construction jobs

A new survey from the Associated General Contractors of America shows that Washington and other states are facing a shortage of craft workers like carpenters and painters.
"setting out braces" by Matt Thompson is licensed by CC by 2.0

As the nation recovers from the recession and more construction projects pop up, contractors across the country are having trouble finding enough people to build those projects.

A new survey from the Associated General Contractors of America shows that employers, including 75 percent of those surveyed in Washington state, are struggling to find skilled crafts workers. These are people like carpenters and painters who make up the bulk of the labor force on a given project. 

Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU News

Washington State is the floating bridge capital of the world. We have four of the most famous ones, including the longest: State Route 520, which is about to be replaced.

What holds them all up? Giant floats made of concrete, called pontoons. The first and largest of them are being manufactured in Grays Harbor, near Aberdeen.

Labor leaders in Washington are urging state lawmakers to pass a $2 billion construction jobs package. The Washington State Labor Council and other labor organizations held a press conference Wednesday in Olympia.

Among them, unemployed worker Ben Mahre . He says he lost his job a year and a half ago, and with it, his retirement fund and medical benefits.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington lawmakers are looking at a $1 billion stimulus package to help create construction jobs.