When the recession hit the Las Vegas construction industry eight years ago, Frank Hawk, business manager of Carpenters Local 897, said, “We knew the party was over. The rest of the world might have been in a recession, but construction (here) was in a depression — it hit bottom.”
Now that building permits are increasing and moth-balled projects are getting dusted off, Jonas Peterson, president and CEO of LVGEA, says, “The availability of a talented workforce is the single most important factor in recruiting a company to our market.The line between economic development and workforce development is increasingly blurred.”
Like other areas in the country, the shortage of experienced for positions as project managers and skilled craftsmen workers is a problem. In a recent U.S.Census report, the data suggests the shortage of experienced workers was in part due to a shift in hiring preferences — during the downturn, construction firms hired fewer young workers, so fewer young workers gained experience in the industry, and the share of older workers grew faster than in other industries. Now as the older workers who remained in the industry leave, they take their experience with them.
To help grow the base of experienced construction workers, the state and unions are putting in place higher level training, such as a construction foreman program, that prepares earlier career level workers for supervisory jobs.
2015 year-end reports for Southern Nevada from the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA) showed a promising economic upswing. Read more of Linda Simpson's article for the Las Vegas Review-Journal here:
Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal