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903 E. Ohio St., Indianapolis, IN 46202

Call: (317)423-2325

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Labor Shortage is a Universal Issue in the Construction Industry

The ever-growing labor shortage is a universal issue, affecting nearly every business sector that relies on the availability of a workforce. It’s an issue that was happening before the COVID-19 pandemic and has persisted.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there are 11.3 million job openings in the U.S., but only 6 million unemployed workers. At the height of the pandemic, more than 120,000 businesses temporarily closed, and more than 30 million U.S. workers were unemployed.

The American Rental Association (ARA) has established initiatives aimed at addressing the labor challenges facing the rental industry and those industries closely aligned. The initiatives are focused on promoting the rental industry as a desirable career path for those already in the workforce and developing awareness and understanding of the rental industry among future job candidates.

Connecting Candidates With Careers
The ARA has invested in connecting job seekers with rental career opportunities through the development of the ARA Job Portal. It is the first consolidated job board specifically targeting rental-related careers throughout the U.S. The portal was created exclusively for ARA members to promote open positions and source candidates. There are currently 4,500 job openings listed – everything from delivery driver to branch manager, tent installer to equipment technician. 

Job openings are cross promoted on a national network of job sites to reach a wider candidate pool. The ARA Job Portal also allows all job seekers to upload a resume, set up job alerts by keyword, location, industry, or job function and apply directly for job openings with ARA member businesses. 

Increasing Awareness
The ARA’s focus on raising awareness among high school and higher-level education students is a concentrated effort to promote rental careers as a viable alternative to secondary education and skilled trades. Rental careers and aligned careers, such as drivers and technicians, need to be a part of the career conversation with those coming into the workforce.

For the first time, ARA is offering a two-year student membership at no cost. Student membership offers access to the ARA Job Portal, inclusion in ARA's Young Professionals Network where they can connect with peers currently working in the industry, and access to training documents and courses to earn certifications for head-start on a rental career.   

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“The ARA is trying to add rental careers to the conversation as students begin to consider future career paths,” said James Auerbach, ARA Vice President, Event Segment and Rental Industry Workforce Development. “The more we expose young people to the financial potential and advancement opportunities of working in equipment and event rental businesses, the more interest we will see from young professionals pursuing a career within the rental industry.”

Creating a Culture
Addressing the labor shortage is not just about raising the profile of the rental industry as a career path, it’s also about creating a desirable culture that people want to join.

The pandemic has placed a spotlight on employee satisfaction and workplace culture. Work-life balance was once a buzzword and now has become an expectation of the modern workforce. Businesses that elevate and prioritize the employee experience and culture will see positive results in attracting and retaining quality employees.

“We’re seeing a movement of businesses upgrading facilities, break rooms, and work areas with more amenities to improve employee morale by giving people a place to go to work that they can be excited about,” said Auerbach.

Recognizable Career Path
Addressing the workforce shortage can no longer be an occasional effort. It must be a proactive, ongoing program to recruit and hire talent in a competitive market at a local level. The ARA is committed to generating awareness of the rental industry as a viable, recognizable career path with advancement opportunities from entry-level positions up through management and competitive, lucrative earning potential.

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