Possible solution for construction worker shortage in Lufkin

Possible solution for construction worker shortage in Lufkin
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A 2017 study on labor shortages had 33 percent of framing crews reporting serious shortages.

And, the shortages don't stop there. President of the Deep East Texas Association of Builder, Steve Boldt, is only one builder among many, who are seeing this problem in the industry.

"Because of the shortage, it's extended the building schedule on most homes anywhere from 30 to 40 days," said Boldt. "You know, anything to help that situation."

Boldt, spearheaded the idea for a trade school to ease this shortage, specifically in Lufkin. That idea led him and others to Waco.

"And, we just wanted to see something that was already in play," said Boldt. "They offered to do that in order to get us on track faster."

Waco ISD, San Angelo ISD, and Howard Payne College showcased their trade school programs Monday.

Also present at this presentation was Angelina College, in the form of President Mike Simon, who knew that, supporting the trade school would be a help to the community.

"That's through supporting economic development and a vibrant business community," said Simon. "But, it also means being relevant and making sure our curriculum is exactly what those students need when they enter into the fields that they choose to pursue."

Simon said that he feels like the program would fit in nicely at the college.

"It may make sense to do this through the non-credit side of the house instead of through a degree program," said Simon. "The training doesn't necessarily require a associates degree."

Boldt's ideas would help a wide range of prospective builders.

"And bring it to where any veterans coming back, that were wanting to use their GI bill, could go to school, could do something," said Boldt. "And, then, also, you could give another avenue for kids that dropped out, possibly getting their GED."

Boldt said that he hopes to meet with everyone involved in the project at the start of 2018, to form a council. This council would begin the process of making a trade school a reality.

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