It’s no secret that home prices in North Texas are on the rise. Homes are in demand, as the availability of good jobs continues to increase and more companies come into North Texas, but at the same time, there aren’t enough skilled construction workers. Many custom home builders in the area find themselves lagging farther behind, in between a rock and a hard place, so to speak. Recently, the Dallas Builders Association had a few things to say about the situation.
While home prices are up about 7% over the same period last year, the Association feels the labor shortage issue could be resolved, at least in part, by hiring high school students in the Dallas area who are interested in the field, many of whom are taking construction vocational classes. This would help fill at least some of the estimated 20,000 open positions in the home construction field.
Okay, so what’s the problem? According to news reports, many of the students interested in working in the construction industry are undocumented immigrants, the majority with no social security number.
According to DBA Executive Officer, Phil Crone, these students are ready to go to work and are perfectly bilingual, yet they can’t begin working legally for builders in the Association because of the lack of a social security number and the fact that there is no guest worker program to participate in. Crone says those who fill the construction vocational classrooms are generally immigrants, many undocumented.
While there are a few Americans interested in construction vocations, Crone said the ratio of Americans to immigrants is about one to ten, and that, even though wage growth in some sectors of the construction industry is at 35%, American students simply aren’t interested.
Immigrants want an opportunity to live the American dream, and by allowing them to fill the thousands of vacant spots in the home construction industry, it certainly wouldn’t be depriving another person of a job. The labor shortage is serious, and ultimately, it not only increases the cost of a new home, but delays completion of a home by about two months, according to the Association.
What’s your opinion? Should undocumented immigrants who are excited about filling these jobs, and who mostly are students interested in construction, be given the opportunity?
At Bud Bartley Family of Builders, our passion is providing beautifully designed, quality custom homes in Flower Mound and throughout North Texas – for those who desire the ultimate in workmanship, functionality and comfortable living.