How the Twin Cities are dealing with construction’s skilled labor shortage

|  May 08, 2013 |

Training new hires at Carpentry Contractors Co. in Montrose, Minnesota. Credit: David Joles/Star Tribune

Training new hires at Carpentry Contractors Co. in Montrose, Minnesota. Credit: David Joles/Star Tribune

A recent article in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area’s Star Tribune reports that construction companies in the area, like others around the country, are having a hard time finding people to hire, let alone skilled workers.

The paper reports that 50,000 of Minnesota’s 132,000 construction jobs vanished during the housing crash. And, as we’ve reported in the past, a large portion of those workers simply didn’t return to the industry. “We lost a generation of people who have stopped looking for work in residential construction,” Marv McDaris, the Minnesota division president for Pulte Homes, told the Star Tribune.

Meanwhile, construction of office and other commercial projects is on the rise in the area in addition to a new $900 million Minnesota Vikings football stadium.

Making the problem worse is the fact that in the years since those jobs were lost, the need for skilled workers has only grown. Not only are skilled laborers in high demand, but so too are those who can run all of the new technology such as computer design software that has flooded the industry.

At a recent job fair there, more than 100 construction companies were in attendance.

The article details the training programs many of the Twin Cities companies are instituting, taking in green workers and giving them the necessary skills. And because that costs more time and money, the cost is being passed along to those purchasing homes.

Read the full article at the Star Tribune by clicking here.

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