Based on the tremendous growth in Florida’s population over the next two to three decades, we are also facing issues that will challenge our ability to reap full benefits financially and organizationally from the growth. The greatest challenge that the construction industry faces is the ability to attract qualified personnel, particularly in those trades that require years of training before the individual(s) can reach skill levels where they are able to obtain the appropriate certifications. An example would be the MEP trades (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) that are so critical to most vertical construction projects. According to the most recent information available, the average age of fully trained and qualified people working in those trades in the South Florida market is over 55 years old.
Although trade schools are making a comeback, through the 80s and 90s, society seemed to be pushing and financing the idea of getting a 4-year college degree rather than learning a trade. The decades gap in not putting an emphasis on the trades and providing more availability of training could negatively impact our ability to find enough qualified personnel to pursue the extensive amount of construction opportunities our growth will demand.