ABC Keystone Building

By: G. David Sload, ABC President-CEO

As I continue to attend outside industry-related events or visit with members, the resounding complaint I hear is, “I can’t find people to fill the openings I have,” or, “I continue to lose employees to my competition,” – ergo workforce development. When you have this discussion, it needs to be twofold, as you need to consider both recruitment and retention.


The biggest challenge is the lack of individuals out there to recruit. Therefore, we need to start growing our own workforce. While not easy or quick, if we don’t we will only continue to spiral downwards.

We have many underemployed individuals in the current workforce. We have individuals re-entering the workforce from correctional facilities. We have young people between the ages of 18 – 26 that have not figured out yet what their passion might be. These groups of individuals are potential immediate hires. Yes, they are untrained, but if you can get someone with the right attitude, we can provide the training to make them a great entry-level employee.

This is only a short-term solution. For the long term, we need to be promoting our industry. We need to be involved in our school systems from K-12. The great news is that public education has opened their doors to us. We need to walk through the door and partner with them on showing students the opportunities the construction industry has to offer. If you don’t know how to start those partnerships, reach out to us to help you facilitate these opportunities.


Unfortunately, with low unemployment and many job openings, it is an employee’s market. However, for the younger generation it’s not all about wages. What is the culture around your company? What type of benefit packages do you offer? Do you provide continuing education and training to help an employee advance their career? What are the little things you do and provide that set you apart from your competition? If you are not focusing on these areas, you may be left behind.

ABC Keystone’s Commitment to You:

During the month of March, you will receive the first ever Annual Workforce Development Report. This report will capture what ABC Keystone, along with the many member volunteers, has accomplished to advance the mission of workforce development. You, the members, are a valuable and integral part of this mission, and we hope all of you will join in. If you have been around ABC long enough, you are familiar with the phrase “Get into politics or get out of business.” I would contend that based on the state of our workforce, we should adopt “Get into workforce development or get out of business!”

At ABC, we are… Building Minds. Building Skills. Building Futures!

March 5, 2020