Construction boom brings worker shortage

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- The economic forecast given by faculty at A.S.U.'s  W. P. Carey Business School shows the building boom is back.  

While other industries continue a slow recovery from the country's recession, 5,000 to 7,000 jobs need to be filled by companies building homes, apartments and businesses throughout Arizona.

The problem?  A shortage of skilled roofers, carpenters, painters and other craftsmen.
R. T. Brown says his heating and air conditioning company has enough work to last through 2016, but finding workers is a challenge. He says construction companies now have to add incentives including better pay, benefits and perks to attract qualified people to fill positions.
Since 2006, Arizona has lost 100,000 construction jobs and many of those who were tired of standing in the unemployment line went into other lines of employment while others moved out of state to find work.
Now those companies with new building projects hope enough of those workers return to their trade to keep up with the building boom.