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Building You: Construction industry hiring right now

Author: Lily Wu, KWCH Anchor/Reporter


WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The construction industry in Wichita is looking for people to hire right now.


But according to the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University, there are not enough people filling construction jobs.


“Overall, I think there’s some opportunity in the construction (industry) but the issue within the construction market is where do they find labor and talent to do the work. What’s holding us back from meeting that demand, is getting that skilled labor,” said Jeremy Hill, director of CEDBR.


The Associated General Contractors of Kansas wants more skilled workers.


Mike Gibson, executive vice-president for the AGC of Kansas, said 2020 was robust and hopes it continues this year.


“We are very hopeful and optimistic. We’re going to see some really good things come back for our industry. Just like what we’ve been experiencing for the last three to four years,” said Gibson.


The demand for non-residential construction projects did not stop during the pandemic. But, Gibson said most of those projects will be finished in the middle of this year.


“Contractors, suppliers right now are busy. Eighty-percent of their projects in March moved forward. We need consumer confidence to allow for the $7 to $8-trillion worth of private money that’s sitting on the sidelines, according to our chief economist in Washington, D.C. to be reinvested into the marketplace. If that occurs, then the construction pipeline of projects will be reenergized,” said Gibson.


And the construction industry will need more people to hire in Kansas.


“Construction has never been looked at as a sexy industry. Unfortunately, our industry for 40 to 50 years has not told the story about what good paying jobs, what professional careers are out there, and also what entrepreneurial opportunities are out there,” said Gibson.


To learn more about job opportunities through the Build Up KS website, click here.


To learn more about job openings through Kansas Works, click here.