Lincoln noted for construction employment over last decade

May 30, 2018, 3:35 a.m. ·

Lincoln has become a hot spot for construction employment over the last decade, according to figures from the Associated General Contractors of America.

Using construction employment numbers from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, AGC of America found that Lincoln saw a 2,200-person-increase in construction employment since 2008, a thirty percent increase.

AGC of America national spokesman Brian Turmail said this growth surprised many, as the area was not previously seen as a mecca for construction.

“Lincoln has been the quiet construction growth story,” Turmail said. “Many people haven’t appreciated just how much work has gone on and how much the construction market has expanded in Lincoln.”

Lake Charles, Louisiana led metro areas across the country with a 164 percent increase in construction employment over the last decade.

Lincoln’s development initiatives have greatly contributed to the increase in construction employment, according to Turmail.

This includes advancements to road and bridge infrastructure, as well as other areas of development, such as the construction of the seven-story, 170,000 square foot headquarters for Hudl, a Nebraska-based sports video editing software company.

With construction employment continuing to expand in metro areas like Lincoln, Turmail said it may become more difficult for contractors to find and hire qualified construction workers.

Turmail attributed this shortage in qualified construction workers up to an effort from educators and state and federal officials to shift a student’s focus away from craft-based skills.

Turmail said the best way to combat this shift away from craft-based skills is by encouraging lawmakers to invest in technical education programs.

“We need to invest more in technical education in states like Nebraska and across the country,” Turmail said. “We also need to make it easier for local school officials to set up and run these programs.”