LAS VEGAS – The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) today announced that Virginia Tech University will receive its annual William A. Klinger Research Award to fund its study on the construction industry's shortage of skilled workers.

The $25,000 award from the AGC Education & Research Foundation supports cutting–edge and timely construction research topics that produce a deliverable plan with practical usage for the construction industry—recent research topics include building information modeling, LEED and work force development.

"The construction industry is facing a critical work force shortage," notes Jack Kelley, William A. Klinger Task Force Chair and past AGC President. "This shortage is considered, by most, to be one of the industry's foremost challenges; the number of qualified people entering the work force and the difficulties of recruitment both contribute to this alarming trend."

The objective of Virginia Tech University's research is to explore potential remedies for the existing and projected construction work force shortage in the areas of recruitment and/or retention. The study will identify existing programs that are targeting recruitment and retention of individuals in the construction industry—specifically craft workers; assess the attitudes, perceptions and interest of school–age students, the existing construction and non–construction work force towards the construction industry; and develop short–term and long–term strategic plans for recruitment and retention practices.

Research topics are developed by the AGC Education & Research Foundation Board of Directors in cooperation with the AGC's Construction Education Committee, and request for proposals are sent to universities across the country for consideration.

The AGC Education & Research Foundation was founded in 1968 as a non–profit charitable organization dedicated to improving the science of construction. In addition to providing scholarships to students and recognition of students and faculty for their outstanding accomplishments, the Foundation's mission is to support research and other programs deemed to be beneficial to the advancement of the construction industry. The William A. Klinger Memorial Award was established in 1972 to honor the Foundation's first president.

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the largest and oldest national construction trade association in the United States. AGC represents 33,000 firms, including 7,500 of America's leading general contractors and 12,500 specialty–contracting firms. More than 13,000 service providers and suppliers are associated with AGC through a nationwide network of chapters. Visit the AGC Web site at AGC members are "Building Your Quality of Life."