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Workforce: Wall and Ceiling Industry Builds Up the Builders

By / Aug 12, 2020 (janiecbros/E+/Getty Images Plus)

AWCI is balancing two priorities—building up the skilled workforce and meeting workers’ on-the-job needs—to reduce project costs and improve worker safety and efficiency.

Workforce • Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry

The skilled labor shortage in the construction trades has effects that extend beyond the job site all the way through to the consumer, says the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry.

“Increased labor costs, potential adverse effects on job site safety, and delays in project completion due to chronic labor shortages in key metropolitan areas are the most visible effects of the crisis,” says Chris Williams, CAE, AWCI director of membership. “Less visible, but equally impactful, are issues such as increased project costs that are eventually passed on to the consumer [and] overwork of the existing labor force.”

Advances include … the deployment of cutting-edge technology like exoskeletons that [allow] workers to safely lift heavier loads.

AWCI has partnered with coalitions and unions to promote careers in skilled trades, and members are creating futuristic tools to maximize workers already in the field. Williams says such advances include “lighter, more ergonomic construction products and tools [and] the deployment of cutting-edge technology like exoskeletons that [allow] workers to safely lift heavier loads.”

If AWCI succeeds in balancing both priorities—building up the skilled workforce and meeting workers’ on-the-job needs—society will reap the benefits.

“This balance will lower overall project costs and, most importantly, increase the safety and efficiency of our most important asset, our people,” Williams says. “Organizations such as AWCI will have succeeded in educating the general public about the value of a career in the skilled trades, making construction one of the more desired career paths for future generations.”

Rasheeda Childress

Rasheeda Childress is an associate editor at Associations Now. She covers money and business. Email her with story ideas or news tips. More »

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