May 15, 2020

Three Reasons for Optimism About Construction Careers

Across industries and regions, the coronavirus pandemic is disrupting life as we know it. Its effects will echo through our economy for years to come. At Miller-Valentine Group, we are using this opportunity to BUILD CERTAINTY.  We are studying industry projections, researching market trends, and applying evidence-based best practices to help our clients navigate the unknowns and plan for the future.

Is the coronavirus pandemic prompting you to rethink your career plans? Unfortunately, no industry is completely recession- and pandemic-proof. But construction comes close.

To be sure, the industry as a whole is undergoing a slowdown, and it’s too soon to predict how long it will take for a full recovery. But there is a reason construction is considered “essential” in many states. From housing to commercial and healthcare buildings to the infrastructure that keeps us connected, construction is the bedrock of our economy.

Here are three reasons why we are optimistic about the industry’s jobs outlook, even during a pandemic—and our number one recommendation for current and future job seekers.

Reason #1: There is Pent-up Demand for New Construction

As states reopen and consumers regain confidence, we believe construction volumes are likely to quickly rebound. The logistics sector in particular is growing at a fast clip, creating a strong demand for distribution centers, warehouses, cold storage, and similar facilities. We also expect to see an uptick in demand for manufacturing and affordable housing. And roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure will always be required—and could yet get a boost if the U.S. government follows through on an infrastructure package.

Reason #2: There is a Shortage of Field and Office Talent

Before the pandemic, the industry was grappling with a significant shortage of skilled field and office talent. We believe that the labor shortage will only increase as people who were on the brink of retirement decide to do so. This will further broaden the options that are available to entry-level job seekers, both in the field as a superintendent or construction manager or in the office as a project manager, estimator, or in preconstruction.

Reason #3: Career Growth will be Unprecedented

By and large, projects that were in the works have been put on hold, rather than canceled. So when companies are ready to move forward, construction firms will need to field more projects than usual. This will require a higher level of collaboration between teams, which will provide broad exposure to future career paths. It will also open up new opportunities for individuals at all levels to take on more of a leadership role. In other words, entry-level talent could find their careers on a faster track to growth than at any time in recent history.

Distinguish Yourself from the Pack

The pandemic may have pumped the brakes on career fairs and recruitment, but it hasn’t put a halt to networking. When the market picks up again, construction firms—including Miller-Valentine—will need to hire a lot of people in a very tight window. Our first outreach will be to those prospects with whom we have built a relationship. Starting the conversation through LinkedIn, by email, or by phone will help ensure you are at the front of the line when recruitment begins in earnest.

You can also stand apart from the crowd by using this time to prepare yourself for your future you. A number of organizations are offering significantly reduced or even free online training or certifications. Those individuals who can say they used this downtime to learn a new skill, earn a certification, or work side jobs will be among the first to get an offer.

Want to learn more about future opportunities with Miller-Valentine? Reach out to Josh Welsh today at 513.774.8400 today.

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