Pickens Technical College’s Construction Technology Pathway: Automation and the Labor Shortage
It’s an exciting time to be in the construction industry right now. Not only does Colorado have a wealth of construction jobs, but big-time investment dollars are also being poured into the industry. Why? Because investors sense big changes are coming to construction technology. If you’re considering enrolling in Pickens Technical College’s Construction Technology program, there couldn’t be a better time.
Investment in Construction Technology
According to research firm CREtech and the Wall Street Journal, venture capital investment in private tech firms increased from $352 million in 2016 to over $6 billion in 2018. Current estimates indicate that by the end of June 2019, investments had totaled over $4 billion.
This influx of capital, much of it going to new companies, shows that investors are betting on a technological revolution of sorts in the construction industry, leading to more automation, more precise design abilities, and better ways of organizing worksites. Learning about how these new technologies work in the construction industry now will be very beneficial for someone interested in a construction career. With better knowledge of cutting-edge tools and systems, you’ll be on a fast track to a leadership role in the construction industry.
The Labor Shortage
The construction industry is at a crossroads and in need of investment and technological advancement because of the growing labor shortage. According to the 2019 June jobs report by the US Labor Department, the gap between available construction jobs and job seekers in this industry is 1.63 million, the largest since 2000, when these numbers were first tracked.
Because of this employment gap, construction firms are building out new technology to get work done. This includes automated machinery, drones, robots, and artificial intelligence systems that make adjustments to labor and worksite operations on the fly. Learning how these new systems integrate with the current technology in and around construction sites will be crucial to building a career in this industry as it changes and grows.
One trend that is taking on in the construction industry is a modular building. The concept is relatively simple: prefabricated buildings made of repeated rooms and sections called modules largely built offsite and transported to the building lot. This eliminates some of the dangers of a worksite, where construction personnel has to erect structures in one contained area. Modular construction allows for more precision and mass production of modules for large, homogenous buildings like factories.
The implications of modular construction concepts and other technology involving automation in this sector will cause sweeping changes over the next several years. There will undoubtedly still be a large need for qualified construction workers, especially if they can use and understand these new systems and tools being integrated into worksites throughout the country.
If you’re interested in joining this industry, Pickens’ Construction Technology program is a great place to start. You’ll be involved in planning and executing construction projects and at the forefront of the next wave of construction technology to disrupt the industry.