For this episode of “If Walls Could Talk,” Jill Bloom is joined by Trent Cotney of Adams & Reese. For this chat, the topic is on skilled labor shortage—and as it concerns utilizes teens on jobsites. 

What does everyone need to understand in regard to this issue? “Over the last few weeks, I’ve taken calls from a lot of people [concerned about labor]. Over the years, the percentage on the residential side having been using sub-labor has increased dramatically.

Today, Cotney states that in the last few years, it’s prolific how substantial the workforce has decreased. He estimates that 89 percent of builders are using some type of sub-labor. It’s a sign of times, he says, simply adding that we as an industry cannot find skilled labor to do these jobs. 

The industry needs to look to high schools and immigration; “I think the best way to do that to find a legal workforce is technology.” 

One issue in which the construction is addressing this shortage is the advancements in robotic automation. But still, the issue is there isn’t a lot of workers. It’s shocking how rapidly the workforce has shrunk. 

So this brings in the debate on child labor laws: In what way can teens play a part in? There’s probably a happy medium here, Cotney says. 

Listen to Bloom and Cotney break this down on how everyone needs workers, especially post-COVID.

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