6 Primary Causes of Workforce Issues Identified by Wirtgen Group, BuildWitt New Partnership

The steady trend of labor shortages shows no end in the near future. Shrinking labor pools, high rates of turn-over, and under skilled labor continue to be issues for the entire industry. This new partnership vows to work together on innovative solutions.

Wirtgen Press Release Featured Image
From Wirtgen's website

If you tried to guess what the number one recurrent topic in spaces that cover industry news (any industry at all to be honest), you would be hard pressed to find any subject that has been more discussed than the current labor shortages in every corner of the country's workforce. The only possible secondary candidate would be the troubles and difficulties faced by the supply chain. But no matter how frequently the drum of "labor shortages" is steadily beat by news outlets of every kind--the problems are not over exaggerated. Neither do they have simple answers like, "People just don't want to work anymore." Smart companies know this, which is why the recently announced partnership between the Wirtgen Group and BuildWitt is good news.

In a press release Monday, October 10th, the two companies made the broader industry aware of their intentions to, "combine their resources to bring awareness to the issue and help companies access solutions to meet their specific needs." Which is a refreshing and welcomed stance. If these problems are going to find long term, functional answers, it's going to take a collaborative approach.

There aren't many other company's on the scale that Wirgen is, so they have a great deal to bring to the table. In the road building industry, they have a hand in every phase of the road construction process: rock, road and rehabilitation. But they also want to position themselves as "though leaders" within the industry too. Which is why they have invested so heavily to develop training courses for their customers, dealers, and employees. 

Speaking about the new team-up, Jim McEvoy, president/CEO of Wirtgen America said, "Partnering with BuildWitt allows us to take our world of experience and share it with more people. We agree with BuiltWitt's mission of making the dirt (and asphalt) world a better place, by attracting more talent and adopting technology that increases safety, profitability and sustainability, while building and maintaining the infrastructure our economy needs to thrive."

BuildWitt has a lot to bring to the table, as well. As a company, they have been working hard since 2018 to address common labor problems by providing media and marketing services to what they refer to as the "Dirt World", which is diverse landscape made up infrastructure, earthmoving, utilities, site work, demolition, mining, materials, heavy equipment dealers, and supporting vendors.

Just four years later, earlier in 2022, they launched their own training platform with over 500 lessons, and this partnership is just the first in a whole planned phase of corporate and organizational partnerships with others who share their core values. According to BuildWitt's President Dan Briscoe, Wirtgen more than fits the bill.

"They literally wrote the book on road construction and they are investing heavily to educate their customers and the industry on all types of road building topics. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Wirtgen and bring their expertise to an even larger audience," Briscoe said, "I had the chance to tour the Center for Training and Technology at Wirtgen America in Nashville. What an amazing facility and team of people."

So far, BuildWitt has identified six key causes they believe to be contributing to the workforce shortage:

  1. Aging workforce
  2. Shift towards higher learning over trades
  3. Record demand for Infrastructure
  4. Fierce competition for the same laborers from other industries
  5. Poor perception of "blue collar" work
  6. Mindsets and goals among the younger/emerging workforce

With each new company partnership BuildWItt forms, they plan to strategize and target one or more of these six issues, and address their root causes. "We don’t claim to have all the answers or solutions. What’s missing isn’t an effort or intent to solve the workforce problem—instead, it’s a cohesive effort,” says Aaron Witt, CEO of BuildWitt.

It should be noted that many of these factors have been identified by others, but it doesn't make them any less relevant. In this case, what is more newsworthy is the concentrated efforts of these two companies, and eventually others, to find novel approaches to overcoming them. Because it is, perhaps, becoming quite clear that things are not just going to go back to the way they used to be before. A forward thinking, proactive approach is the only way. Wirtgen and BuildWitt are taking it head on.