Construction Trades See Fewer Qualified Workers

There might not be enough people to keep our lights on, to keep our drains open or to fix our heating and cooling units when they break down.

Officials at Metro Community College are telling us that they are seeing a shortage in people interested in the construction trades.

The number of construction projects across the country and in our area are growing, but the number of people interested in doing the work is not.

“Most of the trade organizations I’ve talked to are experiencing a shortage and that shortage is because work just picked up significantly for them,” Bill Owen of Metro Community College said.

That's just part of the problem. One of the bigger issues is finding qualified workers who have some skills walking in the door

“We're having a real problem hiring journeymen people who have experience we've even gone nationally advertising Craigs List and so on,” Ray Barr of A-1 Heating And Cooling said.

Jeff Page is one of the few who decided to go into the trades. Jeff says he likes making money instead of spending it on four years of college, he likes working with his hands and he is building up his experience.

“I think you learn better being in here than going to school and sitting at a desk cause its more hands on rather than just talking about it,” he said.

With major construction projects on the horizon there will be a need for more workers like Jeff.

Construction officials point to the expansion of Google in Council Bluffs, renovation at Offutt Air Base and the multi-million dollar cancer research center as a few major projects that will require a lot of skilled construction workers.

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