Solutions to solving the skilled labor shortage in construction frequently focus on things like adding more training, better safety requirements, providing opportunities to participate in decisions.
From a management viewpoint, those are important improvements.
But from a worker's perspective, the things that keep that worker in - or out of - the construction industry are much different.
In Jerry Iannelli's article Half of Miami's Construction Workers Struggle to Afford Rent, Food, or Medical Care in the Miami New Times, findings from the Build a Better South report done by the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Workers Defense Project show what factors are really keeping workers from entering - and staying in - the construction industry.
The Miami New Times article focuses on the Miami area which has its own unique characteristics, but the Build a Better South survey also looks at other major southern cities including Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, and Nashville.
Before dismissing Iannelli's article and the BBS survey as just another not-enough-money story, read what is happening as told by the workers.
Wage theft, bounced paychecks, payroll fraud, physical intimidation and harassment, thirst, and death are just some of the reasons workers don't want to do construction jobs.
Construction should be a good job. Read these articles to see why for many it isn't.