Maine company working to recruit, retain skilled workers amid shortage
PORTLAND (WGME) -- A skilled labor shortage is impacting construction and remodels across the state, and one Maine company is working especially hard to attract and retain skilled workers.
As the general manager of CornerStone Building and Restoration, Tom Gagne says he's seeing potential projects pour in.
"There's a lot of work out there right now, a lot of business, a lot of people who have the means to invest in their homes," Gagne says.
That's putting a strain on the skilled labor market.
"They're basically saying we may not be able to get to it on your schedule because we simply don't have enough people to provide that work," Gagne says.
According to CBS News, during the 2008 recession more than 1.5 million residential construction workers left the industry, either changing careers or retiring. Now, 10 years later, the demand for them is high.
"One of the things we want to do to make sure we're keeping the people that we already have, while attracting newer people is to make sure we have a very competitive compensation package," says Gagne, "And doing our best to make sure that they feel like they're part of the team, part of the family."
Gagne says they're also interested in having less-experienced employees train under those with more experience.
"They might be more trainable, they might be more open to new ideas and new ways of doing things," Gagne says, "So I think that could benefit us too in the long term."
For now, Gagne says they're being selective and realistic about the projects they take on.
"It may be that we have to schedule this further out than we want," Gagne says, "Hopefully either through past business with that client or our reputation, they will be willing to wait."