Document Detail

Title: IR318-2 - Craft Risk/Availability Forecasting Tool
Publication Date: 9/1/2015
Product Type: Implementation Resource
Status: Tool
Pages: 7
Based on a statistical regression analysis of 97 construction North American projects completed between 2001 and 2014, this tool enable project managers, estimators, and site management teams to assess the risk that craft labor availability poses to a specific project's safety, cost, and schedule performance. These risk estimates will support project management decision-making during the project planning stages.
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Abstract

Over the past several decades, the U.S. construction industry has experienced cycles of recessionary decline followed by periods of industry growth. During growth periods, projects have experienced craft labor shortages across multiple trades, in terms of both head count and skill level. CII chartered Research Team (RT) 318 to investigate this problem, specifically asking the team to answer the question, “Is there a craft labor cliff that will affect project performance?” The team performed a macro-level demographic analysis of the North American craft workforce and found a near-term craft labor “cliff” in the southwestern and southeastern United States for welders, pipefitters, and electricians. This lack of the quantity and quality of craft labor will negatively affect project performance in these regions. The team also detected a number of long-term trends within the craft workforce: an increase of the average age of the construction workforce at three times the rate of that of the non-construction industries; a shift in craft worker preference from job satisfaction towards higher pay; a lack of educational attainment among Hispanic workers that will prevent them from moving into industrial-focused trades (e.g., pipefitting or welding); a reduction in career and technical education at the high school level; and the shrinking wage gap between craft workers and all other industries.

Previous research on workforce issues has lacked any large-scale focus on quantifying the impacts of craft labor availability on project performance. To fill this research gap, RT 318 assessed the impact of craft availability on project safety, cost, and schedule performance, by performing a statistical regression analysis of 97 North American construction projects completed between 2001 and 2014. This sample population was made up of 85 U.S.-based projects and 12 projects located in Canada.

RT 318 used the results of this analysis to develop the Craft Risk/Availability Forecasting Tool (CRAFT). This tool will enable project managers, estimators, and site management teams to assess the risk that craft labor availability poses to a specific project’s safety, cost, and schedule performance. The tool’s five-step process determines the impact of craft labor staffing difficulty on a project’s safety, cost, and schedule performance. These risk estimates will support project management decision-making during the project planning stages.

Chapter 2 describes the model and how it can be used to quantify the risk. Chapter 3 describes the benefits of the tool and potential limitations. While this implementation resource offers a method for analyzing the risk posed by craft shortages on individual projects, Research Summary 318-1, Is There a Demographic Labor Cliff that Will Affect Project Performance, and Research Report (RR) 318-11, Is There a Demographic Labor Cliff that Will Affect Project Performance, present the team’s general recommendations for addressing these industry-wide threats