chartAs the construction industry rebounds from the latest recession, there’s plenty of new work to go around. New projects abound. The problem is, there’s not enough skilled labor to keep the new influx of projects on schedule.

The construction industry is getting more gray. Workers 55 and older now make up 15.5 percent of the construction trades’ labor force. In 2002, the number was just under 9 percent. Retirement and workers fleeing the industry during the recession have left those who remain scratching their heads as they to try to get enough manpower to complete projects on time and on budget.


Lack of driver’s license stalls construction careers for some

Among the things that it’s hard to start a career in the trades without, a driver’s license might not immediately come to mind. But in places like Milwaukee, where a substantial number of residents are not legally permitted to get behind the wheel, the lack of a license can be a real stumbling block.

Walker promotes technical skills at education convention

Gov. Scott Walker asked Wisconsin’s education leaders at their annual convention Friday to help change the mind-set of those who influence the career paths of young students to include the fact that there are plenty of jobs that don’t require a four-year college degree.

Struggling with a labor shortage? Head to the clouds

As many contractors struggle to fill vacant positions, a national trades group’s survey is suggesting that the best way to relieve the hiring pressure might be to rely more on technological innovation and new business practices.

Kimpton-featuredReport: Job growth in trades to outpace most industries

With construction companies’ fortunes improving, federal officials are predicting that the industry will be one of the great job generators of the next decade.

Construction, extraction out ahead among state’s ‘Hot Jobs’

When Wisconsin officials try to predict what industries will need the most new workers by 2022, it’s construction and extraction that lead the pack. The state’s Department of Workforce Development announced Friday that it had more than 100,000 job openings …

RacineCH-featuredConstruction switches from work to labor shortage

Depending on the year, the construction industry can be facing a work shortage or a labor shortage.

AGC survey captures reality of labor shortage

Wisconsin construction executives expressed little surprise at the results of a recent survey suggesting that one out of four contractors in the country is turning down work because of labor shortages.


meier-steffesLabor shortages call for creative solutions

The construction industry still is recovering from the fallout of the recession, and it’s showing in labor shortages.


Not surprisingly for an industry that has been struggling with a labor shortage, construction groups have taken to the web in force to recruit people into the trades.

If you are thinking of a career in construction, here are some places to start your search:

Building Wisconsin: This site is maintained by the Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin, one of the largest construction groups in the state. The site is mainly directed toward making sure high school students are award of the benefits of a career in the trades. It contains resources for parents and teachers and contains information on various scholarships and school programs:


WRTP/Big Step: This organization is looking to bring workers in Dane and Milwaukee counties into various jobs in Dane and Milwaukee counties, including those construction and manufacturing:


The Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin: This construction group espouses merit-shop principles, which essentially hold that union affiliation should have no bearing on employment opportunities or construction companies’ ability to win public contracts.  The ABC offers a variety of apprentice and training opportunities that are maintained separately from the union side of the industry:


Union organizations have likewise blanketed the web with resources meant to help bring more workers into the industry. Among them is Building Advantage, which concentrates on recruiting in the Milwaukee area:


Two of the biggest statewide union organizations also have websites devoted to recruitment. The Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council represents five laborers locals, which in turn represent workers in the building, sewer-and-water, transportation, utility-distribution, demolition and asbestos-removal industries:


The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139 is a statewide labor organization representing road builders, excavators and members of similar trades:


Wisconsin is also carved into seven districts each of which is represented by an umbrella labor organization known as a building and construction trades council. Each of the organizations’ websites offers resources for those interested in a career in the trades:

Milwaukee Building & Construction Trades Council: http://www.milwbuildingtrades.org/

Building Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin: http://btrades.com/apprenticeships.php

Northeast Wisconsin Building and Construction Trades Council: http://newbt.org/apprenticeships/

Southern Wisconsin Building and Construction Trades Council: http://www.swbtrades.org/#

Western Wisconsin Building and Construction Trades Council: http://wwbct.org/main/page_links.php

Northern Wisconsin Building & Construction Trades Council: http://www.wibuildingtrades.com/

Southeastern Wisconsin Building and Construction Trades Council: http://www.sewbuildingalliance.com/index.html

Finally, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development maintains a job center website that provides a good means of comparing employment opportunities, pay and necessary qualifications for a large variety of industries:



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