KGUN 9News


Construction worker shortage could cost you

Potential higher costs, longer delays
Posted at 7:07 PM, Oct 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-26 22:07:31-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - We are running out of the people we need to build our world. There's a serious shortage of all sorts of construction workers.  

That can affect the cost of everything from the home you buy -- to the road you ride on.  

Now educators and industries are working to interest young people in construction careers.

The simple sign outside this construction site advertises a complex problem.  In construction, the jobs are there but the workers are not.
It's a problem that can affect us all. Say you're trying to build a house. KE&G Construction President Chris Albright says, “The overall cost could be affected because of the potential increase in wages to attract good labor and then also the increased durations because it is just hard to find those good labor to perform those projects."
Companies and schools came together at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds the 4th Annual Southern Arizona Construction Career Days.  The event’s designed to interest students to join construction trades.

Experienced construction workers are retiring and not enough newcomers are stepping up to replace them in jobs where they can make a good living.
KE&G Construction President Chris Albright says someone who works their way up to supervisor could make 75 to 100 thousand dollars a year without a college degree.  

Programs likePima County JTED, the Joint Technical Education District, are reviving vocational training and working to interest more students in sophisticated trades.
And a good share of those students are young women.

Mary Brooks of Toltecalli High School says, "Some may think that it's wrong that a woman would actually work at a construction site but for me and most other people I think it's great that we can do more than just clean houses or other house-wifey things."