As Anniston families celebrate the unofficial end of summer this Labor Day weekend, I’d like to recognize the hard-working men and women of the merit-shop construction industry. America’s merit-shop construction workers, the 86 percent of the industry that chooses not to be affiliated with a labor union, build the hospitals we are born in, the hotels and stadiums that millions of Americans will visit to celebrate the holiday and just about everything else.

In addition, Alabama’s construction industry has a $10 billion impact on the state’s economy, has provided fulfilling careers to Alabamians for generations and, perhaps more than ever, remains a source of excellent career opportunities and prosperity.

The need for skilled construction workers is projected to grow at twice the rate of all other industries. In fact, according to a study done by Associated Builders and Contractors, there will be a shortage of 2 million workers in the next few years. I encourage educators, families and job seekers, including the thousands of recent high school graduates who are just entering the workforce, to explore the well-paying, long-term career opportunities that exist in the construction industry. Thanks to ABC of Alabama’s landmark legislation, the anti-project labor agreement (PLA) bill that was passed this year, construction workers in the state are now guaranteed more fair and open opportunities when it comes to acquiring work on public projects.

As you celebrate Labor Day, take a moment to recognize the dedicated workers who build America and, if you’re looking for a career change, consider looking into a lucrative and fulfilling career in the construction industry.

Jay Reed


ABC of Alabama