From the Fabricator: Workforce Worries

In the last few weeks I have hit some heavy topics here including what an architect wants, project management and retrofits. I’ll continue on the path of importance starting this post with a look at a very scary prospect: the dwindling construction labor force. An executive at Turner Construction testified in front of congress this week that construction levels are back to the 2007 boom. BUT, we are 100,000 workers short of where we were then. That number is staggering. It was noted that younger folks do not have interest in the trades and the older workers are transitioning out. Obviously, this is not news for most of us. We all know how challenging the market is right now, but seeing the numbers is jarring.

There is no magic formula for slowing this negative trend either. Attracting skilled (or at least willing to be trained) youth to come into construction is a monumental task. We as an industry need to figure this out as well. I’ll be curious to see if this talk in front of congress spurs any development or support of programs to help.


  • One area that can help with employment and attraction? Understanding you’re the employee. And a great speaker on that subject is coming back to GlassBuild America this fall: Cam Marston His last stint in 2015 still has people who saw it buzzing. His topic on the multi-generational workforce is interesting, appropriate and needed. Make sure you don’t miss this.
  • April is here and a yearly tradition is coming up soon… the Mid-Atlantic Glass Associations MGA Glass Expo takes place April 19 in Greenbelt, Maryland. This is show number 30 for the MGA and every year it brings people from the region together to learn and network. 
  • My post on what architects want gained quite a bit of attention. Obviously, it’s a subject that people are interested in as they are determined to learn what they can do. In that light, check out this link from my friend Colin Gilboy at It is loaded with great insight and direction.
  • Tthe team at SC Railing jumped on the approach of educating architects with a great case study. I love this sort of stuff, though I will be the first to admit I don’t understand a lot of it. (I’m not the audience they want to impress!) I admire the heck out of companies that take the time and resources to create in-depth pieces. JE Berkowitz, Quanex and W&W Glass are among the folks that also come to mind when it comes to studies like these.
  • So the “hot” colors for 2018, yes 2018, are now out. Thanks to the Twitter feed of Conners Sales Group (@ConnersSales), you can see it now a whole nine months before the new year hits!
  • Last this week, a scheduling heads up. No post coming next week, so you are saved from me preaching about some major issue affecting our world. I’ll be back in this space the week of April 16. Unless big news breaks, which I keep expecting but seemingly never does…

Read on for links and video of the week…

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications.E-mail him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.


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