As reported in BizJournals.com
The construction industry saw a boost in its national workforce opportunities this past year. Despite the boost, construction executives are still facing the challenge of filling those positions with qualified workers.
The Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department reported 43 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between June 2017 and June 2018.
Ohio added 4,700 construction workers in the past 12 months.
Although the industry saw an increase of job opportunities, association officials believe the continued job gains overshadow the difficulty contractors face in finding qualified workers. They warned future job gains could depend on improving the industry’s training and educational pipeline for new workers.
"Construction is proving to be a reliable source of employment growth in nearly every state, and contractors are eager to hire even more workers," said chief economist Ken Simonson. "But finding qualified workers remains a significant challenge as other industries compete for talent, more workers reach retirement age, and fewer young adults chose to pursue careers in construction.”
In order to combat this challenge, association officials have urged federal agencies and Congress to enact a new Perkins Act that would increase funding for construction-focused education programs.
Earlier this month, the association reported the Dayton metro area added 600 mining, logging and construction jobs in the past year. Many local constructive executives told the Dayton Business Journal they are actively hiring, but still run into the challenge of finding employees with the desired skill set.
One of those local companies facing hiring difficulties is WENCO Construction Company based in New Carlisle.
Suzanne Winters is principal and owner of WENCO Construction Co.
When looking at the local workforce, President Suzanne Winters said WENCO's focus is not necessarily finding employees to hire, but to find motivated employees who want to work. It is a constant routine through employment ads and word of mouth to recruit potential employees. Winters believes a strong culture and employee retention is important to making the company work.
The construction company, established in 1982, has seen a 24 percent increase in revenues between 2016 and 2017. One of its recent projects includes constructing a new gymnasium at Dayton Christian School.