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Tue November 24, 2015 - Southeast Edition
Survey findings released by The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) in October illustrated the severity of the construction industry’s workforce shortage, with 86 percent of all firms reporting trouble filling hourly and/or salaried positions. Certified general contractor Doreen DiPolito, owner and president of D-Mar General Contracting and Development in Tampa Bay, Fla., advises that the current landscape is creating job opportunities and greater earning potential for men and women in construction.
In regards to hourly craft workers, carpenters are in greatest demand, with 73 percent of firms reporting the need to fill those positions. That number rises to 100 percent in D-Mar’s home state of Florida.
DiPolito said the current trend benefits skilled workers: the AGC survey found that 56 percent of construction firms are increasing base pay rates, 16 percent are paying more overtime, 23 percent are providing incentives/bonuses, and 23 percent are improving employee benefits.
“Today’s market conditions give skilled laborers the upper hand, allowing them to command better pay and perks,” said DiPolito. Considering that carpenters already earn an average of $45,590 per year, she emphasizes that these increases and incentives translate to excellent earning potential and expanded opportunities for both carpenters and potential clients.
The industry is growing and changing so rapidly that contractors are racing to hire new employees and clients. This positive upturn in the industry will greatly benefit companies and homeowners who are looking for general contractors for their projects with a fuller staff and quicker timeline.
DiPolito’s company, D-MAR General Construction, is preparing for this and expanding its projects and bringing decades of experience to the industry. D-MAR has been very successful in the past on different projects like the LSG Sky Chefs kitchen build-out at the Tampa International Airport in 2015, which they were personally selected for by LSG. DiPolito and D-MAR also were selected for a Hess re-model project in Largo, Fla., that was part of the re-brand project for Speedway HESS gas stations under the new Marathon Speedway brand in 2014.
The company has had a lot of success on other commercial projects with Dunkin Brands, CITGO, Wal-Mart, Circle K, Tire Kingdom, buildings for the city of Clearwater, Fla., and other local developers. D-MAR works on residential projects as well and has been creating custom homes for 35 years with great success and praise from clients.
DiPolito foresees a good long-term career outlook in construction. She concurs with the AGC’s recommendations to strengthen the workforce, including increasing funding for career and technical education, establishing construction academy charter schools and expanding partnerships between apprenticeship programs and community colleges. Over time, she is confident these efforts will ensure success both for the construction industry and its workers alike.
For more information, visit www.d-mar.com.