LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A booming demand for construction workers is forcing the industry to make the profession more attractive. The bipartisan infrastructure act is putting billions of dollars into Nevada with some of it going to training workers.
A cacophony of sawing and hammering ringing out with carpenter apprentices being trained at the Southwest Carpenters Training Center.
“We do everything from the foundation to the doorknobs. There’s not anybody that can’t change a doorknob. So, we do all of it.”
Jovan Johnson was in their shoes and got the itch to build from an instructor.
“She said you can do this, and I believed her. Not at first but I just started doing it and 19 years later, here I am,” she said.
The pandemic created a boom with carpentry and other construction work with a wave of home improvements. Johnson says the industry was fortunate.
“We were able to continue working, staying strong and we have some big projects coming up still,” she said.
Construction projects that will need workers. The Home Builders Institute says the construction industry will need 2 million more workers over the next three years nationwide to keep up with demand for new housing.
“We’re going strong. We’re going to keep going strong and get even better,” Johnson said.
The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs act will provide $4 billion to Nevada. Much of it going to wage protections aimed at having contractors pay competitive wages. Senator Jacky Rosen helped write the infrastructure law and says this creates good-paying jobs.
“The most important thing to all of us is how to we take care of the ones we love, safe and secure with a good-paying job and benefits,” she said.
Johnson believes this will attract a new generation of carpenters and by providing peace of mind, it could help bolster the future.
“You know you have your pension in place. Your benefits and your wages are there and the jobs that are coming,” she said.
There are about 53 hundred valley carpenters in the union currently and the hope is this funding can help grow that number.