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Raising the Next Generation of Construction Experts

How Jaynes Empowers New Workers to Rise

“Leadership is service, not position.” – Tim Fargo

Jaynes has been a leader in construction in the Southwest for more than 75 years, rising from a humble family-owned concrete business to become one of New Mexico’s best-known general contractors. We’ve helped build much of the infrastructure for our communities, from schools and hospitals to multi-family housing and parking structures.

That amount of experience makes us an authority, but we aren’t satisfied to rest on those laurels. As leaders in the construction industry, we shoulder a responsibility not just to our own employees and the Owners we serve, but to others in the industry and community as well. Our purpose is to do all we can to raise up our communities and the people within them, and that means doing our part to solve tough problems.

Right now, one of the biggest challenges we face industry-wide is staffing. A new AGC Survey[1] reports that 88% of construction companies struggle to find enough skilled workers, and that the nation overall has fallen behind in preparing a new generation of construction professionals for the workforce.

It’s a complex problem, and one we cannot solve on our own. But as leaders in construction, Jaynes has a responsibility to help in any way possible. Here are some of the things we’re doing to help build a stronger workforce.

Empowering New Talent and Rewarding Experience

Part of the challenge of securing top talent for construction work is retaining experienced skilled workers. It’s not enough to offer competitive wages. Employees need career development and a path upward to reflect their expertise, which is why we make a habit of hiring for the long-term and promoting from within.

Our goal is to build a team whose efforts will go beyond our current capabilities as we strive toward perpetual improvement, and that means acknowledging success through merit increases, company awards and recognition, and a seat at the table for important discussions and company decisions. Our Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) means employees are partial owners and invested in our success, just as we invest back into them.

Building to a Higher Purpose

With nearly half [2] of the existing construction workforce set to retire within the decade, it’s not enough to retain existing talent. We also have to get out in the community to get young people excited about the field and keep an eye out for those just entering the workforce.

Part of today’s worker shortage comes from a movement away from trade skills, with more young people than ever attending college but fewer seeking a job in skilled trades and technical labor [3]. Connecting with those kids and getting them excited about opportunities in the field plants an early seed that can be nurtured into a future generation of success.

To that end, we are active in job fairs and other outreach programs, educating young people about their options in the field. Alongside AGC and other industry partners, we are actively involved with ACE Leadership High School in Albuquerque, a charter school offering hands-on projects-based learning for practical skills and trade careers. We also facilitate internships and shadowing opportunities for students from ACE and other high schools to see what we do first-hand.

Another thing we believe can help is showing young people that construction work is important and meaningful. Studies have proven that one of the most important parts of job satisfaction is doing meaningful work [4], but we don’t need science to tell us that. We live it every day in the field, seeing first-hand the impact of the work we do on the communities we serve.

By helping others look beyond the construction site fence and out into the big-picture view, we hope to inspire a new generation of workers to align toward a common purpose. That’s why we spend so much time on our culture, our values, and our commitment to the industry and the Southwest. It’s The Jaynes Way. And it’s the way up, and forward, for all of us.

SOURCES:

1 – New survey shows significant flaws in nation’s approach to preparing workers for construction careers and how that hurts the economy. Associated General Contractors of America. (n.d.).

2 – Katara, S. (2022, August 22). Council post: Replenishing the construction labor shortfall. Forbes.

3 – Yang, M. (2023, January 5). America needs carpenters and Plumbers. Gen Z doesn’t seem interested. NPR.

4 – Achor, S., Reece, A., Rosen Kellerman, G., & Robichaux, A. (2018, November 6). 9 out of 10 people are willing to earn less money to do more-meaningful work. Harvard Business Review.