The Builders Association groundbreaking began with a ceremonial shovel of dirt by key players who helped bring plans to life for a new building to serve the region for the next 50 years.

They will also accept applications for apprenticeships there.

The chairman of the building and grounds committee, Jerry Zreliak, said, "This building will serve as a place where they will come in and fill out applications and interview for the different trade unions and there is definitely a shortage of manpower in the building trades."

The association, which represents commercial and industrial builders in Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Mercer, and Lawrence counties, said there has been tremendous growth in construction. 

Owner of Boak & Sons Inc., Sam Boak, said, "Our biggest dilemma is getting good workforce people to come in and perform. The union halls are mostly empty. We are trying to get people to come in and get them trained and bring them out to the job sites."

A lot of people have been on an expensive college track and don't know about good paying jobs in the construction industry and trades. In addition, about one out of every four applicants don't pass the drug test.

The executive vice president of the Builders Association of Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, Kevin Reilly, said, "We have training apprenticeship programs where workers get paid while learning. After three to five years, depending on the trade they select, the total package a journeyman can earn on average is around $45 an hour which would include their hourly wage, health care, pension defined benefit pension, and defined contribution pension. In commercial construction, you have bricklayers, carpenters, iron workers, cement finishers, sheet metal workers, laborers and more. It is hard work but rewarding. You need to be drug-free and have a high school diploma or GED. Different crafts have different testing requirements." 

Anyone with a desire to build a future in the commercial building trades, call Gary Hartman at the Builders Association in Vienna at 330-539-6050