Russ Batzer Responds to AGC of America Survey Results
On September 9, AGC of America released this press release outlining the results of their workforce survey. It turns out that 86 percent of contractors nationwide have difficulty finding key craft and salaried jobs as demand for construction increases. You can see the national results here, or check out the Oregon and Washington responses.
This news story popped up, featuring AGC’s own Russ Batzer, president of Batzer Construction and Oregon-Columbia Chapter Board of Directors member.
Click here to view the article or watch the video.
Contractors See Future of Construction Jobs in Educated Youth
By Connor Wist, September 10, 2015
MEDFORD, Ore. — A report released Thursday shows an overwhelming majority of construction firms in the U.S. having trouble finding qualified workers to hire. This report reflects a decline in construction jobs spanning over the last decade as many parts of the country continue to rebound.
Contractors in southern Oregon said there needs to be more support on the education side for construction jobs. “The problem is where do you get the skills you need to become a construction worker? If it is specialized you probably need to go to school. If you want to be a carpenter then you need to start out as a laborer and work for somebody,” said Batzer Construction President Russ Batzer.
Since the recession, contractors said more than 30 percent of the workforce stopped construction. They went seeking other jobs and have not come back. “That’s what is causing scarcity and shortage of young people, we’re not getting the young people,” said Batzer. To find those younger people, universities and community colleges are offering up programs to train students how to use their skills to get back into the work world; some even specifically into the construction industry. Even with the rebuilding of the construction workforce, projects are being started and completed. Many of this summer’s southern Oregon projects were at schools.