Make us your home page
Instagram

Construction firms worried about worker shortage

DENVER — The construction industry says it's in danger of running short on workers to keep up with the demand for building projects, as employees age and more teens are pushed to go to college. To counter the effect, a top construction trade group kicked off an effort Tuesday to help bolster the employment ranks.

The plan by the Associated General Contractors of America, which represents 30,000 companies, aims to draw more people into building trades by establishing charter schools focused on technical training, starting nonunion apprenticeship programs and pushing for immigration reform.

The employment concern comes despite the fact that more than 2 million construction workers were laid off during the recession. The group believes many of the laid-off workers have since found work in other fields or have retired.

Meanwhile, about 44 percent of the construction workforce is 45 or older and nearly one in five construction workers is 55 or older, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics.

On immigration reform, the group wants protections for immigrants already in the country and higher caps on the number foreign workers temporarily allowed into the country to work on construction projects.

"Unless there is action soon on these fronts, the construction industry in Colorado and across the country will face worker shortages with increasing frequency," Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist, said over hammering and the whirring of a drill at Denver's Union Station.

"These shortages have the potential to undermine broader economic growth by needlessly delaying and inflating the cost of construction and development," he said.

The group picked Denver for the announcement because it has been one of the top 10 metro areas for construction hiring in the past year. Simonson said Colorado's oil and gas industry is one of the main customers for new construction, but added that the industry is also competing for the same workers as builders.

Construction firms worried about worker shortage 04/08/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 8:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.
[SCOTT KEELER  |  TIMES]

  2. Boho Hunter will target fashions in Hyde Park

    Business

    Boho Hunter, a boutique based in Miami's Wynwood District, will expand into Tampa with its very first franchise.

    Palma Canaria bags will be among the featured items at Boho Hunter when it opens in October. Photo courtesy of Boho Hunter.
  3. Gallery now bringing useful art to Hyde Park customers

    Business

    HYDE PARK — In 1998, Mike and Sue Shapiro opened a gallery in St. Petersburg along Central Ave., with a majority of the space dedicated to Sue's clay studio.

     As Sue Shapiro continued to work on her pottery in St. Petersburg, her retail space grew and her studio shrunk. Now Shapiro's is bringing wares like these to Hyde Park Village. Photo courtesy of Shapiro's.
  4. Appointments at Raymond James Bank and Saint Leo University highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Banking

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Jackson will oversee all of Raymond James Bank's operational business elements, risk management and strategic planning functions. Kackson joins Raymond James Bank after senior …

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. [Company handout]
  5. Cooking passion spurs owner to pull open AJ's Kitchen Drawer

    Business

    TAMPA — After graduating from the University of Tampa in May 2016, AJ Albrecht spent four months traveling around Southeast Asia and Australia.

    AJs Kitchen Drawer offers a wide variety of unique kitchenware items, such as handcrafted knives and wooden items, as well as local gourmet products. Photo by Danielle Hauser