New York construction boom creates strong demand for union jobs

Construction is booming in upstate and central New York. With Congress discussing a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, there is the potential for plenty of good union construction jobs for New Yorkers in the future.

Ian Williams, a Business Representative with the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters (NASRCC), joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss what New York’s growth outlook means for union jobs and how the NASRCC is recruiting new members to meet the demand.

Construction work outlook remains strong

The NASRCC represents 30,000 carpenters in New York, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Williams discussed the construction boom in upstate and central New York. He said there are several billion dollar projects coming into the area and to meet this demand, the NASRCC has added 200 new members since the beginning of the year, including 108 new apprentices.

The work outlook remains strong, especially with the new infrastructure bill on the horizon that, if passed and signed into law, will bring in millions and potentially billions of dollars to the New York State area, Williams stated.

Homeowner renovations during the pandemic also have spurred a work surge. Despite the high cost of construction materials, demand has been insane, he said. It has been difficult when contractors put in a bid at one price, but are faced with steeper expenses as the cost for materials goes up.

Union actively recruiting apprentices to meet demand

The NASRCC sponsors a four-year, five-level apprenticeship program. These programs are college accredited, as participants earn credit toward a degree, Williams explained. It has been a struggle to find people to do carpentry work, as college remains a strong push in many school districts. However, the NASRCC does considerable advertising and pushes their message on social media. The influx over the last several years has been great, he added.

The apprenticeship program is careful to vet its candidates in order to reduce the dropout rate, Williams said. In addition to pursuing committed candidates, they do not want to waste anyone’s time.


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