Oregon Construction – A Few Words

A recent report said there are over 5,000 construction jobs available in Oregon today. It would appear that anyone meeting qualifications to work in the construction industry can find work. And yet many rural communities struggle to keep the infrastructure operating or young adults from moving to the bigger cities. Simultaneous changes in education, employment, healthcare, citizen expectations of government, loyalty, values and responsibility is evolving into an era that forces a change of mindset (public and personal) we haven’t prepared ourselves to make.

We wonder what it takes to keep a community robust and vital, especially in rural parts of the state. It doesn’t seem to be job availability; certainly not for anyone 18-35 with physical abilities and desire to be employed. Near my home there are two dozen homes under construction since last winter with the probability the work will continue throughout the year. Crews are working on multiple houses at the same time, and can usually be seen on the job early, and on weekends, just to meet deadlines for various stages of construction. If the economy we now have remains positive for a few more years…

The move from full time family wage jobs to more employment in the Gig economy is a strange conversion that long-established traditional economies haven’t learned. How do we finance homes, cars and education with new world financial uncertainties? We’re learning the hard way.

As the Southern Oregon Business Journal gathers information from an area larger than the state of Georgia and a population of 1.5 million people, we discover ways people and communities are coping with change. Others may be challenged to think differently about leadership and personal responsibility than has been their preference, but change will occur. It’s impatience for it that gives us stress.

Leave a Comment