Local Construction Jobs Getting Harder To Fill

Mar 24, 2017

Statewide, Nevada added 7,200 construction jobs last year, but finding skilled, local workers to fill those positions is becoming increasingly difficult. Our contributor Brook Bentley of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly reports.

United Construction workers building LifeChurch Child Development Center located next to Damonte Ranch High School in south Reno.
Credit Courtesy United Construction

The shortage of skilled construction labor is being compounded by a rebounding economy that's spurred new residential and commercial construction. There are also many senior-level employees moving closer to retirement age.

Johnny Skowronek is with Square One Solutions, a construction staffing company in Reno. He says younger workers have concerns about entering the field along with attractive alternatives.

"They're worried about working outside throughout the four seasons, especially when you've got Panasonic waving $14 jobs that are inside, year-round, guaranteed 40 hours a week with benefits, and are, honestly, a little less physically demanding."

Skowronek says electricians, plumbers, and other skilled trades are now nearly impossible to find locally.

By 2024, local industry employment is projected to grow roughly 50 percent to more than 17,000 employees. For Reno Public Radio News, I'm Brook Bentley of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.