The ranking involved 358 metro areas across the country, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.
The Huntsville area added 1,800 new construction jobs from December 2014 to December 2015, an 18 percent increase, the second-highest growth rate in the country. AGC spokesman Brian Turmail said 9,200 people are currently working in the construction industry locally, up from 6,700 when the industry was hit by the housing market meltdown seven years ago.
The construction industry is booming nationally, with both commercial projects and housing starts, but industry officials said today there is a growing shortage of qualified workers.
AGC representatives and Dell McDonald, owner of Dell McDonald Construction Co. in Huntsville and president of the Alabama Association of General Contractors, made presentations this morning about construction industry growth and the need for more construction workers, equipment operators and skilled tradesman.
They spoke at the Midtown Marketplace construction site off Wall Triana in Madison. The 12,000 square-foot retail site will be anchored by a Kroger store, being constructed by Decatur-based Fite Building Co.
McDonald said legislation passed in Alabama last year will help train new workers and put them in a position for high-paying jobs. He said the Construction Industry Craft Training Program, which is funded with $1 added to each $1,000 on a building permit, will provided $3 million and $5 million annually to “prepare and train new construction workers.”