Construction industry faces worker shortage
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The construction industry is sounding the alarm that it is in the grips of a worker shortage.
The matter is so serious that some companies are turning away work because they can’t meet the demand. It’s the latest problem the industry has had to confront including a shortage in lumber and air conditioning units and parts.
Leland Osborne can have his pick of jobs right now in the construction industry.
“I started out working in our sheet metal shop,” Osborne said. “I worked out there for about a year and a half.”
He currently works for B&I Contractors in Fort Myers and pointed out there is a lot of room to grow and move up as his company has some 60 jobs to fill.
“We are definitely being impacted by the significant shortage of workers, especially skilled trades person,” said B&I Human Resources Director Mike Biskie.
The lack of labor is forcing many people to work overtime in order to keep up with the demand.
“It prevents companies like B&I from even bidding for a job because the manpower requirements are beyond what we currently have available,” Biskie revealed.
He doesn’t see an end in sight and specifies the workforce is aging out and fewer young people are moving into the industry.
The matter was so serious that Mike Love was commissioned and hired by the City of Fort Myers to head the Southwest Florida Enterprise Center and get people trained for free.
“At the end of the 10 weeks period they would graduate and move into these construction jobs,” Love explained.
There’s just one problem and that is they currently don’t have enough students despite a rise in starting wages.
“As you learn you can quickly go up to even $18 to $20 an hour,” Love said.
If you’re looking to get into the construction industry Fort Myers right now is training people 18 and older for free. You can call 239-321-7085. Meanwhile B&I Contractors established a recruiting hotline 1-833-631-2383 to get people hired immediately.