Labor Shortage Hurts Restoration and Plumbing Industry Especially Hard in 2021

The continued fallout from the pandemic and lack of workforce is playing a pivotal role in hurting many sectors of the economy from food service to retail and home construction. Industries with more specialized skilled labor including plumbing and home services have been hit especially hard in 2021 with a lack of skilled workers. 

“I’m sorry, you’re going to have to fix that leak yourself.”      

            Those words were all too familiar to plumber Stanley Langston, with Tri County Plumbing Pros as he turned away another customer for the third time this week. “Some plumber I am,” He thought to himself ” I can’t even get paid anymore”.  The plumber’s trade has been hit hard over the past 10 years with many plumbers unable to find work or having their hours cut back.  Stanley was lucky enough however if it could be called that, to still have a job maintaining an apartment complex where he had worked for 9 years before the pandemic hit. With a shortage of skilled workers, many parts of the economy are being hit hard, none worse than skilled workers who provide support to the construction industry, from electricians to plumbers, roofers, and restoration contractors. Many of these industries have been hit hard by major storms and hurricanes in 2021 as well. Unskilled workers, many of who were employed by construction companies in these fields were unable to work due to a lack of training and certification on the job.  

            The plumber’s union has been working closely with plumbers across America giving out information pamphlets about how they can help them find employment emphasizing that plumbers have skills that can be used in many different areas from office buildings, to schools and restaurants. Many plumbers have taken advantage of this outreach program finding work far away from plumber specialty.  “It’s a tough job out there, but plumbers are in high demand and people willing to learn on the job can find work fairly easily.”  

            The plumber’s union is one of many unions across America putting a bigger emphasis on their outreach programs with skilled workers providing information about how they can get involved in economic development and workforce training. A challenge is also centered around the ramp-up time required in order to be a professional plumber, electrician, water damage technician, or trade professional. Trade schools are marketing heavily and incentives are growing to try and get more workers into school and apprenticeship programs.

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