Friday, March 6, 2015

Young People Attracted to Working in Modular Factories

The average age of a construction worker is a worrying statistic for site builders.

Young adults don’t want to work on a construction site, and rightly so. It’s the worst place to construct a building. Today, young people have a far wider choice of their workplace, and working in a rough environment like a construction site probably is not one of them.

Site construction over past decade has become the domain of recent legal and illegal immigrant workers. No real language barrier, low pay, long hours and in many cases they are paid under the table.

So what type of house construction attracts our young adults? Modular!

Site building contractors have a lack of skilled carpenters, plumbers, electricians and so on, while many modular home factories have a waiting list of young people looking to work in a warm place in the winter and dry during the summer rains.

Ask yourself a question, how many Automotive engineers or mechanics work in a car plant?

The answer is probably none because all the work involved in those elements is now an automated process handled by people who have a different skill entirely.

So by creating a work environment that is safe, warm, with good facilities and has a roof over it, this makes it far more appealing for Young adults to work in a better environment.

For this to work though the Modular Home industry has to have more support of not just builders, but also the new home buyer. Any product manufactured in a factory regardless of what it is will always be of better quality than one manufactured on site, so it’s in the industry’s best interests to promote it to new home buyers.

We can encourage Young adults to take up new skills, based on a factory environment. Offsite manufacturing in Construction is the future, not just for Young people, but for the generations to come. We don't need tradespeople any more, we need factory technicians.


Anonymous said...

You make it sound as though young people are thrilled with the prospect of working in a modular factory. You couldn't be farther from the truth. Modular factories are filled with low paid, underskilled employees. Employees who are there only because there are no other jobs available or are desperate to pay their bills. Do you really think that the offer of $10 - $15 / hour plus having to pay $100/week in benefits is going to attract highly skilled employees? With all due respect sir, you need to drop the sales pitch and see what's really happening "in the trenches" of the modular factory production line.

Coach said...

Anonymous, young people are not lining up to work at any type of construction job but if given the choice for finding $15 an hour work at a jobsite or in a factory, my bet would be that they would choose the factory every time.

A two income family is almost required today to make ends meet and two people each bringing in $10-15 an hour would generate between $40-60K a year. That doesn't sound too bad for young people without any college education.

As far as knowing what goes on in the trenches, I already know. I've built site built homes for many years and been on the factory floor. I'll take the factory floor.

Anonymous said...

Please accept my apologies for the "sales pitch" comment. I shouldn't have implied that you didn't know what happens in the factory. I am, however, troubled by your statement "We don't need tradespeople any more, we need factory technicians." Although you don't need a college degree to be a factory "assembler" of modular homes, basic skills are a must and to have people who either don't have the capacity or drive to learn these skills or, simply have poor attitudes,doesn't help with achieving the desired end result - a quality home. For those who are willing to learn, many are using their time spent in modular housing as a stepping stone to higher paid site construction jobs. Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous opinion sounds like a white collar snob who believes tradesmen are unskilled based on their wage scale. Wonder what he thinks of teachers, police, firemen, nurses and others who work for the same $12-$18 dollars while their profession is insisting on advanced degrees and annual education credits.

Having been a framer, a framing company, and a home builder I agree with coach a factory would have been more comfortable.

Steve L said...

To Gary's credit, The On Site construction jobs although needed the tradesmen went on and did other types of work. The cost of outfitting a truck to work piece meal and travel to sites is prohibitive since the cost of fuel has changed the equation and independence has it price too. A futurist factory will change in time to include more robots and 3D printer applications in time. DOE has their Solar Decathlon which promotes modular construction over site built for energy efficiency results. Look at the automotive industry for similar results for them to stay in business.