Skilled Labor Shortage in MD Costing Millions

Courtesy of The Baltimore Sun

Shortages of skilled laborers in Maryland are causing some construction projects to cost millions of dollars more than original estimates.

Maryland Center for Construction Education & Innovation President Bob Ayudkovic believes that these shortages can be traced back to 2008 and the Great Recession. There is a high demand for skilled laborers but not high supply, leading to heightened wages, adjustment to project scopes, and trade package rebidding. Many large contractors supplying mechanical, electrical and plumbing services are no longer in business.

Many, including Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford, are eager to see students in Maryland exposed to more apprenticeships and skills training opportunities.

From The Baltimore Sun:

“One of the things that we’ve been working at, the last couple of years, particularly with one of the local school districts, is getting the trades back into these local schools,” Rutherford said.

“Construction trades are willing to help because they need people,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford said there is a sense of urgency in bringing trades back into the schools.

“There are young people who could use these skills and an opportunity to make a very good living coming out of school,” Rutherford said.

Maryland Department of Education published its Career and Technical education plan, which projects that at least 30,000 more construction-related jobs will be needed by 2026.

More from The Baltimore Sun:

Adam Mendelson, a spokesman with the Maryland State Education Association, said that expanding career and technical education is a key component of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, recommended by the state’s Kirwan commission.

“Educators know that making sure that more students have access to dynamic career, technology and education programs won’t just enhance the quality of our schools, it will also help our economy when more students graduate with job-ready industry certifications for well-paying jobs,” Mendelson said.