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While double-digit construction unemployment figures have delayed its workforce marketing and recruiting initiative (see October 2008 Equipment World), the Construction Workforce Development Center is forging ahead with its Labor Supply /Demand Forecasting Model.
CWDC is recruiting both owners and contractors to provide project and labor forecast information on its www.cwdcforecasting.com website, launched in January. “We’ve started to build a good database of project information from construction owners, and now we’d like contractors to put in their supply information,” says Daniel Groves, CWDC executive director.
The idea behind the forecasting model is compelling: if enough owners and contractors enter their labor demand and supply information, the model could offer key information to help the construction industry meet labor’s peaks and valleys. Although the initial focus has been on large industrial owners and the contractors who serve them, Groves insists he wants input from the entire construction spectrum, including small contractors and both union and nonunion firms.
“While there are local user councils and other entities that have some of this information, our goal is to model the entire national construction labor picture,” Groves says. The template for the U.S. model is Canada’s six-year-old Construction Sector Council website, www.constructionforecasts.ca.
When fully realized the model will offer a number of reports, including aggregate summary tables and graphs describing labor requirements by region, summaries on more than 15 different construction crafts by region and long-term project trends.
“Having this information will help contractors know the demand in their area, and assist them in their recruiting and training strategies,” Groves says. Owners will be encouraged to put in projects at the earliest possible point, including ones with unapproved budgets. “The goal is to forecast as far into the future as possible,” Groves says. To keep data fresh, the model reminds owner users every 90 days to update the project status. Project thresholds will be $1 million for new construction and $100,000 for turnaround/maintenance projects.
The emphasis now is on information input. Users will not be able to access any information until enough data is gathered to present an anonymous aggregate, which Groves hopes will be by late this year or early 2010. The goal is to eventually input U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data into the model.
– Marcia Gruver
Easy to use, free of charge
Follow these easy steps to input your labor data:
1. Go to www.cwdcforecasting.com and explore the model under the “About” tab
2. Click “create new account” and enter your information to get a password
3. CWDC will confirm your information and you will receive an email notification
4. Upon getting your password, enter the secure site and complete the account setup.
5. Begin entering your labor data.
Note: All data entered is protected through the site’s confidentiality and use agreement and what CWDC terms a “robust anti-trust policy.” Individual data is not available to anyone else.
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