While Construction Booms, St. Louis Contractors Face Workforce Crisis

By on October 5, 2018

From St. Louis Public Radio:  The workforce shortage in the construction industry is not going away.

A survey by the Associated General Contractors of America found that 80 percent of Midwest contractors report difficulty finding skilled workers. And, nearly half of the companies surveyed expect hiring is going to get harder over the next year.

Dirk Elsperman, executive vice president and chief operating officer at St. Louis-based Tarlton Corporation, said his company faces the workforce crisis every day.

“The shortages of qualified personnel impact on safety, quality and costs,” he said. “We work to overcome them with innovative ways of executing our projects, but the reality is, it’s tough.”

With a Tarlton job site as a backdrop, Elsperman spoke at a news conference on the Forest Park campus of St. Louis Community College, where a 100,000-square-foot Center for Nursing and Health Sciences was under construction.

If the current building boom continues, more jobs could be created and keep pace with Missouri’s projected construction job growth of 9.8 percent between 2014 and 2024. But industry leaders are concerned about where workers will come from.

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