On May 27, ABC wrote to U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Martin Walsh to share the exceptional results of the 2021 Workforce Development Survey. ABC hopes this outreach will encourage Secretary Walsh to work with ABC to advance the interests of the entire construction industry.
ABC President and CEO Mike Bellaman highlighted in the letter that “In 2020 alone, ABC contractor members invested $1.3 billion in workforce development initiatives, providing craft, leadership and safety education to 500,000 course attendees to advance their careers in commercial and industrial construction, according to the survey. ABC members invested an average of 8.4% of payroll on workforce development in 2020, up from 7.9% in 2019.
“Safety education accounted for 71% of total annual workforce education spending, averaging $2,369 per employee, to keep workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was roughly double the $1,147 per-person investment in 2019.”
The letter also highlighted the results of ABC’s 2021 Safety Performance Report, which documents the dramatic impact of the STEP Safety Maangement System to reduce recordable incidents by up to 85%, making the best-performing ABC member companies 655% safer than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics industry average. The report is based on data gathered from STEP participants that recorded nearly one billion hours of work in construction, heavy construction, civil engineering and specialty trades in 2020.
Other findings of the 2021 ABC Workforce Development Survey in the letter include:
- The percentage of contractor members reporting a severe labor shortage declined 3% between 2019 and 2020, while those reporting a moderate labor shortage increased 5%.
- Women in management/supervisory roles ticked up to 17% of the ABC member workforce in 2020 from 16% in 2019, and
- Approximately 70% of member contractors reported partnerships with high school and college career and technical education internship programs.
“America’s economic engine is fueled by a workforce equipped with durable and transferable skill sets, and ABC members are dedicated to investing in essential education and professional development for craft and management professionals. Apprenticeship and career technical education provide the right tools to our nation’s workforce to not only build the places where Americans live, work, heal, play and learn, but also to cultivate long-lasting and rewarding career opportunities,” Bellaman wrote.
ABC looks forward to working with Secretary Walsh and his staff to advance policies that keep workplaces safe and healthy, create jobs for all Americans and help the U.S. economy continue to rebound from the COVID-19 crisis.