BREAKING NEWS 1,200 acre wildfire reported five miles north of Beatty Full Story

Construction demand continues to rise as worker gap widens

Construction jobs are in high demand with local construction companies constantly looking to hire more workers.

Posted: May 14, 2019 10:11 AM
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 11:09 AM

MEDFORD, Ore. — Construction jobs are in high demand with local construction companies constantly looking to hire more workers. The lack of qualified workers is a long-time issue that has created a void in trade jobs around the nation and here in the Rogue Valley.

JB Steel is just one local company who says they have experienced this void first hand. Recently the construction company hired at least 20 new employees — partial owner Russ Batzer says he could easily have hired more if there were enough workers available.

“We’re constantly looking for the types of people that would fit the type of work that we do,” says Batzer.

Many construction jobs can begin at the entry level with opportunities for laborers to advance into supervisor positions relatively quickly. One supervisor with JB Steel has done just that; starting out as a laborer at 18 years old, becoming a supervisor by the time he was 26.

Most construction jobs also start off paying above minimum wage, “There’s nothing in construction, that I know of, that has a minimum wage category to it,” explained Batzer. “I mean, if you’re on a prevailing wage job or project that is funded by the state or the feds, entry level is anywhere from $18-$24 an hour, depending on location.”

Schools have recently started shifting towards including more Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in their curriculum with hopes of encouraging students to pursue a trade.

“We’re all paying for the lack of career tech education, meaning you’re paying higher prices because the demand is beyond the supply of workers,” said Batzer. “If you bring a lot more numbers into it, it’s going to promote competition, you’re going to have more contractors out there and more availability and competition is what drives pricing.”

With more of a push for CTE programs, school can appeal more to those students who don’t plan on going to college. This is also appealing to employers who are looking for workers with experience.

“We would recommend getting involved in shop classes or career tech education classes that are available in their districts,” said Batzer.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 174501

Reported Deaths: 2460
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah34800568
Washington23412229
Marion20116299
Clackamas15311204
Lane11554144
Jackson9904127
Umatilla796883
Deschutes708272
Linn414263
Yamhill408775
Klamath345259
Polk342952
Malheur342758
Josephine305462
Douglas304365
Benton273218
Jefferson206432
Coos196831
Columbia153826
Union141124
Lincoln129820
Wasco128928
Hood River112429
Morrow107915
Clatsop8918
Crook87819
Baker85614
Curry5939
Tillamook5803
Lake4137
Grant4064
Harney3056
Wallowa1575
Sherman570
Gilliam561
Wheeler251
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3716579

Reported Deaths: 60994
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122864123628
Riverside2972154525
San Bernardino2945774550
San Diego2748113674
Orange2688694891
Santa Clara1169712013
Kern1078251322
Sacramento1010581646
Fresno1005001643
Alameda852561477
Ventura802301000
San Joaquin714311334
Contra Costa66927782
Stanislaus603831028
Tulare49383830
Monterey43267357
San Mateo41107560
San Francisco35993517
Santa Barbara33863446
Solano31875239
Merced31196452
Sonoma29679311
Imperial27962719
Kings22766245
Placer21751283
San Luis Obispo20917256
Madera16250239
Santa Cruz15554204
Marin13860226
Yolo13559199
Shasta11677217
Butte11549196
El Dorado9719109
Napa965479
Sutter9268109
Yuba609844
San Benito598263
Lassen566924
Tehama543056
Nevada444775
Tuolumne406664
Mendocino398747
Amador362151
Humboldt358737
Lake340643
Glenn235525
Colusa219816
Calaveras205551
Siskiyou194021
Inyo141738
Del Norte12747
Mono12734
Plumas6906
Modoc4884
Mariposa4247
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned330
Medford
Partly Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 56°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 45°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 56°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 56°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 39°
Still pretty warm Monday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events