Tapani Underground’s Vice President, Kevin Tapani said the field of aspiring construction workers in Clark County has a definite shortage.
To help combat this shortage, Tapani Underground is joining two other Clark County construction companies, Nutter Corporation and Rotschy Inc., in partnering with WorkSource to allow for a free path to construction jobs.
WorkSource is a state partner with businesses whose focus is employing and training employers and aspirant workers in Washington. Through the partnership, those interested in construction work will take part in a five-week training program designed to prepare job-seekers for the construction industry.
The course, Tapani explained, is to teach aspiring, but still “green” workers basic skills that will get their foot in the door.
Applicants must be 18 or older. The training will include instruction in “OSHA safety, flagging, trade math, CPR/First Aid, interpersonal skill building, confined spaces, blueprint reading, soils and erosion and forklift certification,” WorkSource officials said.
In addition to landing a full-time job once training is complete, trainees will also be able to work for any of the three companies throughout the five weeks of training at 15 hours a week. Around 25 hours a week will be classroom training.
According to Worksource, pay for construction jobs generally starts around $15 to $20 an hour with there often being opportunities for a raise.
Tapani is quick to attribute the shortage in able-bodied construction workers, with these basic skills, to the hit the economy took almost a decade ago.
One of the effects of the economy’s downturn, he explained, was a negative perception growing around construction work when some construction workers were laid off and others saw less hours. This led to pre-teens and teens focusing more on office jobs as they thought of their future as they enter the workforce.
The result is there being a void in workers for careers which Tapani describes as fun, satisfying and good paying.