Home remodeling delays blamed on worker shortage
More than 25 different companies in the housing industry will hold a career fair Tuesday in Bloomington to try and fill more than 200 job openings. It comes at a time when the skilled worker shortage is reaching a crisis level.

Ed Roskowinski feels that looming crisis with each home remodeling project his company, Vujovich Design & Build, takes on.

"It takes longer to get the projects done because we're waiting on other trades people or we're waiting on our staff to be able to get to the project," said Roskowinski.

A skilled worker shortage in construction is stretching project time lines. At Vujovich Design & Build, it means each remodel takes about ten percent longer to complete.

"I wouldn't say we're doing fewer projects, but we're doing them differently. We have to adjust," said Roskowinski.

At the Builders Association of the Twin Cities - Housing First Minnesota, the skilled worker shortage is affecting every aspect of the construction industry. From framers to roofers and siding to carpentry, there's a need for more workers within every trade.

"I say it's a crisis level. I'm talking to builders today who say this is their number one challenge to build," said David Siegel, executive director at Housing First Minnesota. "We're to the point where we have demand, people want to buy product, we actually can't produce fast enough for what the market needs."

With the average construction salary between $50,000 to $60,000, builders are trying to reach young people and others considering a job change with this important message: construction is a career.

"I'm here to say I've built a 30-year career remodeling homes, put two kids through college, have a nice little nest egg for retirement, so it is a career, and it can be something you can support a family on," said Roskowinski.
That's a key message as the worker shortage continues to impact building daily. The housing industry career fair will be held Tuesday at the Mall of America Rotunda from 12 to 4 p.m.

Alexandra Renslo reporting
Twitter: @alexrenslo

February 12, 2018


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