At a construction industry job fair held Feb. 10 at Dayton Convention Center, 60 booths were sold to employers hiring for electricians, landscapers, crafts people and other positions, according to OhioMeansJobs-Montgomery County.
But job seekers who missed the event have another chance to apply ahead of the busy spring season.
Trade group Ohio Valley Associated Builders and Contractors helped organize a pair of job fairs, and the second event will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. March 2 at Xavier University’s Cintas Center, 1624 Herald Ave., in Cincinnati.
Here are three things we learned at the recent Dayton hiring event about jobs available in construction:
1. JOB VARIETY
There are a wide range of jobs, including craftsman, retail and sales, and electrician and technology positions.
Home improvement store Menards Inc. is looking for an estimator for its Miamisburg store, for example, said Todd Swanson, the store’s human resource coordinator. The estimator physically helps guests pick materials for their building project and must be able to read their design plans, Swanson said.
“Everything we do involves building, repair, home improvement,” Swanson said. “All of our stores are always looking for good, qualified individuals.”
For more information about jobs at the retail chain, visit www.menards.com/main/careers.html.
“We hire people who are in high school all the way up to people who have business degrees,” Swanson said.
2. EXPERIENCE WANTED
Garber Electrical Contractors is a construction contractor working primarily on commercial and industrial projects. The Englewood-based company, which does business throughout the region, specializes in working with owners to help them design their new building, said Bart Hoblit, operations manager.
The division Garber Connect installs low voltage systems such as security, fire alarm and fiber optic systems, according to the contractor.
Currently, Garber is hiring for field electrician foremen with three years or more experience, Hoblit said.
“A few years ago we couldn’t find trainees wanting to get into our trade and now we are seeing more young kids wanting to get into it, but experience is hard to find because everybody’s busy (working),” Hoblit said.
Garber is also seeking service technicians with experience in fire alarms and security systems such as building access control and surveillance cameras, said Jeff King, manager of Garber Connect.
“Just due to our workload, we’re wanting to hire experienced people now,” King said.
Both divisions offer apprenticeship and training programs, but applicants with prior experience to run the jobs are in greater need, King said. For more information about careers, visit garberelectric.com.
“It’s a more technical trade than a lot of construction, but it’s also very construction related,” Hoblit added. “It takes four, five years to really learn our trade.”
3. TOUGH LABOR POOL
The same challenges facing many industries looking for workers in an improving economy are true for construction too. Due to more job openings, employers consistently say finding quality and skilled workers is difficult, including Grunder Landscaping Co. of Miamisburg, which provides landscaping work for residential and commercial customers throughout the region.
“We’re currently looking to hire 20 to 22 full-time seasonal landscape laborers (and) team members,” said Amber Fox of human resources. “We always keep on a skeleton crew in the winter.”
“It has been challenging recently to find qualified laborers. We do have very good pre-employment requirements we put everybody through for the confidentiality of our company and our clients,” Fox said.
“If you’re looking to work in the landscaping industry, we can offer you more benefits than any of our competition. We also have the best fleet and facilities in town,” she claims.
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