Betsy Bailey, the Carolinas Associated General Contractors (CAGC) government relations and building division director, shared observations as the the keynote speaker for the first statewide diversity construction opportunities summit in Raleigh in early January.
The summit welcomed over 200 participants with the goal of connecting diverse-owned construction firms with billions of dollars in construction contract opportunities, CAGC reported in its weekly news brief.
Bailey delivered the Construction Spending, Labor and Materials Outlook prepared by AGC of America’s economist Ken Simonson, which showed strong construction growth for the nation and for the state.
NC’s growth, however, is hampered by the state’s acute construction labor shortage which Bailey highlighted throughout her presentation.
“NC is one of nine states that is seeing construction employment numbers decreasing,” Bailey said. “But we are also one of the fastest growing states in the country. This presents a unique challenge for NC’s construction industry”.
Bailey said that CAGC and its members recognize the labor challenge and are aggressively working with workforce development and education partners to recruit workers to the industry. A construction industry branding campaign is one of the significant recruitment projects that should be underway by next month.
CAGC secured funding for this project in the state budget last year and is partnering with the NC Community College System and North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to conduct the campaign.
The rest of the day and a half long summit featured networking opportunities with representatives from government agencies and private contractors through a trade show and focused workshops that helped participants learn about projects in the pipeline and how to find and bid on these projects. Workshops with NCDOT, State Construction, universities and community colleges, local government and private developers and owners provided valuable one-on-one interaction with construction buyers and decision-makers.
To learn more about the conference and next year’s event visit the conference website.