Construction labor shortage in the Golden Triangle

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MAYHEW, Miss. (WCBI) – Several businesses in the area teamed up with Camp AMP to shed light on a struggling occupation.

The campers played a realistic “Game of Life” while learning the importance of the construction industry.

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Local construction companies say it’s hard to find people who are qualified to work in labor positions.

They are partnering with schools to try to build interest with kids.

“We have a dying breed,” said Katie McCrary.

Mississippi is in a labor shortage. With the manufacturing sector on the rise, fewer people are going into the skilled construction fields.

“We do not have enough employees to hire that actually have working knowledge of how to build things, how to pour concrete, how to run equipment, and different things like that,” said McCrary. “We have applicants come in every day, but they don’t know how to do anything with their hands, and so we end up hiring people that we have to train before they actually become beneficial members of our crews.”

Christee Holbrook says there’s another problem facing the current construction workforce.

“The other thing that we have an issue with, at our office, is we have our employees have been there thirty to forty years. They’re getting older, and they’re getting ready to retire. We’re having a hard time finding people to replace them,” said Holbrook.

In an effort to find a new force of qualified workers, businesses like McCrary-West Construction and Graham Roofing are going back to school.

“We’ve seen it over the last several years, getting worse,” said Holbrook. “Not being able to find people who want to work in our industry and construction in general. We’ve started going into the schools and talking to the construction class about working in our industry.”

They have teamed up with the Lowndes Career Technical Center to help train students before they enter the workforce.

“If you have a job in trade skill you can live a really comfortable life,” said McCrary.

The businesses will visit Camp AMP on Fridays.

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