(Springfield, Mo.--03/06/18) In desperate need of workers the Springfield Contractors Association is hoping to convince the next generation to pick a career in construction.
"We’re seeing projects that we used to be able to do in six months, now taking seven months. Projects that used to take eight months, are almost taking a year," explains Rick Quint, Owner of Q & Company LLC.
The construction industry and business owners like Quint are struggling to find skilled employees in the area amid skyrocketing demand for new buildings.
"I think people want to build building, I think there’s opportunities to grow businesses, and quite frankly the construction industry is holding some of that back because we don’t have enough manpower, enough good people to fill the jobs that we have today."
Dianna Devore, President of Springfield Construction Association, noted that some elements of society have looked down at the construction trades, pushing hard the idea that young people need to earn a college degree.
"I think it’s been ingrained in people’s heads that they have to go to college in order to be successful and even if they need to go to college or want to college, there are plenty of college jobs in construction," explains Devore.
According to a recent survey 70% of companies can't find qualified workers.
"A large portion of the workforce is going to be retiring in the next 10 years, the baby boomers going away. I think we need to attack this from a multi faceted approach."
A collaboration between Springfield Construction Association and school counselors are taking steps to encourage more people to think about and enter into the trades.
Issac Crawford is a counselor at Central High School and tells FOX5,"There are a lot of students that they’re in a gap. They’re not necessarily ready for a four year degree, there aren’t sure what opportunities there are for them."
That's why they're reaching out to school counselors to target the younger generation, hoping they'll see the options his industry holds.
"It’s exciting to hear that even though that’s what they know and that’s what they’re comfortable doing they want to learn how it is that we take students who maybe not want to go to college and get them into construction industry and earn a good living and make a good career out of it," explains Quint.
Click Here for more information about the Springfield Construction Association.