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Addressing workforce gaps and related risks for the EC industry

March 30, 2018

An array of emerging technologies may help ease the daunting workforce gaps for engineering and construction firms.

Jon Tate

Vice President of Construction Zurich Services Corporation, Risk Engineering

Jon Tate, Vice President of Construction-Risk Engineering at Zurich Services Corporation, provides... About this expert

technology impact for construction workers

The robust construction industry projections for 2018 are being tempered by the continuing challenges of a shrinking workforce. Although a Bureau of Labor Statistics report from January 2018 projects construction employment opportunities to grow 12 percent through 2026, faster than the average for all occupations, filling jobs will continue to vex an industry that’s ready to hit the gas pedal.

Industry innovations couldn’t come at a better time, particularly as engineering and construction (E&C) projects become more complex and demanding. Technology, modularization, and project delivery and management — all of which can help increase productivity, communication and efficiency — can help fill the gaps created by a smaller workforce. Some of these tools can also help mitigate risk by replacing onerous and/or dangerous tasks previously performed by workers. Finally, implementing this technology can help attract a younger generation that is not only equipped to do the work, but also excited about the possibilities.

Among the emerging technologies and project delivery methods:

  • Building Information Modeling (BIM)
  • Autonomous and assistive robotics
  • 3-D building printers
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) and drones
  • Wearable device systems
  • Modularization
  • Lean project delivery
  • Prevention Through Design (PTD)

Learn more about the opportunities these innovations can offer as E&C builds for the future.