JobsNow: Trade workers return to construction sites with stricter regulations


When the coronavirus hit, there was a slight pullback on projects at first, but now they're looking for more manpower

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ninety-five percent of local construction projects are moving forward, according to the Western Reserve Building Trades Council, but there’s a new normal for the industry.

Construction season is important for trade workers. Electricians, bricklayers, ironworkers, carpenters, painters and laborers immediately felt the impact of COVID-19.

“The last seven weeks has been a challenge for us,” said Tony Ditommaso, Jr., secretary and treasurer of the WRBTC.

There was a slight pullback on projects at first. Work stopped at the Wellsville power plant, among other sites, to implement new safety procedures and educate workers on the new normal.

“Educate on safety, awareness, cleanliness, how to function in some challenging times that just aren’t going to go away,” Ditommaso said.

Workers are going to be wearing masks now and some will put on face shields. Before, masks were reserved for strictly dirty air environments.

New handwashing stations are being installed at project sites.

Work continues on the Southern Park Mall project and the future Meijer store in Boardman. Those are just the main projects.

“There’s a lot of work to be done,” Ditommaso said. “Board contractors are still bidding. We need guys. We’re putting guys to work left and right.”

Manpower calls will be going out for the $3 billion battery plant in Lordstown, too.

The call right now is for workers who have the training and anyone who wants to be trained for a new career.

“There’s going to be a lot of opportunity for all the crafts to bring in apprentices, grow their members and to gain man hours in the Valley,” Ditommaso said.

For more information on apprenticeship programs, visit the following websites:

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