MISSOULA — Did you know that Montana ranks number one in construction jobs gained? Remaining strong throughout the pandemic, the Montana construction industry had an 11.4% job increase, the highest in the nation.
BMY Construction Group owner Eric Bower says construction jobs are vital because it means safe schools, homes, commercial buildings, and hands-on work experience starting at a young age.
“You know there's so many important factors with construction that it would be devastating to, you know, shut it down,” said Bower, who is based in Missoula.
Despite nationwide material and worker shortages, construction jobs grew during the pandemic thanks to a boom in the housing market. During the pandemic, constriction was deemed essential, which helped construction job growth.
David Smith, Montana Contractors Association executive director, says that while almost half of the country lost construction jobs during the pandemic, Montana gained them. From February 2020 through January 2022, the Treasure State gained nearly 4,000 jobs.
With competitive wages and great benefits, Smith says they are starting to recruit the next generation as early as 15 years old.
“Construction is honorable, it's safe, it's very profitable," Smith told MTN News. "If you want to work 10 months of the year and take two months off in the wintertime and go skiing or ride snowmobiles, you can do that with construction.”
And Smith says now is the time to do it.
“The career opportunities for young people are amazing right now," said Smith.
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