Construction hiring expands in Clark County

WorkSource will hold classes to train new workers

By Troy Brynelson, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 

Construction, Mining and Logging jobs in Clark County

2007: 13,100

2008: 11,900

2009: 9,600

2010: 8,300

2011: 8,200

2012: 8,600

2013: 9,500

2014: 10,000

2015: 10,800

2016: 11,900

Source: Employment Security Department

As warmer weather arrives soon, so too will backhoes, bulldozers and excavators. It could mean good things for people looking for work.

Vancouver construction firms Tapani Inc., Rotschy Inc. and Nutter Corporation said this week they have numerous projects set to start this summer and are partnering with WorkSource Vancouver and Clark College to offer a free, five-week training course for prospective workers.

“We’re really busy right now,” said Paul Hanson of Rotschy Inc. The firm has added 32 people since the start of the year and looks to hire 25 more before June, he said.

According to WorkSource, training will combine about 25 hours of classwork with 15 hours of on-site experience per week. Students will be instructed on occupational safety and teamwork skills, as well as training in flagging, math, first aid, reading blueprints and using specific machinery.

Applicants must be 18 years old, have reliable transportation and be able to pass a drug test, according to program officials. The classes will last from April 13 to May 17. An orientation is scheduled for 7 to 9 a.m. March 31 at WorkSource Center, 204 S.E. Stonemill Drive, Suite 215.

The construction industry has been one of the most resurgent industries in Clark County since the recession. The industry has added 3,700 jobs since 2011 and 1,100 last year, according to the state Employment Security Department.

Construction work tends to slow down during the cold and winter months, before picking up again from July to October, according to Hanson. Rotschy will have its hands full with residential construction, he said.

“All of the work will be going (then),” he said. “The weather breaks enough for us to access all the work we’ve got on the books.”

WorkSource said in its release construction jobs typically pay between $15 and $20 per hour. The state Employment Security Department lists the average annual income for the construction industry at $51,462.

Heather Deringer of Nutter Corporation said they hoped the program would become a pipeline of qualified employees.

“It would be great for the industry as a whole for this program to become robust,” she said.

For more information on the program, contact Viki Bogdanov at WorkSource, 360-735-5122 or emailing vbogdanov@esd.wa.gov.