The Associated Builders and Contractors said its member companies spend more than a billion dollars annually on workforce development and train 476,000 construction workers a year.

The association released the figures in observation of October being Careers in Construction month.

“The construction industry continues to offer excellent career opportunities for millions of Americans, and we are very proud of the investment our members make in developing the workforce of the future,” said Greg Sizemore, the association’s vice president of environment, health, safety and workforce development. “Our industry has a well-documented shortage of skilled workers despite well-paying jobs, rising wages and entrepreneurial opportunity, and that’s a message our chapters, members and training partners are delivering to high schoolers, college students, adults whose jobs were lost to the recession and anyone else looking to make a smart career move.”

The U.S. government estimates that the industry will need 1.6 million new workers by 2022. Among ABC members, four out of five say they are having a hard time finding skilled workers, the association said.

“Construction is among the few industries someone can enter as an apprentice, get paid to learn career skills on the job, and then work their way up to owning their own business,” Sizemore said. “In fact, the opportunity to continue to grow within the industry was one of the biggest reasons a survey conducted earlier this year found construction professionals were happier than employees in any other industry. Careers in Construction month is a great time to tell this story and highlight our members’ impressive investment in training.”