LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A significant shortage of skilled workers could stall construction projects in Las Vegas.
Sean Stewart, CEO of the Nevada Contractor's Association, said Tuesday that more than three-quarters of all contractors find it hard to locate and hire enough qualified workers across several different disciplines.
"If you want to be in the construction industry, we will find a way to get you involved," Stewart said.
The lack of workers led Stewart to team up with Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara to recognize 13 students who found jobs in the construction industry after graduation with a signing day style celebration at Workforce Connections Career Center.
Jara said the solution to a low workforce could be found in shifting the school system's focus away from a college-only emphasis.
"It's really about what we need to do differently in our K-12 system," Jara said. "So our children, when they leave us, are ready to go to work."
One student, Jamie Shark, has chosen to do both - splitting time between classes at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and her new construction job.
"I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can while I'm still in college so I can feel out what I like," Shark said.
She also said it was nice to be recognized at Tuesday's celebration and to maybe one day be a role model for other women in a skilled trade.
"It gets people excited to want to do it if they're not sure," Shark said. "They can see other people are doing it, other girls, other people like me."
Stewart hopes the construction signing day can become an annual event, and include 100 kids at the table next year.