Construction trades struggling to find workers

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The construction trades are having a tough time finding workers, according to a new report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

This means jobs are going unfilled, across the country and here in Rochester.

The Rochester Arc and Flame Center provides training for professionals in the trade industry. The owner of the center said there are around 200,000 to 400,000 welding jobs that need to be filled.

“It use to take 120 days to build a house, now it’s 180 days just waiting for the plumbers and the electricians to show up because there is that shortage,” said Michael Krupnicki, owner of Arc and Flame Center.

According to the American welding society, by 2024 there will be a shortage of nearly 400,000 wedling operators. The chamber of commerce reports 61% of contractors find it difficult to hire skilled workers.

Officials at the Unions and Businesses United in Construction, or UNICON, who work with construction unions throughout western new york say the gap could be fueled by older workers reaching retirement and young people choosing to go into other fields.

“Now we’re scrambling. There are a lot of opportunities, there are a lot of projects and we don’t have the workforce to put the men and women onto those projects,” said Joe Leone, executive director with UNICON in Rochester.

Without these workers, officials say that some companies are not taking larger jobs, which can hurt the overall economy.

“Well, some of the direct effects would be companies actually passing on bidding opportunists and contracts because they just can’t find the labor to do the work. So that turns out to be less productivity, less profitable for our local companies,” said the owner of Arc and Flame Center, Michael Krupnicki.

The Arc and Flame Center said as more people leave the industry in the upcoming years, the demand for trade jobs will increase.

What this means is those looking to get into the industry might have better opportunities, but companies could struggle to get all of the professionals they need.

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