Dating industry size
“College was never something that appealed to me,” he said.
“I was eager to begin working and making my own career path.” In the recession, as others fled the industry, he stayed the course and is glad he did.
And the latest tally of construction job openings was the highest in at least a decade.
Electricians, carpenters and plumbers are among the most scarce.
“Everyone has been told that you have to have a four-year degree to be prosperous at life,” Worke said.
But it’s a fine line, he added, because the old notion that construction is a field only for those with a “strong back and a strong body” isn’t the case anymore.
Labor leaders say the industry has struggled to attract young people to replenish the pool of workers drained by the 2008-2009 recession, even though construction jobs pay above-average wages and most require just a high school diploma.
Such increases can be even more detrimental for new buildings, which employ hundreds of workers from many trades.The work is more technical and workers need advanced training, Worke said.James Mahler, a 35-year-old project manager for River City Tile & Underlayment in Chanhassen, joined the trades at age 19.He has never been without work and has been able to pick and choose jobs.“We make extremely good money, work reasonable hours, get to be active and build actual communities within the Twin Cities,” he said.
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Last month, plans to build a Hy-Vee store in White Bear Lake were scuttled.