Chris Lord helps put together and finance large solar projects. From that vantage point he’s able to see where bottlenecks are in the industry. Recently Chris was telling me how hard it is to find experienced construction and project managers for his solar projects. I asked him to explain.

You talked a little bit about construction managers and project managers. Can you talk a little bit about that role and why you think it’s so hard to fill?

Chris Lord: Well, the demand is high and the supply is small. So that’s the easy explanation for why those projects are so tough right now. 

A construction manager, that’s your person on site who’s coordinating and making sure that every day things are working as they’re supposed to, in terms of the, you know, installation of the system. And it’s a pretty demanding job because there’s no job that goes the way it’s supposed to.

Invariably, there’s something you didn’t count on. Parts came late. You know, workers didn’t show. It’s a tough and very demanding job. And then just above that is that project manager, which is an even more challenging task because they’re more coordinating everybody’s expectations beyond just what happens on the contract and on site.

So they’re in early. On the early stages of the project. And they’re, they’re right through to the end to make sure that the customer knows what’s happening. Suppliers are gonna deliver everything on time that the design was properly put through. There’s no delay on the permits so that you’re not in a situation where you’re building a project in the hope you’re going to get the permit, but that you actually have the permit.

So they’re very demanding jobs. And as I said, demand is high because you know, it’s an important skill and the industry is growing.