The Future of Construction Work with Mark Ehrlich

Future Past Sign

Despite the challenges, Mark remains optimistic about the industry’s potential to provide fulfilling careers.

February 19, 2024
Aarni Heiskanen - AEC Business

In this episode of the AEC Business podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mark Ehrlich, a veteran of the construction industry from the USA and the author of “The Way We Build: Restoring Dignity to Construction Work.” Our conversation delved into the evolving landscape of construction work and the challenges faced by construction workers today.

Mark shared his extensive background, starting as a carpenter and rising through the ranks to become the head of a 25,000-member union organization. His experience spans decades, and he has authored three books and numerous articles on labor issues.

The historical labor shifts
We discussed the historical shift from a predominantly unionized construction workforce to the current bifurcated system in the US, where union strongholds in the north contrast sharply with the non-union, lower-wage environments in the south and other regions. Mark highlighted the issues of wage theft, declining safety standards, and the exploitation of undocumented workers.

Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at


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