In the article “Construction Industry Missing Key Tool: Skilled Workers,” we get a look at what the skilled labor shortage really means from four different points of view: a user, contractor, trade association and an apprentice—all explaining how the shortage affects them and the reasons behind it.
For a school district employee in Wyoming, an increased demand but limited supply of workers caused construction plans for a new elementary school to halt due to the increased price tag needed to pay the available workers.
One of the bidders on the project, Mike’s Electric, touches on the fact that despite available jobs and apprenticeships, there aren’t as many people waiting and willing to do the work, and the ones who are, now have the leverage to ask for more.
“What’s really strange, you go into an interview and they’re actually interviewing you instead of you interviewing them,” Ron Kaiser, vice president at Mike’s Electric says.
So where are the workers?
Associated Builders and Contractors’ Mike Glavin says that when the construction industry took a turn for the worse during the recession, many skilled workers found other jobs and haven’t come back. Others are just simply aging out of the job without any young blood to fill their shoes.
But why aren’t students pursing this career?
Like many others, Michael Swanson was made to believe that if he didn’t go to a university, he wouldn’t amount to much. After just one year of testing the 4-year engineering degree waters, he made the switch to be an electrical apprentice which he says is satisfying both intellectually and financially.
Many aren’t aware that construction offers a path to a lucrative future, but as an apprentice, Swanson is making $26/hour and already saving to buy a house.
Read the full article here.