Construction worker shortage poses problems for future projects

5 months 2 weeks 2 days ago October 11, 2016 Oct 11, 2016 Tuesday, October 11 2016 Tuesday, October 11, 2016 12:13:00 PM CDT in News
By: Jacob Kornhauser, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - A two-year construction project to improve the Lafayette Street Interchange in the state capital will be completed next month. More projects like it, though, could be in danger unless more young people start entering the construction workforce. 

At an event showing off the nearly-complete interchange, the president of Associated General Contractors of Missouri, Len Toenjes, had a clear message. 

"We need workers," Toenjes said. 

He repeated the message and emphasized how important it is that Missouri increase its construction workforce. 

"We need engineers, we need carpenters, we need craft workers. We need young people to really consider a career in construction in the future," Toenjes said. 

According to the Construction Labor Market Analyzer, the demand for laborers will reach nearly 18,000 in Missouri by August 2019. Those numbers won't be reached unless more people start entering the workforce. That could mean more vital construction projects going unfinished. 

Daniel Byrd, an operator with Jefferson Asphalt, said he believes the workforce shortage comes down to how the current generation is being raised.

"The generation coming up nowadays wasn't raised the way I was. The kids have it easier, I would say. Parents aren't pushing them to work. They're pushing them more toward education and not pushing them to bust their back like I was," Byrd said. 

Toenjes said the need isn't limited to union workers.

"We're talking about union, we're talking about open shop, we're talking about people of every stripe. There are jobs all over the place whether it's union or open shop," Toenjes said. 

AGCMO officials said the country's emphasis on a four-year degree is a big reason why fewer young people are considering a career in construction. Hal Brenton, project superintendent of Emery Sapp & Sons, said longevity is what should draw people to the field. 

"I've been doing this almost 40 years and construction has been very good to me. It's very enjoyable to do projects and then go back and see what you've been a part of," Brenton said. 

In an effort to draw more young people to the workforce, AGCMO has set up an online portal where prospective employees can look for job postings and post their resumes.

"Contractors can post a job if they have a job opening. Our young people can go on there and find jobs. We've created this portal to help bridge that connection," Toenjes said. 

That portal can be found here and you must be a member of AGCMO in order to access it.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House has passed a proposal to spend roughly $242 million more than planned this... More >>
50 minutes ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 11:23:07 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Department of Social Services Acting Director Jennifer Tidball said Missouri still is giving money to Planned... More >>
2 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:49:00 AM CDT in News
FERGUSON (AP) — Police in Ferguson, Missouri, are investigating after a private security guard shot an armed man at the... More >>
2 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:47:37 AM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A man has been sentenced to life in prison in connection with the 2014 southwestern Missouri shooting... More >>
2 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:42:50 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Four St. Louis officers are suspended without pay amid internal and criminal investigations over whether they... More >>
2 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:36:25 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- Columbia Solid Waste Utilities will open its Hazardous Household Waste Facility Saturday. Columbia residents can drop off their... More >>
4 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 7:18:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Family Access Center for Excellence, or FACE , is working to help more families in Boone County... More >>
14 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 9:55:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The U.S. House voted to repeal a set of Obama-era consumer protection rules Tuesday. The move lets Internet... More >>
14 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 9:18:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Members of Missouri's House Budget Committee want to make records of elected officials' flights on the... More >>
15 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 8:52:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A bill looking to remove construction worker payment restrictions on contractors is moving along in the capitol... More >>
17 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 7:09:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Crews responded to a vehicle fire on northbound Highway 63 in Columbia around 6:30 Tuesday evening, just south... More >>
17 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 7:09:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Federal prosecutors allege that two Kansas City men killed a man after kidnapping him and attempting... More >>
17 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 6:49:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri appeals court panel said utility regulators had no authority to grant conditional approval for... More >>
18 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 6:08:00 PM CDT in News
BUNCETON - A water leak that occurred around 5 p.m. on Tuesday forced the city to turn off the water... More >>
18 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 5:49:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri woman who used her neighbor's home to receive a fraudulent loan was convicted of... More >>
20 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 3:44:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House gave initial approval to a bill that would overturn a St. Louis ordinance... More >>
20 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 3:33:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – On April 4, Cole County voters will see two propositions on the ballot designed to improve Jefferson... More >>
20 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 3:28:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed native bumblebees on the endangered species list at the start of... More >>
21 hours ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 3:06:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
1pm 56°
2pm 58°
3pm 60°
4pm 63°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
12:30p
Inside Edition
1:00p
Days of Our Lives
12:00p
Jerry Springer
1:00p
Maury
2:00p
Judge Alex

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Blindspot
8:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
9:00p
Chicago P.D.
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
The 100
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld