Lowell Pratt, President of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities; Ray Waldron, President of the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council; and Harry Melander of the St. Paul Building Trades Council, discuss shortage of construction workers in the region and outlook for the construction trades. Group also answers listener calls. The program begins with a report from MPR’s Cara Hetland on the construction dilemma impacting Spencer, South Dakota and St. Peter, Minnesota, in the aftermath of tornados.
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programme that Minnesota Public Radio is supported by carousel automobiles the Audi store offering the Audi A4 Avant European sport wagons available in front rack and Quattro models the streets and sidewalks the homes and yards of Spencer once were there is now smooth I'm going to Benson inviting you to rap. Koala, chlamydia, Minnesota Public Radio having just a few difficulties here as we begin the program but will try to get squared away and I will have that story coming up from about Carol Hedlund there in just a moment. I should tell you that this is midday eye Minnesota Public Radio. Acton is away this weekend. Finelli. Thanks for joining us today. Well, if you have tried in the last month to find someone to do some repairs on your home chances are you're out of long waiting list if there is one available at all by most accounts the severe weather across the region the spring and summer has pushed the construction trades to the Limit likely compounding. The problem is a low unemployment rate and low interest rates that has spurred race that have spurred more home buying this hour. We are going to discuss the current situation facing home and business owners who suffered severe weather damage and the workers who are being called on to make repairs are Studio guests are Lowell Pratt president of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities Ray Waldron president of the Minnesota Builders Association of it. Is he president Minnesota Building & Construction trades Council and Harriet melander of the Saint Paul building and construction trades Council first all we're going to get a report on the Dilemma in 2 areas hardest hit by this year storms St. Peter Minnesota and Spencer South Dakota construction contractors were booked for the summer long before those tornadoes struck some are eager to squeeze in one more project before the snow flies and other to say it'll take as much as two years before they'll get to you. Here's Minnesota Public Radio scare Headland and sidewalks the homes in yards of Spencer once were there is no just moved out dirt bike by surveying Stakes with orange tips and flags a few backhoes are in place for sewer work, but for the most part Spencer has reverted back to a field it's been nearly two months since a tornado destroy the entire town of Spencer South Dakota more than half the residents filled out building permit applications and 16 were turned in the first week once cash settlements in mortgage loans are finalized. Construction can begin that may seem simple enough in theory but contractors didn't keep the month of August open just in case a tornado struck and may area home builders concrete workers plumbers in cabinet makers are booked solid schedules are even tide for winter work owner of the Salem lumber yard add crayons employees 6 Carpenters who have packed work schedules. He says most contractors can always squeeze in one more project but not 16. It is possible some Spencer residence will get their homes earlier than others because they're working through a state program using prison labor to build No Frills homes, the small 2-bedroom homes referred to as Governors houses will be built by medium-security prisoners and moved to small towns like Spencer for Spencer residence Holding Out for more there will be a wait and cramps says the new Spencer will have a little bit of everything. Small guy Governor's houses to modular homes to advertise homes. I don't see any real large phones being put up their butt 12 13 14 hours square foot houses and down. Sioux Falls is an hour's drive from Spencer and is where most people in eastern South Dakota turn to shop this year roughly 900 new homes will be built in Sioux Falls and the surrounding area this area has the largest supply of contractors in South Dakota Sioux Falls Home Builders Association president. Checkpoint says someone from Spencer has the same kind of luck as anyone else getting a home built this year. He says people are going to have to do research and contact many contractors before they find one available. He says contractors don't advertise rather. They show their work through the Sunday afternoon open house. Then you probably are not going to be over in Spencer braiding up and down the street with a Sandwich Board sign on their body saying I want to build homes here. They're the type of people that kind of stand back and say this is what I do you would you like to come and look at it. This is a good example of how I do it and I'll be standing here in the corner of the kitchen. No chance the work will be done according to a home buyers timeline for people willing to wait a new home may go up sometime next year one. Helpful. Tran. Some workers are seizing the opportunity and starting their own small business for example and experience concrete worker Canal break away from his employer and start his own business Point says this is exactly how more people get trained in construction trades in st. Peter. People are on a two-year waiting list for Home Repairs the city issued 1400 building permits this year. That's five times the number in normal years City administrator Todd praski says in the days after the March 29th tornado. There were workers from the Twin Cities even South Dakota helping out but after a series of serious storms hitting June those workers left. For other jobs closer to home pesky says 2/3 of Saint Peter's homes need reconstruction or repair work. He says delays in some insurance estimates and settlements mean people can't even begin to book a contractor the contractors that are working right now have enough work for quite some. Of time and why do they want to take off time from a job that they're getting paid for to give an estimate on a job that they might not get so many areas in the Upper Midwest from March through June the shortage of experienced construction workers is Rippling throughout the region. There's little a homeowner can do it's the elementary supply and demand formula at work in Spencer. It's estimated. It'll take a year or two before the flatten dirt. That is now the town shows homes and streets and daily activity in Sioux Falls on Cara. Minnesota Public Radio in that story and we'll delve into some of them and others. We have a full house today in the Studio's joining, this is Lowell Pratt president of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities Ray Waldron president of the Minnesota building and construction trades Council and Harriet melander of the Saint Paul building and construction trades Council, and our listeners are invited to join in with your questions and comments today wondering what kinds of experiences people have had trying to get help is so spring and summer also a people in the business. What have you observed any questions or comments today? Give us a call the number for those of you in the Twin Cities is227 6000 to 276 thousand out side the metro area. The toll free number is one 802-422-8281. 800-242-2828. Hello, Pratt. I'll begin with you. The question were kind of asking here and going to start with his is there indeed from your perspective a labor shortage in the construction business. Now, there's been a labor shortage in the construction industry. I think that's been building over the last decade perhaps we're facing a time. Why I think there's several factors contributing to it. We have a demographic trough. So to speak of people entering the 18 to 24 age bracket, which is typically where we get our new new entry of workers the other the other factors that contributed to the shortage in our industry. I believe is is the tendency for all of us as parents. The School's attendance has that's been happy in the schools. And that's and also the college's we've been doing a great job of recruiting students to their programs is that we in the industry just have not been doing a good job of Of telling about our industry the occupation the opportunities that are available in it and for for us to be able to get our fair share of people entering that 18 to 24 age bracket. We need to a better better job of recruiting and training potential employees. Are you saying that the labor shortage is more of a systemic problem vs. As I mentioned we've had this severe weather a lot of damage to homes and businesses here the low interest rates. It's kind of spurred home buying the low unemployment rate as it's not so much those factors but more of what kind of a built-in within the industry itself. Yeah. I do those factors that happened to Spring probably brought it to a head a little faster than we would have expected to an in brought it up so that it showed up but we in the industry of felt it and knowing that it's been coming for the like I said the last four or five years and in before that and so it is something that we have to Better job of like I said recruiting and training employees. Did you feel you were prepared for it? I mean since you knew it was coming over there things that you could do to make the situation better off if you can't control things at the weather and it frustrates but no we can't and we can't control the demographics either the fact that there's less 18 to 24 year olds entering the job markets in there have been in 10 years ago. We can't control that either. So what we have to do is in what we haven't been doing. Like I said is doing a better job of a recruiting in selling our profession and I think that that's that's something that that we've been working in the last Two to three years. The US Department of Labor says for our industry just to be able to sustain itself we have to to recruiter or have about a quarter of a million people entering our our industry a year and last year. There were only a hundred and eighty thousand people entering the construction industry that leaves us some 50,000 workers short. And so we have to do. Go out and start telling young people people in 6th grade 5th grade Junior High about our profession. It's a great profession. It's a great way to learn the living people can realize their creative instincts. They can Every Day's A new challenge every day as new problems to solve and we just have to do a better job of selling our our our industry and then we have to do a better job of training people to Ray Waldron is the president of the Minnesota Building & Construction trades Council. How did how view view this? Is there a shortage in the construction industry. Pair you with what has happened over the past 3-4 months from March. I think through June we didn't forecast a shortage of workers. But because of the disasters that have to come to some of these communities in both the Dakotas and Minnesota for finding there is a shortage of workers. And is there something you can do about that or is it something out of your control weather is out of our control away interest rates is also out of my control we can control what's forecasted for our future obviously, but these disasters are something we can't forecast or control. Are you finding out that are fewer and fewer people going into that construction trades, is that the case and and why would that be is there is there some different messages out there that the young people might be getting or Are there is a and located at I think right on that I'm head with that to his statements. We have we competed of course with different Industries the service industry and and the educational Industries colleges in the technical colleges in the manufacturing sector. So there's so many employees that are out there but we have to compete with the different segments of the economy to get these employees we should and we have been you'll hear a little later from hearing me Lander. I've been entering into schools and not talking to Junior High School students to come into the field here to also work with a lot of young people trying to get them interested actually go out and do recruiting or kind of describe. How you go about trying to get young people in the in the business. Organization in like racing Minneapolis continue to an in having the pasta to recruit, you know, young men and women that I have an interest within our industry, but not only our organization as a whole but also individual groups that that Ray represents in that that I work with independently go out to schools and to Community Center attempt to find individuals that are interested in the trade and I mean, are you finding are you getting a good reception or what what kind of things are orchids thinking about when it done it comes to making a decision about about going into a trade. Well, I think most people at that are interested in the trade are they think that they're interested in the trade once they're they're probably a little different view. I think it's as loyal have said that there's a there's a few out there and in him primarily really developed by individuals or young people's parents that construction work isn't does Lowell said The Honorable profession that we all believe it is and also that the opportunities not only for a full-time employment, but just a lifestyle isn't there the Gulf of three in the room here would disagree with that. But yeah, it's a great challenge just because of not only that the issues that we're facing with her the difficulties that parents are bringing even some of the barriers that we have within the educational system that the construction work isn't one. That one can have a reasonable living on. So, how do you go about And I'm interested is it to get to do a lot of arm-twisting or do they want to hear what the real world is like or what? What what is an uphill battle answer? Maybe you can share it with us because I think we've tried just about everything we can and running continued to do so, but it's a real struggle. Yeah, it is. We hurry and Andrei spoke about the stereotypes related to our industry and I think all nonprofit right now. We as parents we was guidance counselors at school try to encourage our students and our children to go on to college and seek a professional job. I think that the the statistics available state that 65% of the jobs available today are not necessarily what we used to call Professional but are required technical type of training and Civil War ended up doing is is training a lot of people preparing a Call people for those 20% of the jobs that would require a four-year college degree. And we're not we're not trained people for the 65% of jobs that require a technical degree in I think it it gets down to an education process. We're doing a better job. There's the school to work initiative that the that the that the Minnesota Department of Child and families learning have initiated are going a long way to try to to turn this around try to educate young people before they've made before the 26 or 27 about who they are what type of occupations best suit their skills just because someone has a very high IQ doesn't necessarily mean that he should go on. Maybe maybe he wants to be a carpenter to and in our in our firm. We have a number of people that after the date they received the four-year college degree decided that it wasn't for them. Perhaps they wanted to have the opportunity to work with their hands every day being problem solving and creative situations. So we have a number of people that that have said to me to I wish I would have known about the carpentry profession before I spend all the the time and energy on a four-year college education not that a four-year college education is not a good thing. I really think that that is too and I'm not here to say that that's the wrong direction for everybody to go. But I think what we is is Educators parents need to do is help our young people early on in their education lives learn more about what's work all about and what's best going to shoot me and we think that if we do a better job at doing that that will be able to attract more people into the trades because the dreads the trades can be a very life fulfilling occupation and incidentally a lot of them pay just as well is is most of the professional jobs. What song is about the construction industry or gas or Lowell Pratt president of the Builders Association of a Twin Cities Ray Waldron president of the Minnesota building and construction trades Council and Harriet melander of the Saint Paul building and construction trades Council. If you'd like to join the discussion, give us a call in the Twin Cities. Its 227-6002 toll free number is one 802-422-8289 is what is the licensing and their the regulations that goes into getting your license is your perspective is that is that pretty difficult to explain a little bit about how it works and end in t beef you think the process say is is helping or hurting the situation. I think very licensing is a necessity here. People need to be regulated and especially in our industry the biggest investment that I have ever made and in my my kids or anybody else listening will make will be home investment and you expect to have to have a good home here expect to turn the lights on every night and the plumbing the work and and the roofing to hold water. So we need regulation that the sad thing about this disaster as I've spoke before on that system that tends to create a group of people and contractors that'll come into this area and there's a homeowner. I would have the same feelings. I want my roof back on and I want the windows repaired as fast and back to normal as possible and there are people out there that take advantage of this and that's that's the nature of our industry. That's sadly to say, but Minnesota is a good regulated state. It shows that it's an educated education state which shows by some of the workers that we have in our industry St. Paul. Good morning. Thanks for having me on it occurs to me as your I guess they're talking about the fact that we don't have as many eighteen-year-olds some that are available. The people that I've known who seem to be the happiest and things like the construction trades were the people who were probably the tail end of the Baby Boomers who went off to college and I had a various number of jobs that found in returning all that much. You weren't all that happy with what they were doing and then went back into carpentry and construction and I'm wondering if you wouldn't be wise to expand your recruiting two areas of women to men both, you know over the age of 18 as well as the younger kids and also just flat out tell him or can I make how do I get vacation on health coverage and all the usual concerns that most workers here? Printmaking the call Ray. Thanks Stephanie. We didn't hit that. I think the average age for the incoming apprenticeship and Lisa programs here in Minnesota is about 27 and that's a better investment for us because our training is free most 18 to 24 year olds really don't have an idea of what they want to be or maybe they'll drift between jobs. So when an apprentice committee interview since Alexia and individual to come into the trade their have a big investment and that person they want him to complete that the other part of your question, do we advertised and work with other groups? I think with the the Urban League we have the Indian chamber Commerce women Ventures women in the trades. There's there's over 30 different groups that we we notify an opening in apprenticeship in Palace of all trades. Harry do you know the women's issue? Do you do see a lot of women interested in getting to the trades at the 18 to 24 year old level? I don't know so much at a younger age. I know the experience that the young people that I work with up with Saint Paul Central. We've got a pretty good mix of young men and young women in that program. But if you go into our partnership programs and also go on to the job site so so much different place and has a much different look we have I think we can always use more but a group of workers there that no longer are predominately male Workforce. And as I said earlier, we make every effort weekend to invite night and I'm not going to call not traditional workers anywhere because I think they're traditional workers there people that I work for us every effort we make to to let them and whoever else is interested in our industry. We open the door for are there certain trades that women are more interested in doing No, I think it's really an individual's choice. Now. There's not one. That's that that comes to my mind. We may be raised got an answer but I can't think of one. We've had a program with North High School Minneapolis for several years. Now where we take students between the their Junior and Senior year out and register them as apprentices and put them on the job site and I don't think that there's been a little more carpenters and there has been tile layers. I think they just choose what their interest is and and they work 11 weeks in the industry and then decide that senior year was continue their education or coming to the trades, but I don't think that there is a specific crap that they want to be in association that that that that that the level building the homes in our in our Builders Association in the Twin Cities. We have a lot of a lot of women members in a lot of them a lot of them might on their own construction firm. Unfortunately only about three only about is the skilled labor force in the construction industry on my understandings. And there's only about 3% of those are women. So there is there's obviously is Terry said we don't want to call anyting non-traditional but but typically because of the stereotypes associated with our industry, I guess women working and in the skilled trades would be considered non-traditional in in currently only about 3% of them. So that's certainly an Avenue. Like Stephanie said the other one that you talked about was the people that have a four-year college degree. And and in those people also being a possible place to recruit employees. I might add this that we have a number of employees that are currently with us that have 4 year college degrees that coincidentally came to work for us Summers while they were going to college in after college graduation. They actually prepared themselves, I guess for a two possible for Russians one of the Was in our field in and I have a fun time Kidz to my Friday afternoons. If you went to college in and paid $80,000 for your four-year degree. And I and I gave you the training for the occupation of Summer's and I paid you know, Stephanie's right is that the important thing here is that we help our young people and decide and find out who they are so that they are they can land in a profession that they can find fulfillment in weight in Fargo your next please and let me finish my degree if I'm 42 and I'm wondering if I continue in the field commercial construction. How how is it getting for older people as their good intentions are there still some of the old stereotypes at once you hit a certain age? If you're not a superintendent or Foreman, we ain't got room for you. Thanks Wayne. I really want to take that one or I think 42 was awful young Wayne and I'd take that that number 42 your stable, you know where you want to go? I don't know what occupation you want to be in and I think everybody that's listening now on out of be aware of that. I think an average would be somewhere between 35 and 40% of the people that start in the industry decide. It's not for them whether to come into a training school or Vo-Tech to get out and work and there's a perception out there and then reality hits and they decide to leave and do something else but 42 Wayne if you got an employer up there or Union Hall get in there and and register with them. Race raise absolutely, right. 42 is very young. We have we recently through our recruiting programs hired employer and employee about 3 years ago and he he's attained the age of 55 and I was talking to him just about a month ago about what a great example. He is for the young people in our industry that if it's a lifelong career opportunity that doesn't have to end when you're in your early thirties. I I really believe that the stereotypes associated with careers in the construction industry are are incorrect. The gentleman that that we employ that's in his 50s takes great care of you shape a great care of him set yourself. He's in great shape and he's a great example to the young people working for us at like I said that this is can be and is a life lifetime career opportunity. You're talking today about the construction industry and I we will continue our discussion in just a moment and inviting you to wrap up your day with all things considered or you'll hear accurate news and insightful conversations has been 56 years in the resort business. I've been struck by lightning twice walkthrough rainbows have been chased by a bear attacked by a starving Bobcat Timberwolf snack. My strict porcupines out of the road TuneIn for all things considered weekdays at 3 on Minnesota Public Radio k n o w FM 91.1 in the Twin Cities. Major funding for the Minnesota public radio's documentary fund is provided by Phyllis paler in memory of Walters Dremel. I have a heat advisory for southwestern Minnesota this afternoon and effect. We have had some scattered thunderstorms some severe weather already in South Western and south-central Minnesota and there's a chance for some Redevelopment of thunderstorms as the day wears on across the region Heist today from the middle age to the middle 90s and variable cloudiness for the Twin Cities today hot and humid to 40% chance of thunderstorms. Some could be severe with large hail and strong winds behind lower 90s 40% chance of thunderstorms in the evening then partly cloudy. Hello in the mid to Upper sixties tomorrow sunny turning less humid and a height of 85 at last report in Toulouse sunny in the 78th Fargo-Moorhead, mostly sunny and 83 st. Cloud sunny in 81 in the Twin Cities partly. Sunny 82 the dew point at 70 degrees. Reminder coming up at noon today will be here from Mary Farrell on a wall Street's leading Adela shoes with painewebber ink and she's going to be talking about the future of the stock market the US economy and the global economy in a recent speech from the from the Commonwealth Club that's coming up at noon today as part of the Dave. We're talkin to this hour about the construction industry the trades our guest star Lowell Pratt president of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities Ray Waldron president of the Minnesota Building & Construction trades Council and Harriet melander of the Saint Paul building and construction trades Council. If you like to join the discussion, please give us a call at 227-6002 toll free number is one 800-242-2828 and what you guys are kind of chuckling that during the break about the the weather and I mean, how much do people take the is that a big concern people can decide about you know, whether they want to want to go maybe hear you want to talk about that is it? People got a fake wall is going to be so hot on one day or so cold the next I think it's a real big factor. I think young people are not in the young people. But anyone that's new answering their industry once they're there and they realize the environment they're working in which is it's hot it's hot and it's cold and for a lot of people it's it's it's a real Challenge and it's it's probably one of the biggest thing that that that individuals be a lot of industry is just the conditions that I guess the other climate that we love it and we should mention as long as we're talking about the weather the national weather service has just issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Northern Blue Earth County in South Central Minnesota and Nicollet County in South Central Minnesota as an effect until 12:35 about just a couple of minutes ago Doppler radar indicated a severe storm with large hail and damaging Winds near Sleepy Eye that's about eight miles west of New Ulm. The storm is moving East at 40 miles. 4 hour. So once again a severe thunderstorm warning in effect until 12:35 for folks and Northern Blue Earth County and Nicollet County in South Central Minnesota about the construction trades and let's take another call and let's see. Chris from Bloomington now your next Chris go ahead with my father and I generally a lot of times I'm Union the union Representatives would kick me off the job or chase me away unless they don't generally promote the father teaching her son about the trade. I'm just wondering why they do that and why don't they promote a little more around the industry for about 20 years now, and I don't know the story behind that but that's how we learn it in from Father the Son like I just There has to be more to the story than what we've what we've been able to identify with your call here. But if you'll call me at 612-379-4234 or later on this afternoon, LOL. I'll find out about it. But that's generally it's handed down. It's been handed down for hundreds of years is a very rare the person who decides on their own we are someone who went to college and then decided, you know college they wanted to do something else. He puts a lot of college students through through college with his work through the summer and we do that to there's an awful lot to come in and work Summers and that's great come back and and go to work at this. God I was going to say raise absolutely correct. And that's it. Maybe Chris is speaking to some of the stereotypes that typically it were related to our industry but men mentoring whether it's your father or whether it's through somebody that's in it in in the trades is is something that it's been a time-honored tradition of passing on a profession and that's why I think that we're starting to see a re-emergence of the youth apprenticeship programs in some of some of the high schools are Association his his just started in conjunction with some of the Intermediate School Districts surrounding the Twin Cities youth apprenticeship program trying to give some high school kids and not an opportunity to begin their construction trade training and so the mentoring the following somebody around the job site safety might have been an issue that that was one of the reasons that Chris. And your problem but I I know that we've allowed it. Is it our firm days were the schools of release children to to be with her parents and Shadow them at work. We've allowed that to happen with with specific concerns for safety but mentoring and in the apprenticeship is the time-honored tradition that we maybe have to get back to in our industry up there, done that and you know, it said a lot of us. I mean, that's how I learned the trade and got interested. My father was with it was in the craft but that's probably the biggest challenge we have because my sons are not interested in becoming construction workers and many of my friends because they see the conditions that that we worked in and then and how we look good when we come home from work on a day like this. So that's one of the great challenges that no one of the reasons why the Building Trades councils are are trying to recruit individuals that haven't had that opportunity and We do things to to try to give those experiences that that I received this as a young person that because my father was in the in the occupation so Adele and James will go ahead please. Hi. I just wanted to call we're kind of in the same situation that they've been talking about. A lot of the different people have gotten into construction or my husband is an electrician and he started a four-year degree kind of with the computer science background and decided that doing the same thing everyday just wasn't going to be for him. And so we kind of looks around and he got in as an apprentice with a company out of Mankato and he ended up getting his schooling for free and now he makes about $19 an hour which unit to some people with like a MBNA or something or maybe going to think that's not a whole lot, but they have to remember that we don't have any college bills to pay for and so for us Wonderful is the best thing that he ever could have done. Okay, it is the ism is a problem exacerbated again real Minnesota Lowell where fewer fewer people are or is it just a problem just magnified or is that not the case and more people from smaller towns? Maybe our I'm more interested in the trades? Well, we found my guess is that I was just talking to Ray and Harry before the the program started is that in the last 10 to 15 years? We've been successful in recruiting new employees for our firm from the real vote vocational-technical schools. And so I think they've they've come to come to the vocational school with a a great work ethic and then they've moved on to work for us with that same strong work ethic recently though. We we found the Dave the vocational schools in a row Minnesota had some of the same problems we are and that's recruiting people. They just haven't had enough people to satisfy the demand for their graduates either. So. I don't know why I believe that the problem is probably the same and roll Minnesota is as it isn't in in the morbin areas. Okay, and we should mention that the National Weather Service is just now issued a tornado warning for Nicollet County in South Central Minnesota. There was a severe thunderstorm warning, but now apparently a Doppler radar has indicated a possible tornado five miles Northwest of New Ulm near the Nicollet County Line. The storm is moving East at the 40 miles per hour gets some more information here will see if some of the towns that are affected New Ulm Closter and Courtland are some locations affected by it is possible tornado detected by Doppler radar, but there is a tornado warning in effect for another half hour 12:15 for folks and Nicollet County in the South Central. So it will keep you up-to-date here and changing the fast-changing weather developments. I hear a Minnesota Public Radio. In the meantime. We are talking about the construct construction trades. We have some folks on the line. And Offspring and Lisa from Saved Paul. Go ahead Lisa. I'd like to ask. Mr. Pratt in particular. What kind of skills are you supposed to? For If I Were a parent or a young person wanting to get into the construction trades, is it are you looking for people with math and reading skills? And then in addition are are you looking for young people who have specific computer or high-tech skilled, and I'll listen for the answer. Thank you. Well Lisa, that's a very good question. In fact, I've had that this discussion with the people involved with our youth apprenticeship program startup. We we need people with with good math skills. We need people with good physical skills. We need people that are able to visualize three-dimensionally, but we also need people with computer skills in the construction industry. There's a lot of different types of jobs in most typically people think of the of the carpenter of the person that's working out out-of-doors physically working in our organization. We like to to recruit some of those people in work in the office and in into the estimating or into the drafting area and very definitely they these people need computer skills and they need reading skills. So the old stereotype that if you're going to be in the in the construction industry, you don't Have to be very bright are you don't have to work hard in school is is absolutely incorrect people need to be able to to add subtract and multiply in fractions. I need to be able to run a calculator. They need to be they need to know what a square root is. They need to know geometry and if there if they're going to progress in our field and the so once again, I'd like to say that it's it's a it's a scale on a trade that that requires a lot of challenges and so it requires a lot of skills. Say a Richard from St.Paul your question or comment, please remember the problem. I think a lot of us are having unit is the young people that listen to for the last Blood seasons too late or late 60s and the 70s and 80s. Someone that was any good you had to be in NBA or something. You really do have a ride and I don't think there's anything that gives a person more satisfaction if he's a Tradesman plumber or electrician or whatever Carpenter and he can stand back in the day. Okay. Thanks for the call. Rhea is now is just about everyone who wants to be working in the trades. Are they now? Give us some look at the number of people who are looking maybe it's seeking work right at the other jobs full and are the people there want to do the work are doing that already. There's a lot of jobs. Jobs available and they said earlier we could forecast in and Pan Man the work that was that was forecast for this area other than a tragedy. So but with this disaster tragedy comes to opportunity. So if a person today wants to get in an apprentice will trade this is an opportunity for him and it hasn't been like this in a decade in the it's bailable right now. We've been talking about the industry as a whole and for the most part but I do want to try to ask a little bit about a lot of people have work. There's a lot of people have had damaged. Ohm's law maybe you could talk a little bit about is is I mean, what kind of a backlog is there for people who need some of this work? And this is this is important work to their homes is they're backlogged or is it just seemed like there is are we give us some glimpse of what situation is from your perspective? Will there definitely is. For example in the Shoreview area were hit by tornado in in the month of June June. It's been very difficult. Even for our customers that we Built Homes for in the past to find people to do the work and one of the reasons because the robust economy are cruising in people working is our employees were all booked and scheduled to get the jobs that we had sold early and you're done some people get moved in and go to school so their have there have been a backlog and if you can still drive around in Shoreview and see people's faces and soffits. Hanging and and windows boarded over and I guess my my recommendation to people I don't guess I know my recommendation is two people is to have patience don't need York and take somebody that might drive up and say that he can do it today if he can do it today or there's probably a reason that he can do it today and I encourage people to to wait for skilled and reputable people to do their work and butt and then it's very difficult for an industry just like it is for the utility companies like NSP, they have enough people on staff at all times to take care of an emergency or a catastrophe like we experience the spring. So thank goodness that I think that the people that did were an inhabitable homes have been made habitable, but some of the things that that might just be more of a nuisance to look at on a day-to-day basis I have patience in the end I use a reputable firm instead. Panicking and having somebody up that says they can make a big promising and do it right away Tavern in Eagan your question, Please a union member an electrician for 34 years. I don't think we as a union encourage people to come into the trades and I don't think the company's put much emphasis on the skill in the end what we contributed to the operation. I listen free comes out to hear sure. I am not sure an in obviously didn't say, you know, if you're still working if you're retired, but I'm going to assume that that that you are retired and the way that not only are contractors or contractor associations are apprenticeships programs on and also are those groups that represent workers are actively trying to not only recruit but also last we talked about earlier really trying to show the the quality a career opportunities that are out there and what was done 25 years ago. It's not on the same way today. I mean we're constantly in an ongoing that it's ongoing whether it's on the internet through websites through outreaches at schools community-based organizations and actively recruiting individuals and in and trying to take and show people the pride and the lifestyle that can be obtained by working with your What's in your head? Just a couple minutes left. Let's bring in Scott from Minneapolis. Go ahead Scott. Thanks. I've got it. You're a very small cabinet shop and I'm curious about hiring a hiring people. Where would I Turn For Good Advice in this connection? Sounds good, Ray any device? I think if you get ahold of the training center or the district council for carpenters and cabinet makers that the area code 612-646-7207. They'll be able to help you Scott. Have you seen a lot of that kind of thing, at least he's kind of questions and it is it is there any specific reason for it or just a just economy people calling in for number reasons maybe because of the storms and accidents that they've had maybe they've been mistreated by a contractor and or they they've had a neighbor that told him to call and and we give them directions to that that way. Okay. We're just about a minute left. Maybe I'll go around the table here and ask each of you to kind of see if for the old short-term future of the trade so long to be with you. On the short-term. I continue to see a labor shortage problem on the long-term. I I feel optimistic and and I feel optimistic because I think that we've identified the problem. I think particularly in here in the Twin Cities. We've begun to Fortune Partnerships with our schools the labor unions and everybody else to help solve the problem. I feel optimistic also because I believe that were in place now recruiting and in trying to tell people about our profession, so I think that we're taking some necessary steps. So on the long-term, I I I feel optimistic. Okay, Harry and Ray just real short Too Short coming in industry is it's a great opportunity for a young people men and women boys and girls and parents out there really need to to to talk with her sons and daughters and then to look at us as a viable option. Wonderful career mobile leave it there. Thanks gentlemen for coming in today. I guess the studio I have been loyal Pratt president of the Builders Association of a Twin Cities Ray Waldron president of the Minnesota Building & Construction trades Council and Harry melander of the Saint Paul building and construction trades Council. Thanks for all the calls. We want to mention again. For those of you who may have just tune them. There is a tornado warning from the National Weather Service in effect for Nicollet County in South Central Minnesota for another 20 minutes or so. Radar indicating a possible tornado. Five miles Northwest of New Ulm near the Nicollet County Line storm is moving East at 40 miles per hour stay to the Minnesota Public Radio for further weather updates. I'm Ray Suarez with midterm elections looming large politicians are madly wooing women who make up the majority of Voters. It's a matter of who's going to talk to Women Voters make sense to them make them feel comfortable that you're the right candidate for them and entice them to get to the polls political consultant Kathy. Allen will look at the 98 elections and efforts to energize women's votes on the next Talk of the Nation from NPR news. Can you can hear talk to the nation this afternoon at 1 right here on Minnesota Public Radio? It's 5 minutes before 12. Noon. Here is Garrison Keillor and The Writer's Almanac?