Construction industry seeks workers, hopes to hire 6,000 this year

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DENVER -- As if you couldn't tell by looking around.

The construction industry predicts a big year in 2015--but that also means big challenges.

A new survey by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC of America) shows the construction industry ready to hire the most workers in 10 years.

The problem is there are not enough workers to fill the jobs.

A symphony of construction work is music to the ears of our economy.

"Residential building is going very strong. Commercial building is going very strong, You see roads and bridges are strong too," said Michael Gifford with AGC of Colorado.

But a new survey by the Associated General Contractors of America shows we could play a wrong note.

"Big challenge for us is work force. We need more people in the construction industry," said Gifford.

He says we especially need skilled workers--whose numbers dropped when the recession made times tough.

“When you lose that labor force, lose skilled people that are carpenters, electricians or plumbers, they leave the field or go to another area, it leaves a void," said Ralph Gugliemi, owner of Platinum Renovations in Denver.

He says there's so much work and not enough people to do it. His company often has to rely on subcontractors, like Tim Smith.

"Platinum Renovations has been a Godsend to me and a lot of smaller contractors. They provide us with a lot of work," said Smith of Tim Smith Contracting.

But now, even subcontractors are getting overloaded with work.

"One of our biggest challenges is we can use subcontractors or other people, but they're so busy right now," said Gugliemi.

One hundred thirty-eight thousand people work in construction in Colorado right now.

But that's several thousand short of what we need--which is 60,000 workers over the next 10 years.

The industry hopes to hire about 6,000 people each year.  Some of those people AGC of Colorado will train.

"They can be working and go to school at night. We call it an apprenticeship. But it's really earn as you learn," said Gifford.

The construction industry says there's also a shortage of workers in professional positions like: superintendents, project managers and estimators.

You can check out hundreds of job openings right now in construction at www.buildcolorado.com.

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