EUGENE, Ore. — Now that the construction industry is starting to bounce back, companies are looking for younger people to get in the business before baby boomers retire.
Oregon’s construction industry has lost a third of its jobs and local construction leaders we spoke with say they’re not seeing the numbers they used to from younger workers. They say that could be a reflection of a generation that isn’t used to doing handiwork; if their fathers and uncles didn’t teach them, then they’re not inclined to show an interest.
But leaders in the local construction industry say it’s a demanding job and they’re only looking for people who are seriously dedicated.
“I mean, there’s not the interest,” says Mark Bruer, vice president of Essex Construction. “Building is very demanding and if you’re not passionate about it, if it’s not part of your essence, if you don’t want to be a builder, it’s probably not a place you want to be.”
Bruer says the big difference in generations is that older generations grew up working on things outside, but the younger generation focused more on TV and the internet.
However, construction leaders with spoke with say they’re optimistic because there’s always someone who gets satisfaction in hard labor.