How the Construction Industry Will Move Texas Forward

How the Construction Industry Will Move Texas Forward

The construction industry plays a significant role in the wellbeing of the US economy, and over the next several years, it will hold a leading responsibility in moving Texas forward as well.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank, construction accounted for 4.3 percent of US GDP in the first quarter of 2021. In Texas, the Associated General Contractors of America reports that construction contributed $100.9 billion (5.3 percent) of the state’s $1.9 trillion GDP in 2020. These figures are important in leading conversations with state and city leaders and proof that increased investments in infrastructure help stimulate the state’s growth.

As we invest in infrastructure, we also draw new businesses to the state. Those new businesses in turn attract quality workers and residents who decide to call Texas home. All of this works together to aid our overall economic development.

Within the construction industry, we believe that in order to attract the right people, we need well-functioning workplaces, housing, transportation systems, schools, hospitals, fire stations, and more. Through the building of these facilities, construction leaders have the opportunity to help position Texas as a front-runner in innovative and sustainable building practices.

City Tower in San Antonio. Photo Credit: Skanska

Here are three of the vital ways that construction positively impacts the labor market and overall Texas economy.

Employment Opportunities

A significant benefit of our region’s projected growth is the rising opportunity for employment. Our need for new buildings and facilities allows the construction industry to contribute significantly to employment—by providing physical opportunities for businesses to grow and thus expand their workforce, and through the construction jobs needed to support those builds.

Construction also feeds other industries, which also helps the Texas economy. From heavy-duty equipment and materials such as bricks, steel, and glass, to trucking, maintenance, and landscaping, the trickle-down job creation is endless.

These jobs usually represent long-term, well-paid opportunities for skilled tradespeople and college graduates.

Impact on the Economy

In Texas, we are already investing in new and updated infrastructure to support projected growth, signaling an optimistic economic outlook for the region. According to Business Roundtable, every dollar invested in infrastructure creates $3.82 in economic growth over 20 years. As we provide spaces for people to live, work, and play, more people will choose to call Texas home. When people have the opportunity to put down roots in a community with good schools and a variety of restaurants, public parks, and family-friendly activities, business prospers.

Human Connection and Placemaking

Construction projects should bring people together socially and recreationally. The industry plays a key role in placemaking, specifically in Texas, where new infrastructure, communities, and green spaces are planned and developed each day. Business leaders have the opportunity to work closely with their builders to make their build as special and unique as the communities they serve. When designing a building with the surrounding area in mind, new spaces can be seamlessly integrated into the heart of a community, adding to the connection between people and the places they share.

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When we all work together—business leaders, local government, architects, developers, and contractors—we can sustainably equip Texas with the infrastructure needed to grow physically and economically, providing a healthy future to support generations to come.

Ryan Aalsma

Ryan Aalsma is executive vice president and general manager at Skanska , one of the world's leading construction and development groups, where he oversees operations for San Antonio and Austin.

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