The Diversity Necessity

The Demographics of the construction industry is changing. The time is now to adapt.

As the union construction industry continues to grapple with labor shortages and vital upcoming projects, it has become clear that new, innovative solutions and recruiting tactics are needed to maintain a robust post-pandemic workforce. In addition to innovating industry marketing and communication, one solution that has come to the forefront of the industry is an emphasis on recruiting females and other underrepresented candidates. 

Underrepresented Candidates 

Women are still marginally underrepresented in the construction industry. They comprise only 3% of Ohio’s construction workforce demographic. Concerns over gender bias, safety, pay equality, and advancement opportunities keep many women from considering construction as a career path. 

Latino males are another vastly underrepresented group in the union construction workforce. Interestingly, Latino males make up 14.2% of the young Ohio workers choosing the trades, making them one of the only young demographic showing significant growth in choosing trade careers. The disconnect from the Latino community is often language barriers, misinformation, and a lack of community ties to the union construction industry.  

The Next Steps

In order to recruit these underrepresented groups to the union construction industry, they need to know and see individuals like themselves residing in the industry. While this sounds like a conundrum, the Ohio Laborers’ Apprenticeship Program is working hard to recruit these diverse groups by working with organizations such as Building Future’s, Job Corps, and local and statewide Latino associations. These organizations assist in creating connections and inroads with previously underrepresented groups so we can present them with opportunities in the union construction industry.  

Because of these connections, now more than ever, we encourage you to utilize the Sponsorship Portal to find new, quality, and diverse candidates seeking entry into the union construction industry: We believe that attaining role models, mentors, and industry ambassadors for diverse populations is vital to conquering the major obstacles that perpetuate misinformation and avoidance of the industry. We encourage you to hire underrepresented laborers and intentionally listen, guide, and adapt in a way that develops positive relationships and encourage referrals and retention for your company.  

The future of construction is diverse. The statistics show that now is the time to adapt and encourage new candidates to join your company. Do not allow your company to fall behind in the trends we see forming.