CONSTRUCTION-AGGREGATE SECTOR STRATEGY

In response to industry demand, Lane Workforce Partnership was asked to convene and facilitate the Lane County Construction-Aggregate Workgroup.  This workgroup was formed in January 2016 with the overall goals to:

  • Create industry awareness for younger workers.
  • Identify/problem solve workforce issues.
  • Discuss how to make connections with Lane County Middle/High Schools, Lane Community College (LCC), and collaborations with local workforce agencies.

2018 Construction-Aggregate Projects Summary:

  • Spring 2018, 17 local C-A employers and training programs presented to approximately 110 students and parents at 9 Lane County Schools.  Several sessions were expanded to include middle school students.  Two sessions were scheduled in the evening to allow parents to attend.  The purpose of these presentations was to introduce, inform, promote, and create awareness of C-A industry opportunities.
  • Lane County Sand & Gravel Tour.  Delta Sand & Gravel/Knife River hosted.  Additional participating companies were:  Wildish Sand & Gravel and Eugene Sand & Gravel.  This year’s tour was expanded to two days to accommodate increased student interest.  120 students from 9 Lane County High Schools participated.
  • Elevate Lane County (ELC) organized the first annual Lane County High School Job Fair.  Several Lane County Construction-Aggregate employers participated in the job fair, some with summer/permanent hires.
  • Teacher externship was completed for the new CTE instructor at Willamette High School.  His externship experience involved work at Delta Sand & Gravel and Urban Lumber.
  • Construction-Aggregate Sector Career Pathway document was completed and will be utilized as a resource for school staff, students, and parents.
  • Construction-Utility Career Day – this event is designed to show Lane County High School students the career opportunities and potential for growth in the construction and utility trades.  The event was held Thursday, September 27, 2018.  Approximately 500 local high school students attended and received hands-on introduction to the range of C-A and Utility opportunities.
  • KEZI began running a public awareness media campaign called Skilled to Work to promote trade opportunities for the construction, aggregate, manufacturing, and utility industries.

2019 Construction-Aggregate Meetings:

  • Brainstorm on how to increase C-A- industry participation.
  • Brainstorm on how to increase C-A- industry involvement/utilization of Elevate Lane County and their school to work resources.
  • Apprenticeships – help facilitate improved understanding of student application process and address employer challenges to meet Bureau of Labor Industries apprenticeship requirements.
  • Continuation of the projects and events mentioned above.

Why focus on Construction-Aggregate?  Here’s why…

The Construction-Aggregate sector employs over 7,115 people in Lane County and is expected to grow faster than the overall economy at 24% between 2017 and 2027 for 1,724 new jobs, compared to 11% for all industries.  In addition, there are expected to be 8,368 replacement openings for a total of 10,092 openings over the ten-year period.  With above average growth, employment in the sector reaches pre-recession levels, which peaked in 2007 at 8,380, towards the end of the forecast period. Annual average wages in construction and aggregate are higher than the overall average for all industries at $51,979 compared to $42,644.  In 2017, Lane County’s total payroll in construction and aggregate was $396,232,801, the fourth highest county in the state.  Even though wages are higher on average than for all industries, most occupations in construction and aggregate require only a high school diploma or less for the typical entry level position.

Lyle Lang, Construction-Aggregate Sector Leader

For additional Lane County Construction-Aggregate Workgroup information, contact Lyle Lang (lylel@laneworkforce.org) or 541-225-7122.