Major need for skilled workers in the construction trade

PHOENIX -- The Arizona economy has been doing well, especially in the construction business, but that's led to another problem: there aren't enough people to fill the positions.

"There's not a business owner that I don't talk to in any of the trades that doesn't go, 'I need people and I need quality people,'" said Carl Bartolli, Donley Service Center's Director of Operations.

According to Bartolli, there's currently a huge need for skilled workers in the building trade. Over the years, there has been a decline in people looking to get into construction, plumbing, HVAC and welding fields. Everyday people could soon see the effects.

"To the everyday person who needs that repair or that work done at their home or business, the quality of that workmanship goes down. The availability of that person being able to complete that task in a timely manner will go down and the cost goes up," explained Bartolli.

At the East Valley Institute of Technology, they're trying to fix the problem. All of these trades are taught here to high school students and adults.

"As long as you invest your time and show you actually care, you can go a long ways," said Jacob Hennen, a student.

Director of Facilities Billy DeWitt says the school is trying to build enrollment back up, which fell off several years ago. He says with the construction boom here in the Valley, there are not enough workers for the amount of work.

"Are you able to fix your toilet? Are you able to fix a drywall? Are you able to fix a roof? These are going to be the guys who are able to come into your house and fix your toilet. They're going to be able to do countertops for you. They're going to be able to do flooring," said DeWitt.

Although in most cases, this is hard work and we're told starting salaries for these trades are typically between $40,000 and $60,000 per year.

East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT)
1601 W. Main St.
Mesa, AZ 85201
(480) 461-4000