With housing permits up, home prices on the rise, and home inventory low, it is a better environment in the building industry. With all of this positive momentum, a major challenge we are facing is a shortage of skilled labor. To combat this problem there are a lot of initiatives taking shape, including our Governor Rick Snyder stating he wants Michigan to be the number one state in the country to attract skilled trades. To that end, there are many efforts being done in West Michigan. Just to name a few, the HBA of Greater Grand Rapids recently held the first ever Construction Job Fair, with the help of Michigan Works! In addition, the Construction Workforce Development Alliance (CWDA) was formed to market our industry and attract new people to skilled trades labor. This alliance is made up of leaders from the HBA, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), and American Subcontractors Association of Michigan (ASAM). Please visit www.webuildmi.com to learn more about this exciting new initiative. Also, the first ever Careerquest was held in April at Devos Hall in downtown Grand Rapids, and the construction industry was well represented. Never before have I seen more programs to attract people to our industry.
Students gather at the 2014 CareerQuest in Grand Rapids, MI.
Currently, our company is gearing up our business to meet the added demand. This includes investment in our Wyoming branch, and new start-up operations in Elkhart, IN, and Waterford, MI. We also have solutions for turn-key labor, and wall panel and truss design and manufacturing. We need great people to grow our business and meet demand, just like you do. I hope we are all working to tell the real story of construction, the attractiveness of our industry, and the opportunities in our industry, so we can all win together.