In February, Cornerstone Solutions ecstatically welcomed Todd Sellers of Cresleigh Homes, Jennifer Sutton of Taylor Morrison, and Kyle Koepp of PSW Real Estate to be a part of our panel discussion on Labor and Personnel in the Home Building Industry. We were also pleased to have Luke Young, Director of Purchasing for Cresleigh, sit in with us and chime in with his perspective. The session was presented and moderated by our own Kathy Mortensen, who added her considerable experience to the mix as well.
All the representatives have impressive backgrounds and longevity in home building and related trades, and so we were very excited to get their views on this topical subject. Here are some great snippets of the questions and excellent points made during the webinar:
- We asked about the National Housing Starts statistics of the number of permits dropping off at the end of the year, and our panelists disagreed. In their experience, permits have gone up.
- Our Panelists told us that they are experiencing solid growth. They agree that affordability is a big issue, but the affordability of houses is being impacted by the finite number of work crews available, especially in California. Crews are often lured away from affordable housing jobs by more money on other projects.
- When we questioned our panelists on their enticements to our country’s youth to make building and complimentary trades appealing as a career, Kathy noted that children who saw their parents lose their long-time jobs in the recent downturn could be a compelling reason from them to look away from the industry.
- There was agreement on the panel that much of the up and coming generation’s focus is on college and not on trades. They lamented the lack of hands-on activities that are no longer offered in schools and suggested this had an additional impact on the dearth of working youth after high school.
- We asked our panel what they thought of the recent Moody’s article on whether the labor shortage was real. In it, author Adam Ozimek points out that it is payrolls, not wages that are increasing in the construction industry. Then the panel took a deeper dive into two example workers and the differences for non-union immigrant workers.
Of course, we had so much to talk about, the session ran over a bit…but you can still hear all of the points and counterpoints, see the slides and the data by watching the video on our YouTube channel. You’ll hear our panel’s thoughts about the following topics and more:
- Illegal immigration
- How disasters and drugs affect construction schedules, including: are opioids the issue?
- Are trades worth it as a career?
- What you can do to decrease your bidding costs and ensure the availability of crews for your projects