How Contractors Can Fix America Part 2
If our industry is going to fix America, it’s going to need some help. And that help might not come in the form of the archetypical construction worker. In part one of this two-part series, an Orlando construction law attorney from Cotney Construction Law discussed why it’s more critical than ever before to hire and train new workers. Now, we will continue where we left off with another shocking statistic that helps illustrate the state of our country’s infrastructure and the need for more and more construction workers.
Nearly $12 Billion and Counting for National Park Maintenance
Our national parks are literally falling apart. Bridges are in disrepair. Tunnels are crumbling. Parking areas lack paving and are littered with potholes. There’s no shortage of issues, but overhauling our parks will leave us in debt to the tune of nearly $12 billion. The National Park Service claims that $6.15 billion is needed to repair bridges, tunnels, parking areas, and paved roads. Another $5.7 billion is required for buildings, campgrounds, trails, waste water systems, pipes, dams, marinas, ships, monuments, forts, towers, and amphitheaters. That’s a tall order for an industry that lacks workers and the public funding necessary to get the job done.
While the Cost is Problematic, the Lack of Skilled Labor is Systematic
In a perfect world, one where our government manages to work out the financial puzzle that currently needs solving, there’s still no guarantee that there will be enough workers to restore America to its former glory. Finding and attracting more unemployed or underemployed Americans, veterans, millennials, and the like requires apprenticeship programs designed to jumpstart careers in construction. Contractors should focus on training workers to help them develop the skills necessary to make a middle-class wage that sets them up for success in the future. From national parks to infrastructure to old suburbs and historic building renovations, it’s important to train workers for the types of projects that are in critical need of support.
New Workers, New Risks
Considering everything we’ve covered in this two-part article, it’s still important to embrace a thoughtful and deliberate approach to hiring new workers. As your team grows, so will the scope of your projects. You may need to be cognizant of certain laws and regulations that you aren’t familiar with. For instance, compliance requirements for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) change based on the size of your workforce. In addition, you may want to consult an attorney from our Orlando construction law firm if you need a newly drafted employee manual that helps protect you against the errors of novice workers.