WDDA Joins Collective Voice to Address Labor Crisis

As part of strategic alliance, industry leaders engage American Workforce Policy Advisory Board
Katie Gregg
October 8, 2019
THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

Last year, the Window & Door Dealers Alliance announced its involvement with Design & Construction Week as a supporting organization. WDDA is proud to continue this arrangement for DCW 2020, taking place Jan. 21-23 in Las Vegas.

Many know about the event—a co-location of NAHB International Builders’ Show and NKBA’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show that anticipates attendance of more than 95,000 professionals and features products from more than 2,000 exhibits covering more than one million square feet of space. But what does WDDA’s strategic alliance with the event mean for fenestration dealers and manufacturers?

For one, WDDA joins other industry leaders who represent the multiple facets of the home construction and remodeling industry—not only to support the event, but to collaborate and discuss industry trends and hot topics. Through roundtable discussions, the group has addressed topics such as managing customers in terms of the length of the work backlog, and helping suppliers and manufacturers manage material cost increases and tariffs.

Another discussion of note was how to address workforce challenges and the skilled labor issue. As a result of these labor-related conversations and the desire to strengthen this collective voice, WDDA and 11 other organizations sent a letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Special Assistant to the President Ivanka Trump, and other members of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board requesting a meeting to discuss the specific workforce needs of our industry and how we are tackling the training gap.

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics [Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey] data shows that the number of open construction sector jobs stands at approximately 350,000,” the letter states. “With unemployment remaining at a historically low rate of 3.7 percent, we must find new ways to encourage potential workers to view the skilled trades as a viable, worthy pathway to a good-paying job and career.”

WDDA, along with the other organizations that signed the letter—including the International Code Council, National Association of Home Builders, National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association, and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association—are committed to solving the issue of the lack of and rising cost of skilled labor through industry efforts.

Read the full letter here and share your thoughts on the matter and the measures the DCW supporting organizations are taking to come up with solutions.

Planning to attend Design & Construction Week? Visit WDDA in booth #N819 to meet me and staff from Window + Door. And stay tuned to WDDAlliance.org or follow @KatieGreggWDDA for the latest updates on how WDDA can help you build a more profitable business. We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!  

Katie Gregg is the associate director, WDDA Industry & Member Engagement for the Window & Door Dealers Alliance, the only national business organization advancing the interests of independent window and door dealers. She can be reached at kgregg@glass.org