The construction industry is finally seeing a resurgence after the recession that started in 2008, but contractors are facing serious issues that can impact the future of the industry and their business.
One of the main issues is a labor shortage. Another issue is a workforce that is not properly trained to handle the newest technology and product installation. According to a study on workforce issues in the architecture/engineering firms, general contractors, and trade specialty contractors last year by McGraw-Hill Construction, they all had a large concern about hiring replacements for retirees. Specialty trade contractors were more concerned with hiring experienced, well-trained workers than the other groups. The study showed two-thirds of respondents had a concern about workforce shortages. Nearly half of general contractors identified finding skilled craftsmen as their biggest difficulty in hiring by 2014.
General contractor and owner of Cleveland-based JMAX Enterprises Alex Sainato is experiencing these challenges first-hand. As Sainato sees his business increasing, he is finding it challenging to hire skilled workers. He has found a solution.
Along with Jack Kraszewski, Esq., former corporate counsel of the Edison Biotechnology Center and BioOhio, non-profit business accelerators, they have launched Lead Carpenter Training (LCT), an assessment and training center in Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio to provide construction companies, general contractors, staffing companies, and individual laborers with assessments of their craftsmen and a focused curriculum of hands-on training. The training center is certified by the State Board of Career Colleges and Schools. (Registration No. 14-05-2044T)
“Our mission is to teach a new set of specialty construction skills to existing carpenters within the trade with two or more years of construction experience. These newly developed skills will provide the laborer with an updated skill set to handle all components of the latest developed construction products,” said Sainato. “In turn, general contractors and subcontractors like us will have a skilled set of laborers to augment their crews and reduce general conditions.”
“In addition, the Center can provide an assessment of an individual laborer’s skill set for prospective or current employers or staffing agencies,” said Kraszewski. “The Center will conduct an 8-Point skills assessment of an individual laborer’s experience level. A report will be generated and provided to the client company.”
Sainato and Kraszewski have leased a 5,200 sq. ft. warehouse at 4911 Grant Avenue in Cuyahoga Heights for a training facility. They have created a large training wall with various simulations for practice from installing windows to siding. The craftsmen will be evaluated on a number of items ranging from blueprint reading, preparedness with hand tools, window and door installation, weatherization system installations to arriving on time and good communication skills.
“If the craftsmen is not proficient enough to go right on a job, he/she will have the opportunity to go through a two-week training session,” said Sainato. At the end of the two weeks, they will receive a completion certificate that highlights all their proficient skills.
Those individuals or companies interested in learning more about the program can log on to www.jmaxenterprises.com.
“Our hope is that not only will we be helping ourselves in hiring qualified carpenters, but that we can be of service to other contractors and companies facing the same issues as us,” concluded Sainato.
Alex Sainato, owner of JMAX Enterprises has 25 years of experience managing all phases of construction, infrastructure and multifamily projects (roofing, windows/doors, exterior facades) for government and private-sector clientele. Kraszewski has 14 years experience assisting start-up companies from corporate review to assistance with obtaining funding.