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Issue Overview:

Engineering firms need access to talented, highly skilled workers. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the engineering workforce is already at full employment. ACEC’s analysis of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) finds that we will need an additional 82,000 engineers and other professionals to deliver those projects.

A significant portion of the existing engineering workforce is nearing retirement age, and National Science Foundation research shows that current STEM education programs are not sufficiently reaching women and underrepresented minorities to meet the needs of a growing economy. 

ACEC's Workforce Development Agenda Includes:

  • State and federal programs that expand STEM education and grow the engineering talent pipeline over the long term.   
  • Federal immigration policies to attract the best and brightest talent from abroad when qualified Americans are unavailable, including increasing the number of H-1B visas and recapturing unused green cards from previous years and making them available for issue. 
  • Contracting policies with public agencies that give firms more flexibility to manage costs. As firms deal with inflation in salaries and other costs, ACEC supports the utilization of lump sum contracts instead of cost-plus contracts by State DOTs, the elimination of arbitrary salary caps that don’t take the current labor market costs into consideration, and adding cost escalation clauses authorized by the Federal Acquisition Regulation to federal contracts. 

Join ACEC's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Committee to learn how we are working to expand opportunity in the engineering industry.

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Ready to find out more?

You can access more resources on Workforce Development in the ACEC Resource Library.

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Letter to President Biden on Immigration Reform

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ACEC Comments to the FTC on Noncompete Agreements Proposed Rule

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ACEC Comments on USCIS Immigration Fees NPRM 

ACEC Research Institute - Diversity Roadmap

Access a data-driven tool that assesses the maturity of a firm’s DEIB program and provides actionable suggestions on how firms can make further progress.

Staff Contact

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Katharine Mottley

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