INDIANAPOLIS — The Associated General Contractors of America is in Indianapolis, planning to tour the recently renovated Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

The tour comes ahead of an announcement set to include new construction jobs in the city and other metro areas, along with what’s being done to attract more workers to the industry. That’s slated to happen around 10:30 Tuesday morning.

Chief Economist Ken Simonson says Indianapolis has shown tremendous growth over the last year.

“Indy has one of the largest growths in construction employment of any metro area in the country over the past 12 months,” he said. “It’s clear that things are really booming here. That the city, and the metro area, are really getting back on track after the setbacks from the COVID variant last year.”

Simonson says part of that success includes Indy’s efforts toward downtown revitalization, as well as growth in both residential and commercial construction.

Along with the passing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, he says that’ll help open the door for even more opportunities.

“A lot more money will be coming for many types of projects,” he said. “Roads, transit, water and sewer upgrades, more resiliency to prevent damage from flooding, and broadband internet expanding into rural areas that have not had good connectivity, and then electric charging stations for electric vehicles and more renewable energy products, wind and solar, which is the big wind farms that you have in northwest Indiana.”

Aside from the successes in Indy, as nationwide project volumes pick up, Simonson says the industry, like many others, is still scrambling to find more workers..

“At the same time, there are these tremendous supply chain bottlenecks that everybody seems to be experiencing, whether you’re going to buy Christmas presents, you want a new car or truck, or you’re trying to build something,” he added. “Things are gummed up all the way from Asia, to the ports, to domestic producers who can’t find truck drivers to deliver to a job site.”

Simonson says other challenges within the industry include requirements of on site work, working in various weather elements and the incentives of other sectors offering remote work or other kinds of perks.

However, he says the construction industry is also providing competitive incentives of its own, especially focusing on convenience to get jobs done.

“The industry is open to techniques that will allow either projects to be done with less on site labor, or less skilled labor than formally. So the extent that automation, computers, robots, drones and so forth can help people do jobs more easily, learn their skills more quickly, that’s a plus,” said Simonson.

“We are also stepping up our digital media advertising, targeted advertising, to try to get the word out to people in the right age groups or other interest groups that construction does offer a high pay, and career advancement and the opportunity to work with a lot of technology,” he added.

Along with The Associated General Contractors of America, Weddle Brothers Construction and Indiana Constructors Inc. will also be part of Tuesday’s announcement.