Associated Builders and Contractors member contractors invested more than $1.5 billion to provide nearly 1.3 million course attendees with craft, leadership and safety education in 2022, according to its 2023 Workforce Development Survey, down from $1.6 billion in 2021. The annual assessment quantifies the scope of ABCmembers’ workforce development initiatives to advance their employees’ careers in commercial and industrial construction to build the places where Americans live, work, learn, heal and play.

Key findings include:

  • ABC contractors invested an average of 8.0% of payroll on workforce development in 2022, up from 7.4% in 2021, responding to the need for more than half a millionadditional construction workers in 2023.
  • Safety education for more than 700,000 course attendees accounted for the greatest share of spending, at 59%, up from 56% in 2021.
  • Trade and specialty contractors boosted their share of the total workforce development investment, growing to 42% in 2022 from 33% in 2021.

“ABC member contractors are building the people who build America by investing billions to cultivate their long-term skill sets, creating a brighter future for both workers and workers’ families,” said Greg Sizemore, ABC’s vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development. “ABC member contractors are investing in flexible, competency-based and market-driven education methodologies to build a construction workforce that is safe, skilled and productive. Continually upskilling our people, our most valuable asset, means the merit shop construction industry is ready to build the infrastructure, manufacturing plants, data centers and other buildings that will keep America competitive in the global marketplace.”

ABC’s all-of-the-above approach to workforce development has produced a network of ABC chapters and affiliates across the country that offer more than 800 apprenticeship, craft, safety and management education programs—including more than 300 government-registered apprenticeship programs across 20 different occupations—to build the people who build America.

Industry consulting firm FMI conducted the 2022 Workforce Development Survey from Jan. 4 to May 5, 2023. Aggregated data was derived by calculating the average amount spent on education by each respondent and multiplying that by the total number of ABC contractor members.