Need for SWPA Construction Workers: Shell Cracker, Other Projects

An extensive article in the Pittsburgh Business Times calls attention to the developing shortage of qualified construction workers in southwest Pennsylvania. So far the need for workers has been met, but it’s not hard to predict that as Shell ramps up its “vertical construction” (building the buildings to house the cracker) this fall, that shortages will happen–not only for Shell’s project, but for other expansion projects in the area as well. Shell is the anchor. There are dozens (perhaps hundreds) of other businesses that will launch, relocate or expand to take advantage of Shell’s forthcoming supply of cheap plastics. All of those projects will create thousands of jobs in the construction industry. Various colleges and unions have launched training programs to meet the need for electricians, carpenters, iron workers, steamfitters, insulators and sheet metal workers. Question is, will it be enough?…

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