US construction sector faces worker shortage

Global Business

One sector in the U.S. economy is facing growing worker shortages- construction. And the problem only got worse due to recent devastating hurricanes.

Some firms are now trying to fill the gaps.

CGTN’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports.

Class is in session at the Colorado Homebuilding Academy. 20 students, chainsaws in hand, are halfway through an eight-week construction skills bootcamp. Michael Smith is in charge of the academy, with a mission of preparing students, many of whom come from very different fields, to work in the construction industry.

Homebuilders don’t need a spreadsheet to know there’s a severe shortage of people who are able to use a hammer these days. The National Association of Home Builders reported 255,000 unfilled construction sector jobs in the U.S. earlier this year. The Great Recession drove many workers out of the industry. These jobs are also not as popular as they once were.

“It’s been families wanting their young people, their children, to work smarter, not harder, and it’s a great concept but the unintended consequence to that was don’t work with your hands, only go to college” Smith said.

The problem could only get worse according to Smith if the construction labor shortage isn’t addressed.

This academy is winding up its first year with impressive results. Nine out of every 10 of its graduates have landed jobs in the industry.