Incentives Boom Under Construction Labor Shortage

Now that the economy is picking up again companies just don’t have enough skilled labor to keep up - which is creating some interesting opportunities.

📅   Thu September 15, 2016 - Midwest Edition
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When the recession hit in 2008 many people who were qualified to fill all the current construction jobs left the area to find work because hardly anyone wanted to build a home.
When the recession hit in 2008 many people who were qualified to fill all the current construction jobs left the area to find work because hardly anyone wanted to build a home.

The website UpNorthLive is reporting that the current construction industry labor shortage may have one benefit - a plethora of incentives for those looking to get into the industry.

"There's definitely more of a demand then there is the supply right now and supply being the labor,” said Judy Vajda, with the Home Builders Association in Grand Traverse County, Michigan.

When the recession hit in 2008 many people who were qualified to fill all the current construction jobs left the area to find work because hardly anyone wanted to build a home.

"A downturn in the economy six to eight-years ago scared a lot of the people out of the state of Michigan and again it goes back to half the pay for a view of the bay,” said David Fashbaugh with the IBEW Local 498. “They can't afford to stay here."

Now that the economy is picking up again companies just don't have enough skilled labor to keep up.

"Either the cost of living is too high or the wages were so low they couldn't afford to stay here and that's a big issue right now," said Fashbaugh.

"So instead of having one person just do one certain task now they might be trained to do two or three different things in the construction industry," said Owner of Bay Area Contracting, Dean Adams.

"It's very very tight a lot of people are working weekends or working second jobs they're doing side jobs on the weekends you know,” said Adams. “I know a lot of workers who work in construction and then after hours on weekends they're out building decks for neighbors they are replacing storm windows just to keep up with the demand."

Adams says the solution to the problem is to start young and promote the benefits of working in this industry and the homebuilders association agrees.

"We're trying to bring more of an awareness to the lack of skilled labor in our area,” Vajda said. “We are working with the schools being the junior high and high schools TBAISD, Northwestern Michigan College to educate people in the career and skilled labor field.”

The Home Builders Association of Grand Traverse is giving away $6,500 in scholarship money toward incoming NMC students going into the construction program as just one way to entice more people.

The deadline for the scholarship applications through the HBA is October 3.

Companies like Bay Area Contracting even pay for some employees to continue their education while with the company.

Source: UpNorthLive