Addressing state’s shortage of construction workers
I loved the article by Erin Douglas about the shortage of workers in the construction trade. I hope you do more articles on this, especially regarding how schools plan to respond.
Douglas County schools, when I taught there, sent their students to Pickens Technical College in Aurora to learn a trade. The Douglas County School District said that when their student population hit 40,000, they would look into building their own center. It still hasn’t happened. Douglas County High School did have auto body and woodworking classes. I know a lot of people who put themselves through college working construction.
I am building a one-car garage and was told before I got the bid that it will cost more because there aren’t enough workers to fill all the jobs. What everyone in the construction profession needs to remind themselves: your job will never be outsourced. True for electricians, plumbers, roofers and others.
Barb Wasko, Englewood
Erin Douglas’ story on the shortage of construction workers missed one key thing in the analysis: During the Obama administration, more illegal immigrants were deported than at any other time in our history — as many as 400,000 a year.
As a builder, I barely could finish my last project, due to my subcontractors struggling to find workers in sheetrock, concrete and general construction. The truth is, we need immigrant labor to do those jobs, because unfortunately, Americans won’t.
Robert D. Tonsing, Morrison
Another boom, another labor shortage. This story complements Diane Carman’s recent column on “colorful, crowded Colorado.” Existing infrastructure along the Front Range is strained, and congestion increases year by year. More than 7 million will be living in Colorado by 2035, more than 8 million by 2050. Off we go with hammer and saw, adding to the sprawl.
Colorado needs new cities, soon. Real cities, based on urban models, not suburban models. Lakewood’s Belmar is a nice try, albeit hemmed in by wide streets of traffic. Downtown areas of Golden, Boulder and Denver attract crowds for pleasure — people like to go where people are. Recognize that the Front Range is now urban and will become increasingly so in the next 10-20 years. Visualize new cities, designed from the outset to cut the commute: walkable, bikable, served within by mass transit. Avoid the Los Angeles model. Colorado needs new cities. Let’s start some.
Phil Nelson, Golden