The Centers of Excellence for Labor Market Research have published a study examining employer hiring needs for construction workers in four regions of California—the Far North, Bay, Central Valley/Mother Lode, and South Central Coast.
The study involved an in-depth survey of construction firms, general contractors, and other types of contractors specializing in specific trades such as electrical, drywall, and roofing throughout the state.
More than 240 employers in the four regions were asked about their hiring needs and the types of qualifications job candidates should possess.
- Construction worker shortages are impacting construction and contracting businesses
- Most businesses anticipate a greater need for qualified workers in coming years
- Employers tend to value experience and skills over educational attainment; job candidates should have one year of work experience and at least a high school diploma.
Community colleges can apply the study’s findings regarding in-demand certifications and skills to address existing workforce challenges.
For example, the largest number of respondents (a total of 89) require workers to have an OSHA 10-hour certification, followed by an OSHA 30-hour certification (79). This indicates an opportunity for community colleges to provide training programs that address these certifications.
Additionally, across all regions, the most highly valued skills among employers are the ability to use power and hand tools, mathematical skills, and technical problem-solving skills. Moreover, the professional development opportunities of greatest interest to employers are specialized power tool training, supervisory/project management, and plan reading.
Survey respondents were asked about their interest in partnership opportunities with community colleges. The highest number of respondents (93) indicated an interest in internships.
The study was conducted through a partnership among the Kern Community College District, the Centers of Excellence for Labor Market Research, and the Center for Economic Development at California State University-Chico.