NFIB California Podcast: Where the Future of Commercial Construction in California Lies

Date: September 15, 2022

Tim Murphy, president and CEO of the Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange, says getting younger people to consider careers in the trades is the top priority

“There are a lot of entities that are out there focused on developing construction talent, but one area that we have seen just a real decline for the last 40 years – and really where the chickens are coming home to roost – it’s in … getting young people interested in the possibility of construction careers.”

So spoke Tim Murphy, president and CEO of the Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange, in the latest NFIB California podcast with host John Kabateck, NFIB’s California state director.

“The thing that challenges is having a reliable workforce to do the work. Here we are 40 years later, we’re seeing the number of people who are in construction aging now,” said Murphy. “The pipeline to bring in talent is thinning, and we are focused on getting high school kids into construction career programs.” 

California’s Regulatory Environment

Murphy also discussed some of the victories his association, in concert with other construction groups, had in the recently concluded 2021-2022 session of the California State Legislature. And if you’re in construction, you will undoubtedly run into that great regulatory wall called the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

“It’s not surprising that California has about 100,000 more regulations on the books than the next most regulated state,” said Murphy. “California being California we have to go over and above what’s being done at the national level.” One legislative proposal Murphy was happy to see stopped would have added a social just component to the already rule heavy CEQA.

Kabateck’s interview with Murphy also touched on the subjects of inflation, interest rates, supply-chain disruptions, and multi-family housing. But it’s getting young people into construction that remains the biggest challenge. “We know from kids who go into the industry right out of high school, usually by the time they’re 23 to 25, they own their own truck, they got all their own tools, many of them are on their way to homeownership. Working in construction can afford you a very comfortable lifestyle.”

Click the arrow below to listen to the NFIB California podcast with Tim Murphy. Click here to listen to all prior NFIB California podcasts.

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