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Construction Expectations Grow Along with Concerns About the Supply of Qualified Workers

Pipeline construction
Spectra Energy
Pipeline construction
The 255-mile natural gas pipeline would start in Carrollton County and run through Summit and Stark Counties, taking land by eminent domain.
Ohio construction firms expect power to be a big part of their portfolios.

Construction firms in Ohio and nationally are expecting growth this year and say a lack of quality workers is and will likely continue to be among their biggest problems.

The survey by the Associated General Contractors of America says three quarters of construction firms nationally and 80 percent of those in Ohio expect business to grow this year. In Ohio, the biggest construction boost is expected to come from power projects, while work on public buildings is expected to lag.



The biggest concerns for Ohio contractors include competition, federal regulations, a lack of investment in infrastructure and worker quality. Nearly half of the firms here say they’ve been having trouble finding qualified craft and salaried personnel and nearly as many say they expect that problem will get worse in 2018.

The expectations of Ohio contractors are reflected in the national numbers as well, and the group says it expects construction will benefit from a boost in infrastructure spending by the Trump administration this year.

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M.L. Schultze
M.L. Schultze came to WKSU as news director in July 2007 after 25 years at The Repository in Canton, where she was managing editor for nearly a decade. She’s now the digital editor and an award-winning reporter and analyst who has appeared on NPR, Here and Now and the TakeAway, as well as being a regular panelist on Ideas, the WVIZ public television's reporter roundtable.