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Strong Need For Construction Workers In North Dakota - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Strong Need For Construction Workers In North Dakota

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Builders across North Dakota are all saying the same thing, the state is in desperate need of construction workers. As construction season begins, builders say the amount of projects in North Dakota have increased since last year. And the amount of workers needed to complete those structures just isn't keeping up. Leaving contractors and trade organizations in a tough spot.

"There's going to be a lot of houses built this year," says Brice Mearf with Luxury Builders. As soon this ground thaws builders estimate home and business construction is going to be at an all-time high in North Dakota.

But for now it's a waiting game. "Right now we are kinda a limited schedule, we are not doing overtime, the guys either take Friday off, or they are done at noon," says Mearf.

While some projects have the staff now, trade unions want to be ahead of the game. "We need people, we really need them," says Jason Ehlert, North Dakota State Building Trades President.

He hit the nail on the head, right now there are over $1,000 open construction jobs across the state. "There's as many construction workers as there used to be, the fact is there's more contractors, there's more houses going up, in the last two three years than there ever has been before," says Mearf.

But, it's not just houses that are creating the need for workers it's projects like the new Sanford hospital.

"That's a major, major project," says Ehert. An estimated 1,300 people will be on this site working at its peak, but right now, there are not enough hands to finish all that work.

"While everything has been going out west, you still have a lot of things going out east," says Ehert. The builders union says the oil boom out west could be taking some workers away from construction, but they say a lot of this need is coming from a good economy.

"A lot of what we had recently is travelers have been coming up  from the twin cities area, working in North Dakota, and travelers from all over the country, but as the rest of the country is rebounding from the recession those travelers are now going back home to their home districts, leaving a void here," says Ehert.

And to fill that void construction companies want you to apply where the hammer meets the nail. The builders union is in such desperate need for workers they've launched a campaign asking people to try their hand at anything from painting to brick-laying.

Click here to see the dates and times of the open houses: http://www.dakotaconstructioncareers.com/

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