Construction boom leads to shortage of workers

The construction industry in Windsor Essex is in crisis. Contractors and sub-contractors are struggling to find workers to fill positions.

“We always try to help these people [Bridging North America] build a new bridge and they’re not even close to full employment. So next year, around this time, they’re going to look for hundreds of other bodies, ”said Jim Lyons, executive director of the Windsor Construction Association.

The association has a portal on its website where companies can post job vacancies and job seekers can post resumes. It is also linked to the Workforce Windsor Essex website. The association hopes that the digital path will encourage the recruitment of new employees.

“Right now we could probably hire around 20 people. We’ll see over the next year, probably double,” said Robert Troup, owner of Trojan Interior Contracting, a drywall company.

There is a wide variety of open positions.

Vince Ferro Construction workers work on a project in LaSalle. (Dale Molnar / CBC)

“From specification or project managers to workers, foremen and superintendents,” said Rose Ferro, vice president of Ferro Construction.

It is difficult for entrepreneurs to explain the shortage. Part of the reason is a construction boom that has caused an increase in the demand for people to do the job. This delays projects, affecting both heavy construction and residential construction.

“Right now we’re probably on the verge of adding about a third to our schedule. We’re probably one of the lucky ones,” said home builder Brent Klundert, co-owner of BK Cornerstone Ltd. Klundert said a job that could take around 120 to 150 days can now take 180 days.

The problem is compounded by the shortage of building materials. Entrepreneurs say that some people may have a negative impression of the industry, so they hope to attract more young people.

Construction workers needed

Jan Khaoworn had his own construction company, but after too many unreliable workers he decided to start working in Windsor and join the union. 0:35

“If you’re out of school and looking for a career and willing to put in the effort, construction is a way to go right now,” said Dennis Schincarol, Alliance Forming project manager.

Lyons says they hope to make it known that the jobs pay well, some up to $ 250,000 a year. The lure of a better life has already drawn some here.

Jan Khaoworn ran his own construction business in Leamington, but came to the Windsor area to work in a union.

“So I was like, good benefits, great retirement. Why not join in too? And I could always do my side business on the side,” Khaoworn said.

Lyons also says they plan to hire talent from overseas.

A house on Lincoln Road has been under construction for several months. (Dale Molnar / CBC)

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