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Adams and Reese Partner and Construction Team Co-Leader Trent Cotney had his article “Addressing the Workforce Shortage” published in FRSA’s Florida Roofing magazine.

FRSA is the Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association, Inc., an association of roofing, sheet metal and air conditioning contractors, and industry-related companies. Cotney serves as FRSA General Counsel. 

“Anyone in the construction business – and roofing in particular – knows that hiring and keeping a skilled crew is a huge challenge. Many workers are aging out of the industry and luring younger workers can prove difficult,” writes Cotney. “It is estimated that one in five of all construction workers are at least 55 years old, which means a large segment could be retiring in the near future.”

In the article, Cotney discussed several legislative measures that could fuel the pipeline of construction workers. For instance, A Stronger Workforce for America Act (H.R. 6655) is set to reauthorize and enhance the 2014 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. It calls for upskilling workers through individual training accounts (ITAs), on-the-job instruction and other initiatives; allowing states to use allocations to create “critical industry skills funds”; ensuring eligibility programs are aligned with employers’ skill needs; emphasizing work-based training for youth workers; and strengthening programs to help those released from prison to gain skills and transition to meaningful employment.

Another bill that can address workforce shortage is the Essential Workers for Economic Advancement Act (H.R. 3734). It would create H-2C, a new visa category to allow temporary workers to work in year-round, nonagricultural positions, valid for 36 months with two consecutive renewals. We are also keeping an eye on Perkins Career and Technical Education State Grants. Each year, Congress allots funding for CTE programs, and increases in funding would be a boon to the construction industry, allowing students to pursue skills-based careers.

Click here to read the full article

Cotney is a leading member of one of the largest construction practices in the country with Adams and Reese’s roster of more than 80 attorneys serving the construction industry.

A Partner in the Adams and Reese Tampa office, Cotney represents construction and infrastructure clients, including general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, manufacturers, architects, engineers, roofers, developers, and other professionals. He is an EU arbitrator for construction-related disputes. Cotney is also experienced in construction litigation and arbitration, including OSHA defense, lien law, bond law, bid protests, and construction document review and drafting.

Cotney is ranked among the top construction attorneys in Florida by Chambers USA and ranked by Best Lawyers, and Super Lawyers in Florida, Texas, Mid-South, and Illinois. Cotney is a board-certified construction lawyer licensed in eight states and Washington, DC.