The demand keeps growing for jobs in the construction and skilled labor industry. One company says it's been so hard filling open positions, it has had to take an unconventional approach. It's impacting more than their bottom line.
De'vonte Coulter has glass installation at this Colorado solar plant down to a science. You'd think he'd been doing this for years. But years ago, Coulter was working at one of your favorite drive thrus.
"Tried the fast food business and it wasn't really good money and can't really support a family with that type of job," Coulter says.
He went back to what he loved, working with his hands, and eventually landed a job on a solar plant project with McCarthy Building Companies.
"It was actually a learning curve because I have thrown glass before but every different program has a different glass system," Coulter says.
His inexperience didn't matter. McCarthy trained Coulter as he worked.
"It's meant a lot because I have a son," Coulter says. "So and then I got a chance to help better his life and stuff like that so it's not bettering my life it's bettering his life."
It's also betterring McCarthy's bottom line. According to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the construction industry will require an additional 1.7 million workers by 2020.
"With the labor shortage going on nationwide there's just no way we would be able to execute these projects," says Justin Peterson, project manager at McCarthy Building Companies.
McCarthy rolled out their Training Within Industry program nationwide, which includes training their superintendents on how to educate employees as they work.
"I like to say we're not only just building facilities or building buildings we're trying to build people too," says McCarthy General Superintendent James Comstock.
Dillon Robles started the program in solar and has already been promoted to several different projects.
"I was doing odds and ends jobs working in restaurants, doctor's offices," Robles says. "Now I've finally got my feet firmly on the ground and found something I want to do."
Coulter sees a future for himself here too.
"I really do appreciate it," Coulter says. "That's why I come to work and I work hard."
One where he and his employer both benefit.
McCarthy says they have positions open right now in locations across the country.
Search open positions here.