Construction labor shortage impacting flood recovery

Construction labor shortage impacting flood recovery

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - For many flood victims in Louisiana, the gutting is over and the rebuild is starting. Construction companies are putting out a call for more workers to try to keep up with demand, but some employers say there may not be enough to get every job done.

Help wanted signs are posted all over Baton Rouge by contractors and homeowners that need workers.

Savard is a Baton Rouge based company that connects those workers with contractors. Recruiting director Brennan Castille said the demand is very high because of the recent flooding.

"There's a big need for a lot of people, I mean we've had requests for hundreds of people at a time," Castille said.

This need comes at the same time that the Associated General Contractors of America are reporting a labor shortage. They posted findings from a survey of over 1,400 contractors in the U.S. that had 69 percent saying they have difficulty filling hourly positions with qualified workers.

Of those contractors surveyed in the South, nearly three out of four said they have difficulty finding workers.

Castille said the flooding has made that shortage even clearer.

"We've seen kind of a flood of everything. From basic people cutting out drywall to high end carpenters like things and that. So right now there's definitely a need, even more so than normal," Castille said.

Moving forward, Castille expects that demand to be filled by out of state contractors. He said the extensive damage caused by the floods is attracting those workers.

"A lot of companies, both that we work for and other industries, they're kind of pouring into this market," Castille. "They see the need, they see the people want to rebuild, they want to do it quickly."

Savard is encouraging anyone looking for work to go to its website, which has a listing of flood recovery jobs and the skills required.

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