Labor

Jeremy Whitaker taught construction trades education for seven years at Kennesaw Mountain High School in Cobb County, Ga., before he was hired by C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. Inc. last June to promote the construction industry in elementary and high schools as a means to secure much-needed workers for an industry that is experiencing a labor shortage.

The ongoing shortage of construction workers is affecting general contractors and subcontractors in many states. This is very much the situation for the membership of the Georgia Highway Construction Association (GHCA), which has the twin challenge of replacing an existing aging workforce, where retirements occur daily, all while seriously increasing the labor pool to meet the demand of increasing amount of work being asked for by the Georgia Department of Transportation, large cities such as Atlanta and by smaller counties.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) announced a $1 million Notice of Grant Opportunity to provide greater employment opportunities for females entering the construction trades. "When women comprise just over 47 percent of New Jersey's workforce, but less than 10 percent of the workforce in the construction industry, we know we can do better," said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo at the Construction-Utilities Industry Summit at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) Alaska could soon face a labor shortage in some of its key industries, state workforce development officials said. Several major projects are gearing up in the oil, gas and construction sectors in the state, requiring thousands of workers in the next few years, the Alaska Journal of Commerce reported.

A recent report from the Associated General Contractors of America notes that more than 80 percent of contractors are struggling to fill hourly craft positions or those that require specialized training to perform. In an attempt to lure in talented workers, per diems and other pay structures are growing increasingly competitive.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that government workers can't be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining, dealing a serious financial blow to organized labor. The court's conservative majority scrapped a 41-year-old decision that had allowed states to require that public employees pay some fees to unions that represent them, even if the workers choose not to join.

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (AP) An Arizona county on the U.S.-Mexico border is hoping former inmates can help with a labor shortage amid a federal immigration crackdown. The Arizona Republican reported Cochise County developer Rick Coffman said developers have complained that the labor shortage is slowing down production and hurting home sales.

PROVO, Utah (AP) When looking at the changing skyline of Lehi and Pleasant Grove's technology corridors, or the cranes swinging across downtown Provo, one would think the construction industry is going gangbusters. It is, but not without its challenges.

It's no secret that the construction industry needs workers — according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report from July, there are 225,000 construction jobs available throughout the U.S. Post-recession, the demand for residential construction workers has started to increase once again, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) John Killin pressed the panic button in February amid a multibillion-dollar tsunami of real estate development. The building frenzy that lit up the Portland-area economy and changed the city irrevocably has depleted the pool of skilled construction workers.

John Killin pressed the panic button in February amid a multibillion-dollar tsunami of real estate development. The building frenzy that lit up the Portland-area economy and changed the city irrevocably has depleted the pool of skilled construction workers.