Fresno office exterior


With billions of dollars in funding from the White House for high-speed rail, and future plans to spend $25 million in state money on Downtown Fresno infrastructure, including parking structures, sidewalks, sewer and water lines, the area is going to be active with building for years to come.

However, construction companies and contractors will need the talent to build the projects.

Nationally, the construction industry is facing an ongoing labor shortage. According to the U.S. Census Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 1.9 million construction workers will leave their jobs to work in other industries in 2024.

As new positions are added to the number of currently unfulfilled roles, filling labor gaps will remain a challenge. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the construction sector is expected to have the largest increase in employment than any other sector, adding 790,400 jobs through 2024.

For construction companies and people interested in joining the building trades, there is a vast network of builders, schools, and trades and jobs organizations that work together to bolster the region’s workforce.

Swinerton is sponsoring the materials and training for Madera High School, with other construction companies including Legacy, Four C’s, Mark Wilson, and Ardent sponsoring other local high schools.

Swinerton Senior Superintendent Erich Klemme said programs such as the build competition and career technical education programs allow young people career opportunities in the trades.

“We support these programs because it directly impacts our business, making sure that we have a young pipeline backfilling and supporting this workforce,” Klemme said.

Klemme said they see the passion and excitement that students feel when they are “learning by doing” and see the final product of their hard work.

Many young people might feel that college isn’t the route for them, and many young people are attracted to being able to make good money for their hard work in the building trades coming right out of high school.

Swinerton also likes to highlight the technology used in the industry to make sure the jobs are more efficient, as well as safer.

“We want to invest in our youth so they can get into a position where they can succeed and grow,” Klemme said. “We want to take the time out of our schedule to make sure this is a program that is successful for years to come.”