A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Labor Shortage Threatens Construction Boom

Competition for skilled workers in this industry is becoming as fierce as it has ever been. In fact, some general contractors in Texas have started hosting happy hours for subcontractors, proving once again just how tight the labor market is. Folks are willing to try new things to try to lock down a reliable labor force in one of the tightest markets we've seen.

Meantime, in the Midwest, an aging labor force coupled with a "boom" in construction has put employers in a real pinch.

Via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

“To parents, to young people, please think about construction as a serious career choice,” Len Toenjes, president of the Associated General Contractors of Missouri, implored listeners at an event held Tuesday at North Technical High School just outside Florissant.

His plea came after the release of a survey of 41 contractors conducted by his organization that found 71 percent of them struggled to find enough skilled workers for job sites.

Contractors and labor representatives had gathered to highlight the challenge of recruiting new skilled workers. They pointed to resources such as North Tech that help train students for careers in construction and other trades.

The construction industry’s concern comes despite wages that tend to run higher than the average. And there’s a good amount of work, with new offices and apartments under construction in west St. Louis County, Clayton and into the central corridor of St. Louis. Warehouses and logistics centers are being built in Hazelwood, Fenton and the Metro East. New homes keep going up in St. Charles County.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, who made a brief appearance at the event, called the construction going on in St. Louis County a “boom.”

“Without trained construction workers, this boom might just stall,” he said.

The newspaper's entire report is here.