While the construction industry is stronger than in years past, “we still suffer from labor shortages and workforce development issues,” Wilson says. “We are right in the middle of our annual legislative session, which continues until May 2. We just had a major change in leadership in our statewide elected officials.”
There is a move to create a workforce development board that would have oversight on all workforce development agency budgets and programs, jobs training and recruitment, he says. “We are cautiously optimistic that a majority of these initiatives will pass; however, since most involve appropriations, you never know until the dust settles,” Wilson says.
Another bright light is increased funding for new state buildings and existing building repairs and maintenance, which has been limited over the past four to eight years, he notes. “There are many bond bills for infrastructure in the mix as well. Those usually are bundled under one omnibus bond bill at the end of the session, so we are unsure which of those bond bills will be bundled and what the total expenditure will look like,” he says.