Norwalk, CT – Triax Technologies, Inc., a provider of the connected jobsite, is shedding light on how the traditionally low-tech construction industry is embracing innovation and using technology to meet workforce challenges and stay competitive and agile in today’s changing market, according to Chad Hollingsworth, CEO and cofounder of Triax Technologies, Inc.
“There’s no doubt that construction workforce dynamics are changing, with experienced workers retiring and a shortage of skilled workers to fill those slots,” said Hollingsworth. “Organizations must learn to do business in new ways with less manpower, and that means leveraging technology to gain visibility across projects, attract a new generation of workers, and optimize worksite safety and project performance.”
He pointed out that, in the last 12 to 18 months, there has been a major initiative to bring digitization to construction with a surge in start-up technology firms, financial investment, and a growing commitment of industry leaders to develop and embrace new technologies. With increasing construction activity and backlogs, construction companies are investing in new tools and technologies as well as workforce development.
These initiatives are not only enabling increased safety and productivity, but they are also creating new roles and opportunities for education and advancement for the country’s 6 million-plus construction workers. Following are some of the initiatives underway:
New professional roles are being created to fast-track technology and leverage data. New internet-of-things (IoT) technologies are automatically collecting data from workers, equipment, and tools across project sites. With this groundswell of data, construction firms are creating new project control centers to monitor, analyze, and act upon this data across all their active jobsites as well as more tech- and innovation-focused positions, including chief data officers, technology/innovation specialists, and directors of innovation. Industrywide, construction companies are prioritizing innovation and developing formal frameworks, and oftentimes employee rewards programs, for identifying, proposing, and evaluating cutting-edge technologies. These initiatives are helping to attract traditionally nonconstruction tech professionals to the industry, providing an opportunity to shape one of the last digital frontiers and apply technology to solve key industry problems.
Ten billion dollars has been invested in construction technology from 2011 through early 2017, according to McKinsey, and 2018 investment has already reached $1.38 billion, according to CB Insights. This investment is not only accelerating digital adoption by enabling startups and emerging companies to develop scalable, construction-specific technologies, but it is also prompting established companies to partner with these firms to create greater value for their customers. All of this activity is raising the profile of the construction industry, attracting more tech-savvy individuals to the space.
Recognizing today’s innovative construction environment, universities are offering expanded construction management programs that incorporate new technologies and hands-on experience. Keene State College in New Hampshire, for example, is offering a construction safety sciences degree program, the first program of its kind in the U.S. To address the skilled labor shortage, institutions, industry associations, and construction companies are teaming up to expand workforce training and development programs, such as nontraditional internship programs for high school students, girls-only shop classes, and reverse-mentorship programs between experienced workers and Millennials.
Submitted by Triax Technologies