Builder's deputy editor, Les Shaver, takes a hard look at the residential homebuilding industry's need for skilled labor. In the short term, many builders are increasing pay and benefits to keep labor, while others are leaning on installed sales programs through distributors. But this will only carry the industry so far. In the long run, the lack of skilled labor must be solved with a combination training and immigration reform.
Cutting to the chase, Fred Delibero, CEO of Summit Custom Homes in Kansas City, Mo. put it succinctly: "We need to get serious about working with colleges and technical schools to step up their training programs for skilled construction labor, and the federal government needs to ease restrictions on temporary work visas allowing more labor to enter the market." Read more.