Millenials And Marijuana: The Biggest Problems Facing Asphalt Paving Contractors In California Today

Like it or not, your cozy little asphalt company in California is going to have to deal with a lot, when it comes to recruitment and retention of staff, over the upcoming decade.

The first has a reputation for apathy, laziness and poor concentration in the workforce. And the other one is Marijuana!

Yes, unfortunately at some point all asphalt paving companies in California will have to bite the bullet and hire millennials to join their workforce.


But doing so is proving more difficult that you first might think. Because millennials – unkindly dubbed “the snowflake generation”- are giving asphalt and construction in general, the cold shoulder.

Construction jobs are often overlooked by the younger generation in favor of other careers – mainly office based.

The reasons for this are many;


This is a highly educated generation, who, more than previous era, are more likely to have a college degree. A costly college degree.

They didn’t get into thousands of dollars of debt in order to work on a construction site.

In order to get across to the educated youth of today why they should swap their safe and cushy desk job for swaying about on top of a ladder, you are going to have to get into their mindset.

It is likely that this generation may be under some misconceptions about the types of career on offer within construction and asphalt.

Probably, they see construction as being a job that only people who didn’t do well at school take up.

This is, of course, not true. But it is your job to point this out to the younger person, at a crossroads of their career.

To attract millennials to your asphalt company in California, like does, it is necessary to promote the career development possible for the various roles on offer.

You might also want to offer training and ongoing educational opportunities for all your staff, to encourage millennials to see construction as a career with prospects.


It has been said, perhaps unkindly, that the younger generation are more risk averse than their older counterparts.

Perhaps this is not their fault. They have been brought up with the concepts of health and safety, from day one.

For this reason, they might look at construction sites as being dangerous places to be.

Although there is always a small degree of risk associated with asphalt and construction work, it remains low.

In order to sell a career as a construction worker to the younger generation point to your company’s excellent safety record.

Go to the trouble to show potential recruits all the safety procedures in place to help put their minds at rest.


Yes, sometimes it really all boils down to the dollar in your workers’ pockets.

In order to attract the best, you are going to have to accept it is necessary to pay the going rate.

Contractors and companies who pay below the market rate lose out in the long run, with poor staff retention and motivation.


Unfortunately, marijuana use is not something that the paving industry can simply ignore.

It has been estimated that up to 65% of the business have been affected by the use of cannabis, in some way.

Drug testing will undoubtedly be part of your company procedure. But when it comes to testing for marijuana, the results are not as conclusive as you may like.

A drug test can only detect usage over the past month or so – not whether an employee is currently under the influence.

What is needed is an upfront conversation between employers and employees, with the understanding that being under the influence of any substance is highly dangerous.

However, with the legalization of marijuana in the state, this problem is set to increase.