareness and exposure.

“This is an exciting time to be involved in the workforce development activities at the Chapter,” said Ms. Larkin. “There are so many moving parts to our efforts. We can connect with a wide variety of potential talent and truly make a difference not only for our members, but for our fellow citizens.”