Building the Future: Nabholz’ Approach to Tackling the Labor Shortage

March 18th, 2024 - By

The construction industry faces a significant challenge looking forward: a shortage of skilled labor. Since the beginning, Nabholz has worked to redefine what it means to be a construction company, and our purpose is clear: to grow our people, serve our clients, and build our communities. Guided by the philosophy of our founder Bob Nabholz, who led by example by reinvesting profits in his people and their training, we recognize that the construction business thrives on having the best people. In response to the pressing need for skilled professionals, we’ve developed strategies to promote our time-honored profession, support the growth of our team, and address the industry’s challenges head-on.

Fostering a Culture of Integrity

At Nabholz, our roots trace back to a small, family-owned construction company founded by Bob Nabholz in 1949. Over 75 years, our evolution into a large, multi-discipline, national firm has been marked by an unwavering commitment to integrity serving as the cornerstone of our purpose, guiding principles, and every project we undertake.

Integrity, for us, means valuing people. We do so by prioritizing the safety, wellness, and growth of our employees, their families, and everyone we encounter.  Valuing our clients involves a commitment to hard work, rapid response, and profound respect.

We work to deliver the highest possible quality in all our products and services. We aim to provide extraordinary service experiences for our clients. Ongoing innovation means we continually explore avenues to enhance our processes, services, products, and the experiences of our employees and customers.

Training and Development Initiatives

Nabholz University provides comprehensive tools for employees and students to build successful, fulfilling careers. Training programs cover essential topics such as safety, project management, and specialized areas like lean construction and building information modeling. Craft professionals can develop technical and leadership skills through our In-House Carpentry Apprenticeship, Millwright Apprenticeship, and Operator Training .

Clear paths for growth are also essential to retain our talented team members. Our programs include Craft Leadership Development, Superintendent Development, and Project Fast Start, which help develop technical and leadership skills for aspiring leaders. We also believe it’s crucial to arm our current leaders with skills that, once combined with their experience, prepare them to oversee large teams.

Workforce Development Strategies

Partnering with our local communities and building relationships with educational institutions are paramount to source skilled professionals from diverse talent pools. Through these partnerships, we have found great opportunities to collaborate with construction education institutions to enhance the skills of candidates and support recruitment efforts. We welcome opportunities to connect with our communities and encourage our team to get involved, especially in the programs that helped grow their own talent. We are fortunate to as members of advisory boards and love to participate in construction expos. We also offer continuing education programs to our area teachers as well as trade days at our locations. We actively support Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at local schools and collaborate with community colleges to create construction training and education programs, preparing new trade professionals for the industry.

Our Initiatives

  • Youth Apprenticeship Program: This flexible program was created in partnership with local school districts and allows young people who are 16-18 years of age to work directly for Nabholz in a learning capacity.
  • College Internships: Open to students in construction management, engineering, or similar degree paths, our intern program gives participants the chance to work alongside the Nabholz team, learning the construction business from the inside out. We guarantee a 40-hour workweek, competitive wages, and an interview with our company upon graduation. Our interns develop a solid foundation for their future by learning skills in project management, preconstruction operations, and field operations.
  • Carpentry Apprenticeship Program: Developed in 1973, this was our first developmental program created to serve our people and community. This four-year track is open to both employees and members of the public looking to develop carpentry skills. Upon completion, participants are recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor as journeyman carpenters.

Giving Back to Our Communities

Our commitment to building communities extends beyond construction projects – it includes a deep, personal commitment to improving the cities and towns where we live and work. This idea goes back to our founder whose tireless dedication to serving others exemplified the spirit of generosity that lives on at Nabholz today. Bob established the Nabholz Charitable Foundation in 1987 to ensure support for charity and community organizations, hospitals, schools, and universities. And though financial contributions are an important part of giving back, we also believe it is the time and talent our employees give that truly make the difference. Each year, Nabholz employees generously donate thousands of hours of their own time to volunteer for the causes and organizations they choose.

Competitive Benefits

At Nabholz, we believe in providing not only outstanding career opportunities but also enhancing the overall well-being of our employees and their families. Our benefits package, including comprehensive health insurance provided at no cost to the employee, is complemented by optional Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) choices for personalized healthcare management. We also offer a group life insurance policy, robust 401(k) retirement contribution and matching program, and a generous paid time off package. Further, our award-winning Health & Wellness Program actively invests in our team’s well-being through healthcare assessments, monthly incentives, and annual reimbursement allowances for wellness-related items. With a consulting physician, a full-time physician assistant on-site in our Conway office, and a partnership with Premise Health Clinics in other locations, we ensure accessible healthcare with no deductible and reduced waiting times.

Team Collaboration

Our leadership team leads by example, demonstrating accessibility, openness to ideas, and a willingness to collaborate. Whether manning the grill at a cookout or leading a site walk to improve quality measures – our leaders are involved in all aspects of our culture. We value the input of our team members, encouraging active participation in the company’s development. The company crowdsources ideas from employees in an annual innovation challenge and works hard to implement the practical solutions suggested by its team members to reinforce a culture of safety, quality, and integrity.

Looking Forward

Our proactive and holistic approach to workforce development and industry challenges positions us to offer a strong culture, prioritizing training, and engaging with communities and educational institutions. We aim to build a skilled and productive construction workforce armed with the tools for sustained success in the evolving industry landscape. As we continue to elevate our people, Nabholz looks forward to fulfilling its purpose for the next 75 years: Grow our people. Serve our clients. Build our communities.


About the author: Greg Fogle joined Nabholz in 2004 as Vice President of Project Management, later advancing to Executive Vice President of Operations and Regional President. In 2018, he became Nabholz’ Chief Operating Officer. Committed to community service, Fogle has been active in several organizations like Fellowship NWA church, Bentonville Chamber of Commerce, and the West Ark Area Council of the Boy Scouts, serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors for both organizations. Fogle currently volunteers as a mission pilot with Angel Flight, a non-profit service providing medical transportation to people facing medical challenges. He prioritizes nurturing talent within Nabholz, fostering an environment where individuals can thrive. Currently, he leads several development and leadership programs for Nabholz.

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