The Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) and Associated Builders and Contractors recently called on the U.S. construction industry to continue to progress in promoting workforce training, recruitment, retention and career development. The mission of the CURT/ABC Workplace Initiative is to identify “critical issues that affect cost effectiveness” and help drive improvements that benefit owners, merit shop contractors and their workers.

“With this new initiative, ABC and CURT have made a commitment to providing leadership in addressing critical workforce issues so the industry will be assured of an adequate supply of first-class merit shop craftsmen and managers,” said Kirk Pickerel, ABC president and CEO.

The working group consists of 18 leaders from CURT, ABC and the merit shop contracting community. Three subcommittees were established: Owner Requirements for Training; Career Path Development and Retention; and Contractor Craft Worker Compensation.

In addition, several members of the group have lobbied the Construction Industry Institute to fund a research project to explore the return on investment of owner-supported and funded training programs. A final decision has not been reached.