Preparing For The Future: The Construction Industry Embraces Technology

Ad Age writes that since the recession, in order to cut costs and increase efficiency, the construction industry is relying on technology more than ever. Therefore, the industry is looking for young, bright and technologically savvy minds to not only operate these new technologies but to revamp its image. Many construction businesses are looking to transform their companies from being stagnant and reliant on paper to being technologically savvy, efficient and productive. Out with the old and in with the new!

“Trying to shake its image as dirty, backbreaking labor and attract younger workers, the industry—from construction firms and trade groups to equipment manufacturers and machinery makers—is marketing itself as a place to use advanced math, science and technical skills.

There’s a good reason why the industry, now going into its busy season, needs to rework its pitch: 74% of construction firms report they are having trouble finding carpenters, electricians, plumbers and welders, according to a 2013 survey by industry trade group Associated General Contractors of America.

“Construction work is somewhat different from what it was,” said Ken Simonson, economist for the group, which is one of several partners supporting a marketing campaign run by the National Center for Construction Education and Research. “There is much more use of laser and GPS-guided equipment, building-information modeling and other things that require computer skills and use of technology that was not common before the recession.”

Take, for example, the mobile-crane operator, a job well suited for younger people. “Because they played video games for so long, their hand-eye coordination is very fast and advanced,” said L.J. Zielke, president of Allied Career Training, an apprenticeship program for heavy-equipment operators.
In the NCCER’s “Build Your Future” campaign, videos show workers brandishing iPads and electronic blueprints.”

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