Students could fill construction worker shortage

Posted at 5:50 PM, Feb 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-02 17:51:06-05

Five years in the construction business has its perks.

“I received a car, house, and before I had nothing, so I know it pays off,” construction worker Herbert Davis said.

Davis is working on an apartment complex that just broke ground on Harbour Island. It’s a project that needs 800 workers.

“We need electricians, we need iron workers, we need plumbers,” said Moss and Associates project manager Brooke May.

But with $2.4 billion in construction permits issued last year in Tampa, there aren’t enough workers to build it all. So companies are recruiting younger and younger for high paying jobs.

“I think we are going to be the city I thought we hoped we would be, but you can’t do it if you can’t build it,” Mayor Bob Buckhorn said.

For high school students looking for a career path, the timing couldn’t be better.

A trade show Tuesday pushed them to build a future in construction Tuesday. Fifty companies are hiring everything from painters to welders.

And these jobs pay well, about $25 an hour.

The shortage is only expected to grow from here, an opportunity some students plan to cash in on.

“They said they made the roof for the Tampa Bay Rays stadium, so I think building roofs, or structures, would be interesting,” sophomore Alejandro Valderrma said.