Construction workers in high demand

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Looking for a job?

There is a mini building boom going on in Ohio right now and there are not enough skilled trades workers to fill the jobs. This is a big problem because these are the jobs that will build Ohio.

The jobs include boilermakers, pipefitters, bricklayers, electricians and welders. And right now, the “Help Wanted” posting is a mile long.

Chancy Kennedy is quick to answer when asked why she wants to be a welder.

“I have four boys and I need a lot of money to take care of them,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy is in the welding program at Choffin Career and Technical Center in Youngstown. She knew she wanted a good salary and knew there were plenty of welding jobs out there.

Welders and other construction trades are in high demand. So high, in fact, that the Ohio Contractors Association and other construction groups launched a new website called to try to get more people interested.

Welding instructor Patrick Prokop said the shortage of workers is a big problem.

“In the past years, you see a huge decline and I am not sure if that is because the training has not been there for people,” Prokop said.

He said part of the issue is the decline in high school trade programs. That is something 22-year-old student Lucas Orr can attest to.

“This is what I wanted to do since I was in high school, but they didn’t have the program. Now I got the opportunity to do so,” Orr said.

Prokop said more than 90 percent of the students that graduate from Choffin’s program have jobs lined up when they walk out the door. He has people calling Choffin looking for workers from as far away as Pittsburgh.

“There is plenty of jobs out there. If you go to the right places and you walk in and do a good firm handshake and are a nice person and know what you are talking about, you are going to get a job,” he said.

And that is something Kennedy is looking forward to.

“It is something different. I was always in the kitchen or home with the kids,” she said.

It is important to remember that employers are not just looking for welders, but all construction trades. The website has descriptions of all these jobs, and more information about the training needed.

The average starting salary is $50,000.

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