Solving the construction industry’s labor crisis

Q & A with project manager and 2022 president of Project Build Minnesota, Dan Beaving

Dan Beaving has just started his second term at Project Build Minnesota, the nonprofit founded by Housing First Minnesota, Minnesota Builders Exchange, Associated Building Contractors and The Builders Group to highlight careers in construction to young people and make construction an industry of choice. Under Beaving’s leadership, Project Build Minnesota has reached into Minnesota classrooms to address students and organized the first-in-a-decade Construction Teachers Conference, bringing both high school and post-secondary construction teachers together to share best practices.

Dan Beaving is the 2022 president of Project Build Minnesota and a project manager for Rice Construction.

Q: Why is workforce development so important today?

DB: Workforce development has always been a concern in our industry. However, due to the sharp decrease in new employment numbers and with the median age of the construction workers rising, it has moved to the top of the list of concerns.

Q: What are the biggest hiring challenges you are seeing in the current labor market?

DB: The challenge we are seeing the most is that young adults have a preconceived idea that the construction industry is hard work with long hours for little pay. In reality, it is completely the opposite. With little to no education debt and wage rates and benefits continuously rising, construction should be a top option.

Q: Why is Project Build so important for the construction industry?

DB: At Project Build, we found that most young people looking into careers had little knowledge of the benefits that the construction industry can provide. With rising pay rates and top-notch employee benefits, trade schools or on-the-job training should be highly considered versus the traditional four-year degree.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish this year with Project Build?

DB: Our main goal is to make sure the younger generation has all the information they can get on careers in trades so they can make an educated decision on which path they should take.

Q: What does the industry need to help people to understand about working in construction?

DB: On top of being highly compensated, I feel that construction gives a higher sense of pride that other industries may not. Seeing people enjoy and use that building we created really helps cultivate the ‘I helped build that’ mentality that all of us in the construction industry strive to have.