A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Denver and the Rest of the Country Having Labor Pains

If you are a skilled crafts worker in the construction industry, boy do we have good news for you.  Ken Simonson, chief economist for
AGC America, recently spoke to the Denver AGC at the Denver Union Station about the looming labor shortages in the construction industry.  Cathy Proctor, a reporter for the Denver Business Journal, reported on the Simonson speech in which he said, “Two-thirds of the nation’s construction firms say they are having trouble finding people.”  Additionally he went on to say, “About 79 percent of the firms say they expect construction worker shortages will continue or get worse in 2014.”

In Colorado, one of the top 10 metros, there will be a need to add another 5,000 construction workers this year alone according to Michael Gifford, the president and CEO of AGC Colorado.

That bodes well for those looking for construction jobs, but Simonson said again as he has in his other speeches that during the recession, the industry lost over 800,000 jobs and workers.  In addition, the recovery will put extreme pressure on the industry to find enough qualified workers to meet the demand, since many of the lost workers either found work elsewhere or returned to their families in other countries.

AGC is teaming with local communities to start charter schools aimed specifically at future construction workers.  In areas of the country like Texas where the oil and gas industry has hired almost every available welder, contractors for the other construction work that is now coming to bid are having an even tougher time finding qualified workers to build the new buildings.

The Denver Business Journal article and a similar one in the Tampa Bay Times illustrate what Simonson told the crowd in Denver.  You can read both articles and let us know what you think.

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