On Labor Day, we honor the men and women who build our communities, cities and states. From roads to bridges, schools and municipal buildings, California’s construction industry has contributed to our local development, advancement and strength for decades. And the construction industry builds people, too, by prioritizing well-paying jobs, professional advancement and lifelong learning.

Associated Builders and Contractors has been setting the standard for excellence in construction since 1950, and workforce development remains one of our strategic goals. They have set up more than 800 apprenticeship, craft and safety programs across the United States, and their members, including our company, invest $1.1 billion annually to educate more than 475,000 employees. They also champion on-the-job instruction and retraining programs, which allow workers to obtain stackable and portable credentials recognized at any jobsite in the country.

Yet, there are an estimated 500,000 open jobs in construction right now, including many here in Northern California. That is why ABC is committed to working with our industry peers, local leaders and state policymakers to invest in construction apprenticeship, on-the-job instruction and workforce development programs. And most importantly, we must redouble efforts to recruit and educate current and future generations of construction workers— the men and women who build the Golden State.

The construction industry is looking to expand job opportunities for women, minorities, veterans, students, non-graduates, and people seeking new careers, re-entry to the workforce or a second chance.

Today, the U.S. construction industry employs about 7.5 million workers—workers who are in increasingly high demand. Associated Builders and Contractors estimates that we need to hire a staggering 500,000 workers just to fill a backlog of existing projects.

Construction is not just a job, but an opportunity for a well-paying career with a pathway to entrepreneurism and ownership that can’t be offshored. In addition, construction is one of a few industries where someone can enter as an apprentice and be paid to further their career through earn-and-learn programs, all without accruing student loan debt.

On Labor Day, we honor all the American men and women who build our communities, cities and states and contribute daily to our national prosperity. Thank you for your dedication, skill and striving to make the places we call home even better.


Ron Hicks is the Managing Corporate Officer for the Central/Northern CA Regional Office, of Soltek Pacific Construction. Hicks is also the 2018 Chair for the Associated Builders and Contractors, Northern California Chapter.