[Fox Business] Construction booming across Arizona, causing employment rates in the industry to soar

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Employment in the construction industry is booming across the country, increasing by more than 250,000 workers since last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Arizona is one of the states experiencing the most growth and the Phoenix-metro area alone had one of the highest employment rates in the construction industry in 2023, the BLS reported.

Austin McCabe, who worked as an electrician for about a year before he lost his job, is one of the many newcomers to construction.

McCabe said he knew he wanted to do something with his hands and he needed a job that would help him get his high school diploma and a driver’s license, which first landed him at Job Corps but ultimately led him to his current job as an apprentice at DPR Construction.

AI SET TO TRANSFORM CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

“I found out about Job Corps, which offers both,” McCabe said. “They give you training, get you to finish your high school diploma, and they get you a new driver’s license, which I still needed at the time.”

McCabe completed a new partnership program between Job Corps and DPR Construction that gives people hands-on experience in the industry.

“I was still part of Job Corps while I first joined DPR. So, like a six-week onboarding. Afterwards – DPR – they liked what I was doing when I worked [at Job Corps], so they hired me on full time,” he said.

DPR Construction and Job Corps launched their partnership program last year and are already preparing for the third class of construction workers.

NEW CONSTRUCTION STILL POPULAR AS MOST AMERICANS BELIEVE IT’S A BAD TIME TO BUY AN EXISTING HOME

Maricopa County, where Phoenix is located, was the fourth largest-growing county in America last year, and it’s not only experiencing population growth, but a construction boom.

Gretchen Kinsella, leader of DPR Construction’s Arizona Business Unit, said the Phoenix-metro area has been deemed the Electric Valley because a lot of new companies are moving into the area with the focus of “building a new industry.”

“No line of sight to any lack of needs in our industry when it comes to professional and skilled labor workforce… and with all of the work in the valley, we are continuing to connect and partner with organizations that support workforce development – Job Corps being one of those,” Kinsella said.

SKILLED WORKERS ARE IN DEMAND, THESE TRADE JOBS PAY THE MOST

Kinsella specifically pointed out chip manufacturing, and the supply chain that comes with it, as a “great opportunity” for the Phoenix-metro.

She said another great opportunity brewing in the area is the ability to “introduce people to the trades and help them see that construction is a career and one that you can absolutely be successful in.”

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The Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity estimates there will be about 40,000 new jobs and construction within the state by 2031.

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