Desperate need for construction workers in Sarasota, Bradenton

Posted at 4:57 PM, Aug 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-19 18:03:12-04

New data from the Manatee-Sarasota Building Industry Association shows there is a construction worker shortage in the two counties. Currently, there are 19,000 people working in the construction industry along the Suncoast, but the industry needs about 22,000 people working on projects.

"It really is a good time to be in the building industry," said Building Industry C.E.O. Jon Mast.

He said there is a construction boom because interest rates are low. 

"There are a lot of retirees moving down," said Mast.

He said the issue is the people who left the construction industry after the recession never returned. Also, the industry has an aging workforce.

"We need to train young people to come into the industry," said Mast.

Anthony Gagliano works for CareerSource Suncoast. He said there are about 400 jobs available in the construction field right now.

He said local technical colleges offer nine-week classes for students to learn basic construction skills.

"They learn safety, tools, basic measuring in the class," said Gagliano.

Construction careers can earn anywhere between $30,000-60,000 per year, or more.