14 April Florida Contractors Want to Hire but Have Found a Tight Labor Market. Clay's Vocational Training Eases Shortfall April 14, 2017 By Laura Pavlus General workforce , workforce development, labor market, construction, commercial development, vocational training, schools, CTE, Continuing Technical Education, education 0 Florida Contractors Want to Hire but Have Found a Tight Labor Market - April 11, 2017 - by Derek Gilliam, JBJ A recent survey of contractors in Florida produced mixed numbers for the construction industry as employers both expected to hire more workers, but believe they will experience difficulty in finding the right people. Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. surveyed its members in Florida where they found that 88 percent of construction firms in the state plan to increase hiring over the next six months. However, about 84 percent of contractors anticipate experiencing more difficulty finding appropriately skilled labor. Christina Thomas, training director of the Northeast Florida Builders Association, wasn’t surprised to learn about the findings from the ABC. “The Baby Boomers are retiring and it’s difficult attracting people into the industry,” Thomas said. “I’ve heard it said before, the number one thing that’s driving up costs in the construction industry is labor.” Thomas runs one of the several accredited apprenticeship programs in Northeast Florida. In recent years, NEFBA has partnered with several schools across the region, mainly in Clay County since their school system has not cut vocational training as deeply as in Duval. The program has 16 instructors and teaches across four construction disciplines: carpentry, electrical, HVAC and plumbing. The four-year program has about 210 students currently enrolled. The program is in its open period right now, which runs through June 30. The carpentry program has year-round enrollment. When a student gradates from the program they will have earned 8,000 hours of on the job experience and 600 hours of classroom instruction. Thomas believes that high school students often do not understand the opportunity the construction industry presents as American society has pushed college as the appropriate path. She points out that nearly 50 percent of all high school students will never attend a four year university. “What are they going to do?,” she asked. “You go to any freshman class and ask them how many of them are going to college. Every hand will be in the air.” The majority of graduates from the NEFBA apprenticeship program will earn their certificate and have an immediate earning potential of about $45,000, Thomas said. Right now, because of the increased demand on the construction industry and the decreased labor supply, skilled construction labor can demand a premium. Nearly 90 percent of the ABC respondents believed sales would increase with 45 percent expecting an increase greater than five percent. “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. Related Jacksonville's Office Market Benefited from a Strengthening Economy as Job Creation Continued "With a growing population and a strengthening economy, both national and local businesses look to Jacksonville as a top-tier market for operations," said Colliers, which represented Gramercy Woods in the Aetna transaction. NE Florida Industrial/Office Markets Strong in First Half of '17 Jacksonville's commercial real estate statistics show that both industrial and office properties have produced significant net absorption and strong leasing activity in the first six months of 2017, according to data maintained by Cushman & Wakefield. Just south of Jacksonville, Clay County continues to offer a selection of properties with tremendous cost savings and a readily available talent pipeline. Manufacturers Join Governor’s Campaign to Save Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida JACKSONVILLE – In order to protect future jobs and to continue bolstering local economies through the recruitment of manufacturing, the First Coast Manufacturers Association has joined Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign to prevent the elimination of Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida by the Florida Legislature. Florida's Unemployment Rate Continues to Drop No debate here: Florida's unemployment rate continues to drop — even as more people move to Florida and enter the workforce. What's not to like? Tourism Remains Strong in Florida Visit Florida CEO sees no slowdown in tourism after record-breaking quarter. Florida's July Employment Figures Released Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in July 2017, unchanged from June 2017, and down 0.8 percentage point from a year ago. There were 411,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 10,114,000. The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.3 percent in July. Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.