Workforce Challenges Panel Program: It’s Here, Now What?


Today we are experiencing more workforce challenges and more dramatic changes than we have for some time.  US construction projects are short-staffed today, and the problem is set to get worse.

Some of the challenges we will explore:

  • Workers Expecting Higher Wages
  • Lack of Qualified Workers
  • Competing with Other Industries for Workers
  • Convincing Young People to Get into Construction
  • Bigger Need for Specialized Skills
  • Aging Workforce
  • Craft Trade Shortages
  • Remote Work
  • Work Ethic Changes

So, these issues are here, now what to do we do about them? Via our panel we will hear thoughts on these challenges and how we address them moving forward.

Michael Holliday, PE (Bayer Crop Science)

Mike is a registered Professional Engineer in 13 states and has over 30 years’ experience in the field of engineering, serving multiple industries including food & beverage, oil refineries, agricultural crop protection facilities and row crop seed production facilities.  Positions held have included electrical engineering, project management, and his current role as engineering group lead for electrical engineers, as well as architectural, civil, and structural engineers.

Currently his focus is on staffing and supporting capital project requirements for Bayer Crop Science averaging approximately $150M annually.  In addition to managing multi-discipline engineering groups, Mike serves as the chair of Bayer’s Safety and Health Steering Committee and is leading independent groups responsible for engineering standard reviews / updates, arc flash studies / labeling, electrical equipment maintenance programs, plant readiness assessments and university recruiting.

Scott A. Byrne, Regional Director St. Louis Region (Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council)

Scott Byrne graduated from St. Mary’s High School in St. Louis in 1984.  After graduation, Scott immediately joined the Carpenters’ Union as an apprentice carpenter.  He worked with his tools as a carpenter until 1994.  In 1994, Scott was elected to serve as the Financial Secretary and Treasurer of Carpenters’ Local 1596, one of the largest Locals in the Carpenters’ Regional Council.  He served in that capacity until January 1997, when he was appointed to the position of Business Representative for the Carpenters’ Regional Council.  Scott was appointed as Regional Director of the St. Louis region for the Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council in September of 2021.

As the Regional Director of the St. Louis Region, Scott focuses his efforts on building relationships with our contractor associations and contractors, while advocating for the members he serves. His goal is to continue to grow MarketShare in the St. Louis Region in all facets of the carpentry industry. Currently, his focus has been in the clean energy industry. Scott works with the regions developers and contractors to promote the carpenter as the worker of choice for these projects.

Scott i s a 37-year member of the Local 1596 of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Scott has served and continues to serve on various committees and boards. He currently serves as Trustee on the Carpenters Joint Training Trust Fund, St. Louis Carpenters’ Health & Welfare Trust Fund, St. Louis Carpenters’ Pension Trust Fund and the St. Louis Carpenters’ Vacation Trust Fund.

Scott embraces the following as his motto for leadership:

Good leaders take people where they want to go!

Great leaders take people where they need to go!”

Dr. Joel Burken, Distinguished Curators’ Professor and Chair Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering (Missouri University of Science and Technology)

 Dr. Burken received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1996, where he conducted some of the initial research on phytoremediation. He currently serves as Chair and Curators’ Distinguished Professor of the Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Department at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T). Dr. Burken has served in a variety of national professional and agency-related leadership roles.  He was elected to the President of the Board of Directors of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) and is a past member of the US EPA Science Advisory Board (2016 – 2021). He was elected to the ASCE Department Heads Coordinating Council, which he currently Chairs, and he also serves on the ASCE Committee on Education.

Dr. Burken’s research and teaching have focused upon low-impact and natural treatment systems. His research in phytoremediation of organic contaminants and pioneering work in sustainable infrastructure and remediation have led to over 100 publications, a patented environmental assessment method for quantifying potential exposures, and international recognition with multiple scholarly works being recognized for innovation and impacts. Dr. Burken has received numerous awards for his career research, teaching, and service including the 2007 AEESP Outstanding Teaching in Environmental Engineering and Science Award, the inaugural 2018 Science Award from the American Academy of Environmental Engineering and Science (AAEES), twice winning the ASCE Rudolf Hering Medal for most valuable contribution to the environmental engineering field, and the Milton Gordon Award – Lifetime Research Accomplishment in Phytoremediation, International Phytoremediation Society (2019). Dr. Burken received an NSF Career award and was appointed a Fellow AEESP and a Board Certified Environmental Engineering by AAEES.

Thank you to our annual sponsors:

Annual Platinum Sponsor again this year is Kozeny Wagner.  

Gold Sponsors are McGrath & Associates, Ross & Baruzzini, Kwame Building Group and Keeley Construction.
Silver sponsors are Farnsworth Group, Kaiser Electric, JF Electric, ABNA Engineering, OWH Architects, Ameren, Custom Engineering and Husch Blackwell.
Bronze sponsors are Brinkmann Constructors and Midwest Monograms Promotions.


Mar 23 2023


Check-in/Breakfast 7:30 a.m.
7:30 am - 9:30 am




Greenbriar Hills Country Club
12665 Big Bend Blvd, Kirkwood, MO 63122


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