Construction Woes

AEM report shows turbulent time in the industry


"The numbers are brutal," begins the latest report from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers regarding the construction workforce. They're not exaggerating:

  • The construction industry had an estimated 494,000 job openings at the end of April 2022, the highest ever.

  • The median age of a construction worker is now 42.3 years.

  • Funding from $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is starting to flow, creating yet more work for a fully booked industry.

While inflation and fuel costs may temper the job numbers, there’s little statistical respite ahead for contractors in need of skilled minds and hands.

Some believe, however, that there’s an awakening among contractors on what needs to happen to reverse these trends.


“I believe construction’s people problem can be overcome in just a few short years because we’ve seen contractors who have done it,” said Aaron Witt, who’s spent the past several years visiting hundreds of contractors as CEO and founder of BuildWitt, the renowned social media/marketing force that just expanded into training. “It’s being done on an individual contractor level.”


To find out specifically who these contractors are, AEM included five who are not only meeting the challenge of attracting people, but they are also doing it during exponential growth. They are:

  • W. Matthews Contracting Corporation, a $500-million-plus heavy civil contractor in Marietta, Georgia, with 1,400 employees.

  • Hoopaugh Grading Company (HGC), Charlotte, North Carolina, which has grown from around 400 to 700 employees in the past two years.

  • Sargent, a $170 million, 425-employee excavation company based in Stillwater, Maine.

  • Schlouch Incorporated, Blandon, Pennsylvania, a $100 million site preparation firm with 285 employees.

  • Turner Mining Group, established in 2017, with 300 employees. The Bloomington, Indiana, company recently created Turner Staffing Group.

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