Managing Partner Israel G. Torres sat down with Phoenix Business Journal Publisher Ray Schey, Kitchell Project Director Scott Root, and BeachFleischman PC Accounting and Assurance Shareholder Bryan Eto to discuss Arizona’s construction industry, specifically workforce development and its impact on our region’s economic growth. The conversation was published in Phoenix Business Journals special section Table of Experts 2019: Construction.
The panel focused on the ongoing shortage of skilled construction workers and how potential partnerships between owners, developers, contractors, community leaders, and labor could address the issue through quality training programs.
I’m interested to see the healthy tension … between developers, general contractors, subcontractors, workers, when it comes to construction cost, because I think we’re seeing a more educated worker through technology demands … as you see more wage mobility in the construction trades.Israel Torres
As the former Arizona Registrar of Contractors and a long-time labor advocate and construction consultant, Torres is a champion of proven apprenticeship programs.
It’s going to be critically important for us to look at the apprenticeship programs that are in place. I work with a lot of them so I’m very partial to them. The physical nature of construction in and of itself is challenging and very difficult, it’s tough on your body….We are definitely going to be highlighting the fact that programs that are graduating students are the future, and this is no different and we shouldn’t treat students that aren’t going to college, we should treat their training programs any less than colleges. If a high school is not graduating students, we probably close that high school. If an apprenticeship training program is not graduating students, and I’ll be honest with you, there’s a lot of them out there, we need to weed those guys out.Israel Torres