Beyond the Build

Beyond the Build

A Lingering Challenge

A few months ago, I attended a ULI-sponsored lunch where Anita Kramer, their SVP of Capital Markets and Real Estate, shared her thoughts on Emerging Trends in Real Estate. I was seated at her table, and as we talked, she shared that she believes there will be a shortage of unskilled and skilled workers in the U.S. in the not too distant future.

I know I had a puzzled look on my face when I mentioned that we had not seen this yet, nor had we been anticipating it. Since that time, it seems that she was more right than wrong. Beyond our recent experiences, I’ve been told by my construction friends in Dallas that the current labor crunch is the worst they’ve seen in Texas. With the upswing in the present economic cycle, the belt is getting tighter.

We have a young project manager within our company who has much promise, who immigrated from Mexico as a child with his family. Over lunch, he told me it is much different getting across the border today, not only with U.S. officials, but with the smugglers commanding higher prices as well. It seems that the risk of illegal crossings is simply too high compared to what it was in years past.

It was almost four years ago that I visited the White House with a group to discuss immigration reform with their staff. Some things have changed. Many have stayed the same. Hopefully Washington and the new administration can come up with a solution to put this challenge behind us. In the meantime, if you’re willing to work in the field, we’re hiring.

{Image Source} 




Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.