CHARLESTON, W.Va. – It’s a tale of two parts of the state when it comes to construction.
The West Virginia State Building Trade Conference was held Tuesday at the Four Points Sheraton in downtown Charleston, formerly known as the Ramada Inn. It’s a project that West Virginia union workers just completed. In fact, the ribbon will be cut on Wednesday.
Steve White, the director of the Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation, said there’s plenty of work in the northern half of the state with the Marcellus Shale industry booming and new construction on the increase. Then there’s the other half of the state.
“In the southern part of the state the construction economy is really down,” he said. “Commercial construction buildings, schools, government, it’s all down from what it’s been and that’s hurting.”
White said thankfully things are looking a lot brighter than they were back in 2008 during the height of the recession.
“Definitely things are better than they were in the decline but we just don’t have a strong picture of what the future will hold,” explained White.
He said the construction industry goes through ups and downs but this has been a particularly hard cycle to recover from.
So what’s needed to get the construction industry moving once again? White said a lot of companies are holding on to their money while the economy remains shaky. He said confidence in the economy would make a big difference. He’s hoping once money starts flowing more freely, West Virginia workers will benefit.
“That is our mission to make sure that local workers get the local construction jobs,” he stressed
He said with a highly-trained work force focused on safety quality construction and making the work place drug-free, there’s no reason why West Virginia workers shouldn’t get first shot at the jobs here in the Mountain State.