The Real Deal Miami

Miami to see new construction worker education program

$10M government grant aimed at easing shortage triggered by housing market collapse
Miami Dade College’s Fine Arts building and a construction worker

Miami Dade College’s Fine Arts building and a construction worker

Miami Dade College’s School of Architecture has received a $10 million government grant to train construction workers.

The school’s new program will launch between fall 2015 and spring 2016 and aims to enroll 500 to 600 students, according to the Miami Herald.

“This is a great opportunity for the industry, the community and really the whole state,” Lourdes Oroza, president of Miami Dade College’s Kendall Campus, told the Herald.“We write these grants based on the needs in the community. Usually it starts with a conversation: ‘What does the industry need?’ ”

The answer in this case was more skilled workers.

After the housing market collapsed, many workers moved out of Florida looking for jobs elsewhere, leading to a labor shortage.

The demand is so high, Mike Neal, CEO of KAST Construction in West Palm Beach, said, that some firms get into bidding wars with construction workers, resulting in laborers “getting picked off one project for 50 more cents an hour.” [Miami Herald]Christopher Cameron