Labor shortages remain a thorn in the side of Biden’s plan

“Much of my life, the big strain on infrastructure work has been simply a lack of funding and a failure to invest,” Buttigieg said in a Global Circulate report. “We got the funding. Now we have to make sure we have the raw materials, the technical capacity and the manpower to do it.

In April, trade, transportation and utilities had 1.96 million job vacancies, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry also had 979,000 quits that month, the highest among any industry in the United States.

This forces companies to adapt. Central Florida Transport, one of the state’s largest aggregate haulers, for example, created a full-time Driver Advocate position to help its truck drivers with tough tasks during a workday. busy, like scheduling medical appointments or finding a loan broker. . “We wanted to do everything we could to help solve their problems because we cannot afford to lose drivers,” said Myron Bowlin, vice president of the company, according to the Global Circulate report.

“The severity of the labor shortage means you’re paying workers more and your construction schedules are longer, which is a big driver of overall cost,” said Brian Turmail, vice president of business and strategic initiatives of Associated General Contractors of America. .

To help address the issue, the US government launched a summer-long Talent Pipeline Challenge, a call to action for employers, education and training providers, states, local governments, tribal and territorial organizations and philanthropic organizations to make “tangible commitments that support equitable workforce development in three critical infrastructure sectors: broadband, construction, and ‘electrification’ (electric vehicle charging infrastructure and batteries). »

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