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Construction Trade Looks for Work, and Workers [AUDIO]

The construction industry continues to face worker shortages in some parts of the country, even as the economy heats up. Construction took some heavy losses during the recession, and that’s especially true in New Jersey.

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Construction Workers
John Moore, Getty Images

Brian Turmail is a spokesman for the Associated General Contractors of America, which represents 30,000 companies. He said older construction workers are retiring, or already moved on to other jobs when the economy slowed down. Turmail also said the push to put all teenagers in college has hurt the trades.

“There’s this impression that construction is not the kind of work that people want their children to do,” he said.

However, Turmail said the reality of it is a bit different.

“Construction jobs pay better than the average job,” he said. “They bring a lot more professional satisfaction. You can literally see the fruits of your labors.”

There’s been a recent push to establish charter schools in the trades, as well as non-union apprenticeships. Here in New Jersey, however, contractors are still seeking work more than actual workers. Turmail said eventually, there will be a need for more construction workers in the Garden State.

Within the construction industry, where is the greatest demand for help nationwide? Three fields are lagging, according to Turmail: laborers, carpenters and equipment operators. He said some of that is because those are the most common jobs out there, but both carpenters and equipment operators require a lot of skill and a lot of training.

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