EUGENE, Ore. – While much of the world came to a halt during the pandemic, the construction industry saw more demand than ever.
Lonnie Land is the director of training for Local 701 of the Operating Engineers in Canby. He said because construction has been categorized as essential, there have not been many changes.
However, in order to find and train apprentices, they have had to put a lot more planning into things to keep everyone safe and healthy.
“I see no downturn as far as our industry is concerned,” Land said. “I’d say over the last three years since I’ve been involved in the training program, this has been the largest demand increase for us in the world of heavy mechanics.”
Land said the biggest hit has been in the number of applicants. Because he wasn’t able to get into the schools and make students aware of this avenue of work, they’ve only received half the applications they normally do.
Starting wages for an apprentice are more than $30 an hour.