The need for tradesmen is great and only getting greater…..
Full article: http://strib.mn/2sKuyYN
Kevin Yakes spends so much time trying to keep his Golden Valley construction firm staffed, he sometimes feels like a full-time recruiter. During a recent family getaway in Florida, Yakes hopped in the car and drove more than an hour to have beers with a refrigeration technician he wanted to attract to Minnesota.
“It’s like dating,” Yakes said. “I’ve never, ever, had such a hard time trying to find people.”
Nearly a decade after the U.S. economy collapsed and construction workers fled the industry, Twin Cities builders and contractors are in the midst of one of their busiest years. But a shortage of skilled workers means that new projects — from modest office renovations to soaring new apartment towers — are costing more and taking longer to complete. The situation has contributed to a housing shortage in the region.
Even last year’s completion of U.S. Bank Stadium, a project that kept thousands of workers busy for nearly three years, hasn’t fully replenished the pool of construction help. “We have more work than we know what to do with,” said Robert Heise, president of the Minnesota-North Dakota chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors.
As of May, there were more than 125,000 construction workers in Minnesota, the most for that month since 2006. And the latest tally of construction job openings was the highest in at least a decade. Electricians, carpenters and plumbers are among the most scarce.