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Skills Gap in Colorado / Shortage could raise construction costs

Coming out of a few tough years, business for some local construction companies has picked up, but as contractors look to hire more people for more projects, they’re also facing new challenges.

With many skilled workers recently retiring, others choosing jobs in out-of-state oil fields and some leaving the construction industry entirely during the recession, a labor shortage in the industry could end up leading to higher project costs and lower quality results.

“There’s a huge shortage of skilled labor in Northern Colorado and in other areas of the United States, as well,” said Bob Peterson, the owner and president of Fort Collins-based Associates in Building & Design and the future 2014 chairman of the Northern Colorado Home Builders Association Board of Directors.

According to Peterson, one of the main reasons for the workforce decrease was the lack of demand for laborers during the economy’s downturn in 2009.

“I could say there were over 800,000 construction industry jobs lost during the recession, so a lot of those people switched jobs,” Peterson said.

“We’re frankly back in teaching mode, which is OK,” he said, adding that people entering the workforce need to be properly trained and have the right skills. “…We have got to create that skilled labor model until either some of those people come back or we get enough people entering the skilled labor force. The unfortunate result right now is that costs go up.”

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at 

Capture d’écran 2013-12-23 à 13.29.03

via Where the workforce went: Shortage could raise construction costs | The Coloradoan | coloradoan.com.

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