Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityJobs still open: Construction company raises wages, benefits to solve hiring difficulties | WTVC
Close Alert

Jobs still open: Construction company raises wages, benefits to solve hiring difficulties

(Image: WTVC)
(Image: WTVC)
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon
Comment bubble

Difficulties in hiring could affect long-term pushes to fix our roads.

Like many businesses in the U.S., the construction industry is struggling to fill open positions in certain areas across the country.

From what we're told so far by Tennessee's Department of Transportation, this hasn't delayed projects in our area yet. But one company tells us the issue could hold back future plans if not addressed soon.

Whether you're looking at the detour sign, the flashing yellow lights or drivers being rerouted. What's arguably an inconvenience at first, is actually what many Chattanooga locals continue to call for: Improvements to their roads.

"We're infrastructure. We're always going to be important, so we really need to get people to recognize that and want to do it," said Kasha Williams, Employee Relations Manager with Talley Construction Inc. -- covering Chattanooga and parts of Northwest Georgia.

Here's the problem though. Like many industries, getting people to apply for these jobs has been an uphill battle lately because of the aftereffects of COVID-19.

"In [these] COVID times, with people shifting the work they do [and] what they're looking for -- we've really tried to grow with that," Williams said.

The Associated General Contractors of America reports a dip in construction employment in 30 percent of the country's metro areas during the pandemic.

Companies like Talley Construction are shifting gears to fill more than a dozen open positions that haven't garnered much interest outside of a few exceptions.

"I want to get a job working outside, because I'm tired of working inside," said Fredrick Williams, who went to Talley Construction's hiring event in Rossville, Ga., on Wednesday afternoon.

Talley Construction is increasing wages to at least $14 per hour for every worker, and also improving benefits. At a hiring event hosted Wednesday, the company also says it's not requiring prior experience to fill open positions.

"You don't even have to know what you're doing [at first]. We'll teach you," Kasha Williams said.

Officials we spoke at Talley Construction and TDOT say this issue hasn't caused delays to current projects. But Talley Construction tells us they've already had to hold back on future commitments they would have otherwise taken on if fully staffed.

"So without this trade and without this business, you don't have the roads to drive on. You're going to have issues with the roads you are driving on," Kasha Williams said.

This puts part of the motivation on the very same people driving through the streets of our area.

Comment bubble

We also asked TDOT if a worker shortage could limit future projects. A spokesperson says only if given more funding for additional infrastructure projects (beyond what they already have budgeted for), do they see a shortage of personnel being an issue.

Loading ...