Thursday, November 08, 2007

Finding and Keeping Skilled Labor among Mature Workers in Construction Industry

Richard Gilbert, writing in the Journal of Commerce reports that employers in the construction industy are being advised that, if they are having difficulty hiring highly-skilled and experienced staff, they need to pay attention to demographics and to develop strategies to attract, engage and retain mature workers. Barbara Jaworski, founder of the Workplace Institute, spoke at a roundtable discussion hosted by the Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC) and told attendees that “It’s not about being nice to older people. It’s about meeting your organizational needs through the talent, skills and experience of older workers."

In a separate article from Assocated Construction Publications, Steve Hudson of the Dixie Contractor provides the following lists of factors that keep the over-50 set working in construction. First the list of what they worry about:
  • Financial Concerns;
  • Insurance Concerns
  • Not Ready To Retire
Then the list of what they look for:
  • Comfortable Working Conditions
  • Familiar Equipment
  • Reasonable Physical Demands
Thus, for example, Greg Anderson, a supervisor over construction for Southern Land Company, recognizing that "workers over 50 do not want to go out and do physical labor type work," but "want to operate equipment instead," he puts such older workers where they want to be, thus increasing the chances that they will stay on the job.

Sources: Jounral of Commerce "Employers need strategies to attract and retain mature workers" (November 7, 2008); Associated Construction Publications "Retaining the Over-50 Employee: (November 5, 2007)

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