Cincinnati’s construction industry is hit by a pandemic – and now it needs new talent

CINCINNATI – During the COVID-19 pandemic, construction noise never stopped, even as other industries stalled due to new health constraints and supply chain complications. Cincinnatians returning to “normal” life in 2021 will have new places to do so: TQL Stadium, the permanent home of Cincinnati FC, and, first of all, the music venue Ovation.

Longtime industry members like David Spaulding, vice president and manager of Turner Construction’s Cincinnati office, hope that the relative stability of the construction work will attract more people to their field.

“(During) one of the worst pandemics in our lives, most of our people stayed at work,” he said on Wednesday. “A lot of people have dug deep, they have done a lot of work, and I think that will help the community.”

The prospects for the future remain good, according to Jordan Vogel, Executive Director of Allied Construction Industries.

“The construction industry was able to feed their families and stay in their jobs. However, with the pandemic affecting so many other industries, there is a greater need for construction talent in 2021 than in 2020, “he said.

How much bigger? Vogel predicts a nationwide need for 430,000 new construction workers in 2021 compared to 2020.

“What that means, we have to be pretty aggressive when it comes to finding and developing this talent,” he said. “And the good news is that our employers are aggressive.”

Turner Construction is an international company, but local manager Spaulding said his focus is on local recruiting and talent development in the Cincinnati area.

Vogel said there are many here already, and he predicts the industry will remain strong.

“Always was, is still,” he said. “It will probably be for the foreseeable future.”

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