In the race for construction labor, Athena Chiera, vice president of business development of Athena Engineering, a mechanical HVAC firm that serves the institutional and commercial construction sector, believes firms’ long-term vision for hiring must include technology.
Construction will always have a limited pool of labor to draw from, she said on a webinar in August hosted by Procore, but building a business on technology provides two labor benefits: increased efficiencies for builders’ current workers and more attractive positions for young people who see more career potential in the tech space than in construction.
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“The more technology we introduce into our industry, the more young people are going to be interested in it,” she said. “We have to continue to talk about how cool it is that … what they’ve been working towards turns into something tangible.”
Troy Guevara, a construction technologist for Digitek Solutions and a former masonry contractor, noted that “technology is what’s going to drive the efficiencies.”
It’s not just software, he said. Heavy equipment, advanced products and tools, and even scaffolding have become more sophisticated.
The biggest advancement for builders is in communication technology, Guevara said. “It used to be you had to drive a new set of drawings clear out to the field. Now, you can just do that by hopping on your iPad.”