An Assessment of the West Michigan Construction Skilled-Trade Environment

Project Dates

07/08/2014 - 09/15/2014


The assessment was designed to determine the magnitude of short-term labor shortages in key construction trade occupations and to recommend possible actions that would expand the industry's supply of skilled-trade workers so it can meet its growing demand. Upjohn Institute staff members: 1. Conducted an online survey of the membership of the Home Builders Association (HBA), Associated Builders and Contractors Incorporated (ABC), and the American Subcontractors Association (ASA); 2. Evaluated the existing supply of skilled construction workers living in the greater Grand Rapids-Holland-Muskegon region by using micro-level data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey. 3. Assessed the current capacity and usage of the construction trades training programs in the region by interviewing the programs' managers. 4. Used the Institute's Regional Economic Models Incorporated (REMI) model to forecast the short-term demand for construction occupations and to estimate the loss of economic activity in the region due to construction firms turning away work.


Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

Subject Area

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; Industry studies; Regional policy and planning