Contract Surety

Strategic Action: Next Gen Workers



With the population as a whole aging, the construction industry is ever more compelled to welcome in the workforce of the future. Already, some contractors report turning down work due to an absence of experienced workers. Industry leaders share strategies for attracting and investing in the next generation of builders.


Educate, Recruit and Retain

That’s the mantra for builders who don’t want to find themselves without workers for the go forward. As Construction Dive reports: “In 2022, the median age of construction and extraction occupations workers was 41.2, and about 45% of construction workers were 45 and older, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data available. That’s due in part to the aging of the overall population — the nationwide median worker age in 2022 was 42.3 — but construction has felt that increase more than other industries, according to BLS.” With experienced workers headed toward retirement, builders like Kris Manning of Clark Construction recognize that it’s critical  to build relationships with young people, and Marianne Monte of Shawmut Design and Construction emphasizes the importance of diversifying too:


More focus on recruiting and retention efforts, technology improvement and continued investments in education will help ensure that the industry can bounce back … .One way to bring more fresh faces into construction is to invest in getting in front of students at younger ages….Big-scale solutions include introducing skilled trades to students in elementary and middle school, while also developing and investing in trade schools and community colleges to attract more high school students not interested in college…“These schools understand the needs of local employers and can provide tremendous value for dollar spent per credit,” Manning said….In the process of upping recruiting, Monte said the industry needs to do more to enhance diversity and inclusion initiatives….In recent years, Monte said, the industry has made progress recruiting women and minorities, in part due to an increased focus on STEM students and investments in apprenticeship programs for developing careers of skilled trades workers.


Of course committing to next gen workers means contractors have to be confident in their ability to steadily bid and win work—and that’s exactly what Colonial Surety will help you do via The Partnership Account® for Contractors. Once qualified for The Partnership Account® , you’ll use our power of attorney to issue your own bid bonds, in minutes! Order performance bonds with speed and ease too. Plus, get an edge on the competition as you leverage your:

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Support Worker Well-Being

As Keyan Zandy of the Skiles Group points out, efforts to recruit new workers are unlikely to have long term results unless efforts are made to provide both the sense of belonging and solid benefits that are expected:


“We must acknowledge and address concerns about long working hours and limited work-life balance by implementing flexible schedules, promoting work-life integration and providing benefits supporting employees’ well-being,” Zandy said, adding that his company’s unlimited vacation policy has helped with burnout. Now is the time to invest in benefits that continue to recruit underrepresented groups, experts say. Providing childcare support is one example of how an employer can help clear a major hurdle to women looking to build a career.

In the meantime, empowering workers to speak up about workplace conditions is vital. Often, women or other underrepresented groups will simply leave, rather than address the issue. Making DEI initiatives a full commitment, more than a binder on a shelf, can be instrumental in helping workers feel welcome in their careers.


Experts are predicting that infrastructure, green energy and semiconductor manufacturing (CHIPS) projects are going to keep builders hopping, provide a plethora of good jobs for workers—and ratchet up the necessity of welcoming under represented groups, including women, into building trades: “Amid a competitive job market with record low unemployment levels, employers will need to recruit hundreds of thousands of additional workers to meet the flow of federal investment….There’s an urgency to this since the construction industry is on the verge of a good jobs boom fueled by $2 trillion in investments signed into law over the past two years.”


Don’t miss out on the opportunity to bid for publicly funded projects.  Your surety solution is right here:The Partnership Account® for Contractors. Once qualified,  builders receive a surety line of credit—in writing—and a private digital dashboard, providing daily snapshots of single and aggregate limits and bond capacity. Go ahead: update work on hand, increase the aggregate and hit the green light on your next build.


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Founded in 1930, Colonial Surety Company is a leading direct seller and writer of surety bonds and insurance products across the USA. Colonial is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company and U.S. Treasury listed.