A two-day "Image Summit" in Atlanta in September focused on how the construction industry might alleviate its widespread employee shortage. The meeting of 150 representatives of contractors, owners, labor organizations and academia covered demographic trends, competition with other industries for employees and the aspirations of young workers. Successful practices for recruiting and retaining employees and young construction workers' opinions of the industry were other topics.
"We were not looking for solutions," said Dan Bennet, president of the Gainesville, Fla.-based National Center for Construction Education and Research, which coordinated the meeting. The group expects to develop an overall plan for presentation to industry organizations by Feb. 1. It would include funding proposals.
Bennet said the Image Summit was the most significant development of its type to occur since the Construction Industry Workforce Foundation was disbanded some 10 years ago. That organization represented only five groups.