As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, industries everywhere are buckling under the weight of the outbreak. Unemployment rates are continuing to skyrocket, with the Department of Labor reporting an additional 6.6 million initial claims as of April 9, 2020. However, the construction industry continues to soldier onward. While there isn’t nationwide consistency in the United States declaring construction work essential, with cities such as Cambridge issuing a full moratorium on all construction, while New York City has shut down all non-essential construction sites, there are many places where construction work continues.
The New Normal
Construction sites are now operating under strict health and safety procedures. To enforce social distancing, fewer workers are on-site and all must stay six feet apart. The new normal also sees regulations for face coverings, gloves, and handwashing that all employees must follow, with some sites setting up their own handwashing stations in lieu of securing hand sanitizer that ends up frequently stolen. With fewer workers and more — albeit extremely necessary — regulations, construction itself has slowed down.
Some sectors are hit harder than others. The streams of home remodels have dried up as fear of contagion keeps people isolated in their homes. Work on service industry buildings, particularly restaurants, has also suffered as those businesses have been dealt a significant blow to their revenue streams from the pandemic.
Preparing For The Future
There is, however, hope that when COVID-19 is contained and shelter-in-place orders are lifted, the doors of opportunity will swing wide once more. With society eager to return to normal, now is an excellent time for companies to prepare for the future and invest in their people. One powerful way to develop your people is through continued education and training programs. Research shows that companies that institute employee development programs not only have an easier time retaining employees but also are more profitable.
We are living through an unprecedented time in history with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we are also living at a time with unprecedented access to information and training material. There are many affordable, virtual options, even within hands-on fields like construction, for continued education and development. CDA Wood offers its own online course to help you develop the skills you need to work effectively with reclaimed wood. Clocking in at an hour-long, the course is an excellent way for employees to increase their knowledge during this stressful time. With many companies ceasing operation or moving to a limited work-from-home basis, now is an excellent time to capitalize on training resources to prepare your people for the future.
The National Association of Home Builders also offers an array of online courses for continuing education. With many employees either working from home or awaiting the ability to return to work, now is the moment to seize the available time to invest in the skills of your employees via continued education!