Survey: Lack of qualified workers in Tampa Bay area could hinder construction growth

Pinellas/Hillsborough contractors planning to hire
Posted at 2:32 PM, Apr 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-03 17:43:47-04

Construction contractors in the Tampa Bay area showed a stronger intention to hire new employees over the next 6 months than any other part of the state.

Contractors also say they expect to have a lot of trouble finding qualified workers.

The opinions come Monday morning in the first ever Florida Contractor Confidence Index (Florida CCI), courtesy of a survey from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Florida.

Optimism is high in Florida; 88% of Florida contractors expect their sales to increase in the next six months. Building contractors are already seeing increased demand in a competitive housing market that is already busier than in most places across the country.

That optimism explains why many contractors say they need to hire more people; 89% reported plans to increase staffing levels over the next 6 months.

"There can be no doubt that business is thriving for Florida ABC members, both general and subcontractors, in the commercial and industrial sectors," said ABC of Florida 2017 Chair Mary Tappouni, president of Breaking Ground Contracting in Jacksonville. "Yet, contractors’ concerns about the inadequate number of workers entering the construction industry—despite the availability of high-paying jobs—could limit industry growth."

84% of contractors expect to have a more difficult time finding available labor in six months," according to the Associated Builders and Contractors survey.

"Potential job seekers, and the state’s economy, would both benefit from additional efforts to attract talent into the construction industry and ensure that talent has access to all available training programs, including registered apprenticeship and craft training programs," added Tappouni.

If you're interested in an apprenticeship 

The Associated Builders and Contractors  (ABC) of Florida have teamed with local community colleges to create an Apprenticeship program. Many times, ABC will fund a student's studies through the program. You can learn more about the apprenticeship programs in the Tampa Bay Area by clicking HERE