Construction training program seeks to fill Colorado’s 10,000-worker gap

The shortage of construction workers in Colorado and elsewhere has been in the news for some time. The Association of General Contractors in Denver is now trying to do something about it.

With unemployment at 2.3 percent in Colorado, finding workers isn’t expected to get any easier any time soon.

There are an estimated 170,000 workers in the construction field in Colorado and another 10,000 are needed. The Construction Industry Training Council of Colorado, which runs apprenticeship programs in the commercial construction trades, estimates that the construction industry is attracting only one new worker for every three older workers it is losing.

In response, AGC has created a program called Construction Careers Now, which will train people to go into the construction trades and is funded by the state of Colorado.

The four-week program is being held at Emily Griffith Technical College in Denver from 5-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Students take classes in introduction to construction, basic construction measurement, safety, blueprint reading, building techniques and leadership/soft skills.

According to a U.S. Bank survey, small business owners are struggling to find and retain quality employees, a development that’s hindering their ability to invest and grow.

A whopping 61 percent of owners surveyed by U.S. Bank said they’re experiencing extreme or moderate difficulty finding quality employees to expand their business. The concern is particularly acute in rural areas; however, urban small business owners also cite the lack of skilled employees as a problem.

Some small businesses are adapting by offering on-the-job training but others are curtailing growth expectations.

About the Author

Larry Hannappel

Larry spent 16 years with Century Casino’s and was instrumental in the start-up and growth of the company through expansions in Canada, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Poland and on several cruise ships as well as in Colorado. He was most recently the SVP, Principal Finance Officer and COO of North American operations for Century Casinos Inc., a multinational, Nasdaq-traded gaming company. Earlier in his career, Larry worked at the Johns Manville Corp. Larry spent 13 years in various accounting and finance functions in the company’s fiberglass manufacturing division and was key in the start-up of a molding plant in Indiana. Larry and his wife Kathy and three children live in Colorado. He enjoys four-wheeling, motorcycling, golfing, skiing and brewing beer.

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