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Discussed the Ongoing Digital Transformation in the Construction Industry with Jason Sturgeon

Economic survival in the present era is highly linked to the construction industry, with all levels of the government declaring unprecedented investment in infrastructure development.

Many government budget encouragement programs are primarily driven by a forecast growth of 2.7% for the sector, bringing construction work to $243 billion in 2022.

Technological adaptability has been proven to be the key to survival and revival in the pandemic era—and the construction industry needs to overcome these challenges to capitalize on the opportunities presented throughout the year.

So, how can contractors do that? To understand this, we interviewed Jason Sturgeon.

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Who Did We Interview?

Jason is a construction expert and instructor with over 25 years of industry experience. He is a co-creator and podcast host, helping construction professionals struggling to find their business purpose.

Jason owns a company that provides tangible and impactful training specifically focused on the construction industry and fills the gap between college and trade schools that is needed to succeed in the construction sector.

Let Us Quickly Get To Our Expert’s Point Of View.

Question 1: How do you see the construction industry in the year 2023? Do you think this year will be a "digital year" for construction professionals?

We see some slowdown on the technology front in Seattle. While billions have been invested in construction software/tech in recent years (and the industry is starting to be ready to adopt new tech), we're experiencing a reaction to the end of COVID.

There was a sharp spike in hiring and building infrastructure to support the immediate needs of the public, but that's rewinding down as anticipated. (i.e., Amazon lays 10k and Meta lays 11k). Public works still appear to be strong.

I'm not sure what a "digital year" means. With the tech investment increasing in the industry, it's critically important that the end users (especially in the field) are prepared and willing to accept GOOD training on how to use this tech.

Question 2: The construction industry has undergone dynamic changes over the years. What do you consider as the biggest challenge for this industry now?

The biggest current industry challenge is waking folks up to the fact that the world has changed. (It's changed faster in the last 20 years than ever in human history).

This is true on the tech front, and on the need for continual learning to stay relevant. The specific challenge is that the people who need to change the most have been soured by anything that looks or feels like education.

Our core purpose at Arcade is to help construction workers rekindle their love for learning that they had as children (and we're about 95% effective at this).

Question 3: What potential do you see in the latest construction technology trends? Are they capable of boosting the productivity of construction professionals?

100%. We're still in the early adoption of much of the coolest stuff. There's a social element to new tech that results in people pushing away from it out of fear. Fear it will take our jobs, fear that we don't know how to use it, etc. There's a lot of schoolyard behavior around the new tech (making fun of people using it on-site and such).

This is partially related to the fear element but also related to the fact that most tech training is improper and fails to actually REACH the end users on their level, with their language.

If and when folks can overcome these hurdles, productivity will go through the roof. It's also worth noting, though, that most construction folks lack simpleproblem-solving skills (non-tech related) that, if corrected, will have an even greater impact on productivity and safety.

Question 4: Where do you see the construction industry in the next five years? Please share your valuable insights with our readers.

Opportunities in the industry are only getting better for workers (and companies). With the silver wave (so MANY folks aging out and losing tribal knowledge), we're going to be in dire need of talent. The problem is that most of our industry is fueled by toxic masculinity and fear-based behavior.

Many other industries are quickly adapting to treat people better. Construction lags on this front. Companies that put people and culture TRULY front and center will thrive.

Those that can't adapt will struggle (with the weakest players and a toxic culture). There's no shortage of opportunity here.

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Question 5: In four words or less, what's your prediction about the transforming construction industry?

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Question 6: What's your success mantra?

I have so many that it's tough to pick one. My favorite PEOPLE mantra is "We don't grow up, we just get bigger."

If I had to pick a mantra that's been most attributed to my career success, it would be "What's the action item?” a mantra for the industry: "Always be learning."

More Details

Jason is also known for hosting a leadership and construction-focused podcast called "The Critical Path with Mary and Jason." The Podcast is all about Business Development, Company Culture, and Loving the place where you work!

The company he owns includes training like foreman basic and PM basic, as well as our "Build the Circle" scholarship programme to help provide leadership training and opportunities for women and underrepresented folks.