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It’s not a secret that the construction industry is facing a significant labor shortage. Even with wages on the rise, contractors are challenged to find qualified workers. In February, Associated Builders and Contractors reported the industry needed to hire almost 650,000 additional workers on top of the normal pace of hiring in 2022 to meet the existing labor demand.

One Way to Handle a Worker Shortage: Get Manufacturers To Do Your Work For You

Chuck Ross
It’s not a secret that the construction industry is facing a significant labor shortage. Even with wages on the rise, contractors are challenged to find qualified workers. In February, Associated Builders and Contractors reported the industry needed to hire almost 650,000 additional workers on top of the normal pace of hiring in 2022 to meet the existing labor demand. More than ever, builders are looking for new approaches to reduce labor needs as they struggle to keep up with an active construction market.

One option for contractors is to have manufacturers do more of the work they used to do themselves by ordering prefabricated assemblies instead of individual components. These products can be especially helpful for electrical contractors, whose workers can spend much of their time with time-consuming tasks like fitting boxes into joist openings and measuring out and cutting lengths of cable.

Manufacturers offer prefab programs at a range of sophistication. At a base level might be products like box supports that are adjustable to fit a range of between-stud spaces for easy box installation in what otherwise might require a customized approach. At the top end, suppliers can use project plans to design the entire electrical system, shipping all required assemblies and precut cabling, along with detailed plans that enable speedy installation.

Shannon McMillian is sales manager for nVent CADDY Prefab’s key accounts, a manufacturer with a broad line of prefabricated assemblies and systems. He explains the advantages of a full-prefab approach in a recent video.  Among the pluses he notes is the fact systems are assembled on the customer’s schedule, so alterations can be accommodated if design changes are needed.

“By designing and building the systems as you need them, CADDY Prefab is able to manage the changes that occur on the jobsite as the job progresses,” he says. “Actually, what I think we do more than anything else is manage change.”
Photo courtesy of nVent CADDY
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