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USGNN Original StoryNew Forecasting Model Could Help Glaziers Strengthen their Labor Pool
July 7, 2009

Finding and keeping good employees has always been a challenge for contract glaziers. But what if there was a crystal ball to help guide the industry toward a labor workforce? The Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) and the Construction Workforce Development Center (CWDC) have created an online Labor Supply/Demand Forecasting Model designed to help the construction industry determine if there are enough laborers in the right place at the right time to complete ongoing and future projects. In addition to its tracking capabilities, the system is designed to create predictive models in order to plan for regional peak craft demands, as well as understand future laborer needs and to plan for a sustainable workforce.

While the model is new in the United States it is not a new concept. Daniel Groves, CWDC executive director, says the system has been used successfully in Canada for about six years. "We looked at that model and created an ownership arrangement with them to be able to use it also in the United States," says Groves.

"The model has two sections: one for supply and one for demand. Project owners can go in and input information about labor demand while on the supply side contractors can put in project information as well as available labor information," explains Groves. "Contractors and owners complete online surveys that look at how available labor is for them in that area. For example, through the survey they say whether they had a surplus of labor, shortage, an adequate amount, etc."

Groves says that due to confidentiality and anti-trust protocols the model does not show specific information, such as a project's name, location or owner.

"Aggregate information only is listed," explains Groves.

For contract glaziers employing the model, Groves says the will take away several benefits.

"First, by having the supply and demand information they can better plan their employment recruiting strategies," says Groves. "Also, the information is in real-time in the sense that it is updated at a minimum of every 90 days. Another unique aspect is that you are getting the information directly from the source—the owner or contractor—it's not second- or third-hand information."

Use of the Forecasting Model is also free; the site is paid for through sponsorships.

"All users must register for an account and they are approved before they are given access to the site," adds Groves.

The model does not yet include specific information about contract glaziers as Groves says owners have not yet listed any information about their work with them nor have any contract glaziers participated.

"Though we would welcome them to do so," says Groves.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Forecasting Model.

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