About the research
Hispanics are a large and growing part of the United States workforce. Projections of the U.S. Census Bureau (2001) state that, by the year 2050, Hispanics will account for 25% of the population. For the Midwest in particular, the Hispanic population is expected to increase 35% by the year 2025. The construction industry is expected to experience a greater percentage increase of its Hispanic population, due to the labor-intensive nature of the industry.
This study addresses the expected increase of Hispanic workers in the construction industry by testing the best approaches for delivering training to construction crews with Hispanic workers as well as American supervisors and laborers in the state of Iowa. The research methodology consisted of assessing the effects on communication, safety, work environment, and productivity as a result of the integration training.
Results show that integrating on-site training decreases workers’ desire to move and increases quality of work and productivity. Most importantly, experimental design was used to show the increasing levels of direct construction communication due to the Toolbox Integration Course for Hispanic Workers and American Supervisors (TICHA) designed as part of this project.
This study recommends the creation of a quasi-governmental or association program that can offer continuous research and training that can benefit the construction industry as well as society as a whole. The industry involvement in this process is crucial for contractors. Not only do contractors benefit from reduced insurance premiums when workers act safely, but workers with better communication skills are more productive.