Virginia construction companies can't find enough workers
By Sean Galvin
September 5, 2019

More than 80% of Virginia construction companies are having difficulty filling hourly craft positions, according to a survey by the Associated General Contractors of America and Autodesk.

The open positions include skilled construction jobs — like home framers, masons, plumbers, and electricians. Combined, these jobs represent the majority of the construction workforce.

It isn’t only the construction industry that is affected, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Stephen Sandherr, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of America, said skilled craftsman posts aren’t being filled in manufacturing and other industries. Sandherr said students don’t know these jobs are a viable career option.

The Home Building Association of Richmond echoed that sentiment. They held a career exploration conference for high school students last fall in an effort to spread the word about construction as a career path.

Half of the construction companies who complained of employee shortages in the survey also pinpointed the lack of training in their communities as a contributing factor.

Chmura Economics & Analytics, a research firm in Richmond, said that about 3,400 construction workers will be needed in the upcoming year, with 580 needed in the Richmond area alone. 

“I don’t think there is a trade out there that is not looking for workers now,” Tibbetts said.

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