The skilled labor shortage has long been a problem that the construction industry has attempted to remedy. Despite the attention the issue has received, there have not been significant positive changes to the skilled trade gap. As recently as 2019, a survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found more than four in five builders expected to face serious challenges regarding the cost and availability of labor and a separate survey from the NAHB found 85% of remodelers reported shortages of workers available to perform finished or rough carpentry.

A technological innovation from a Portland, Ore., company is working to provide a digital labor solution for the construction industry. In the eight months after its launch, ToolBelt has been able to successfully harness 8% of the contracting marketing in the Portland metropolitan area, allowing local contractors to more efficiently grow their businesses.

ToolBelt was established as a solution for the labor shortage in the construction industry by Josh Engelbrecht. From Engelbrecht's experience, traditional methods of finding skilled labor, such as word-of-mouth, are too slow and create huge challenges for contractors. Engelbrecht aligned with technology leader Ross Barbieri to develop ToolBelt, an app for the busy contractor in the field that operates similarly to staffing platforms such as ShiftWise, Staffing Robot, and Hively.

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