I recently talked to an investor-developer with a project in Amarillo, Texas, on Route 66, whose GC had gone bankrupt in the middle of his project. Scrambling to complete the project on some semblance of schedule this year, he found that he had 42 subs on the project, pre-ordered equipment that had been stripped of parts or stolen and building supplies that had been stolen from the jobsite. When he began to unravel the details, he found sub-subs and even sub-sub-subs had contracts. When he asked about where to get plumbers to finish the build, he was told that he would have to steal them away from the oil and gas industry in Midland or go to Oklahoma City or Tulsa to entice those plumbers to come to Amarillo. Bad news for the developer, good news for the plumbers.
This is not an isolated example around Texas and even around the country and while there are problems for developers in some locations, the opportunities for skilled construction workers are getting better as demand rises Whether a plumber or a carpenter, your Spring Outlook is getting brighter. We are going into hiring season and we will likely see an additional labor crisis develop as demand outstrips supply. The industrial sector, already short on labor for their giant projects along the Gulf Coast, are mining the commercial sector and training the candidates in their workforce pipeline. That spells opportunity if you are looking for a job.
The community and vocational college programs are ramping up their training programs and will add some new candidates to the mix, but not nearly enough to meet the current demand. That means more opportunity and more diversity in the job selection for skilled craft workers.
If you are a high schooler looking for a career, a returning vet, or someone looking for a change of career, the skilled crafts present an outstanding opportunity for you to consider this Spring.