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Construction career fair highlights need for workers

Industry is facing a shortage of qualified applicants
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Posted at 5:29 PM, Oct 28, 2021

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Graduates of a construction skills bootcamp lined up at a job fair Thursday morning, waiting to talk with companies that are desperately in need of qualified workers.

The program was launched in partnership with the Colorado Homebuilding Academy and Uplands Community Collective. The Uplands development project is expected to create 655 construction-related jobs over the next 15 years.

"I’ve never seen a condition quite like right now, where we have so many homes that we’re behind on building, and yet, so few people to build them with. And so I think that’s why we’re here today," said Jeff Handlin, Founding Partner of the Uplands. "We’ve got builders here, subcontractors. They’re looking for help."

The construction industry as a whole is facing a severe labor shortage while trying to keep up with pent-up demand for new homes following the COVID-19 pandemic. Handlin calls the current labor situation unprecedented.

The owner of Fortress Framing, Dave Highfield, said he never had trouble finding workers until recently.

"This is the first time we’ve actually had to come do a career fair because the shortages of labor are dramatic right now. Paying people more, offering benefits, all that type of thing almost seems not to be enough," said Highfield.

Fees for the construction skills bootcamp program are waived for applicants who are interested in pursuing careers in the construction industry. Graduates receive $200 worth of starter tools and job placement assistance.

More information about the Colorado Homebuilding Academy can be found here. Anyone who is interested in the construction skills bootcamp program can contact Andy Coy at 303-775-5968.