From the Desk of Executive Director Bryon Short
From the Desk of Executive Director Bryon Short - August 19, 2022
I take every opportunity I get to share the important role the construction industry plays in Delaware and the region. From speaking to members of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce to addressing the United Way of Delaware, I see the chance to spread the word about the industry’s impact on the economy and the opportunities it offers those that choose it as a career. Last week, I had the opportunity to share this message with the Leadership Delaware class of 2022. The participants may be relatively early in their careers, but in reviewing the 30 participants biographies, it was clear they are already highly accomplished and shaping Delaware.
My forty minutes of presentation time absolutely flew by. After sharing DCA’s history and the unique role it plays as Delaware’s oldest construction trade association, I reviewed the historic infrastructure funding being injected at both the state and national levels. Of course, it would not have been a meaningful discussion of the industry without talking about its greatest challenges: supply chain and the associated construction material price inflation and workforce shortages.
The majority of the discussion was dedicated to the active role DCA plays in helping the industry meet its workforce challenges. I always enjoy telling people about my takeaway from the first Governor’s Construction Career Expo. It occurred just before I started at DCA in October 2018. I came away from the Expo convinced that a person could present to me any area of interest and I can identify a career in the construction industry for them. Whether a person is interested in what we think of as the traditional skilled trades aspect of building, technology, business or art, the construction industry has a career path that can be both financially and personally rewarding.
It’s always a good sign when participants want to talk following a presentation. I was particularly pleased when DCA Scholarship recipient, Jennalee Fede, an employee of DCA member Verdantas, introduced herself after the session. Timothy Boyle who works for another DCA associate member, M & T Bank, spent some time connecting as well. I’ve also had the opportunity to have one-on-one follow-up discussion with two participants this week.
I certainly knew of Leadership Delaware but had not had the occasion to interact with the program previously. I was grateful to have the opportunity to share the value the construction industry plays in Delaware’s economy, the opportunities the industry offers to anyone interested in making it a career, and the impact DCA has from advocacy to education and training to business development for our members. A few of these leaders are already involved in the construction industry in some way, who knows who else among them may help our industry grow in the future.