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As the labor shortage continues to impact construction contractors across the nation, many are proactively attempting to combat the shortage with events targeted at younger individuals. In the Magic Valley region of Idaho, contractors hosted the second annual Magic Valley Construction Expo to encourage high -school students to consider careers in the trades, according to the Twin Falls Times-News.

The first goal of the Expo, Magic Valley Builders Association Executive Officer Sari Jayo said, is to interest kids in high-paying trade jobs. The second: With construction workers in increasingly high demand, builders are doing what they can to recruit young people.

The event brought contractors and high schoolers together, potentially connecting employers with future employees. Students received hands-on instruction in flooring, roofing, painting, concrete pouring, electric work, drywall and gutters, building eight sheds in two days.

Even though construction is booming in south-central Idaho, with industry setting new records for building permits in some instances, there’s a severe shortage of framers, concrete workers and other types of construction employees. Those shortages persist even though wages for those jobs are probably higher than ever before.

Efforts such as the construction expo could help address the shortage. But unemployment is still low in general, at 2.6% in south-central Idaho, and even though the state and local schools are pushing hard to offer more trade courses, construction might not see a large influx of workers anytime soon.

Efforts to recruit younger individuals are not limited to Idaho. ConstructReach, an organization based in St. Louis, Mo., is hosting four 'I Built This' events in St. Louis, Denver, Los Angeles, and Miami to introduce high-school students to opportunities in the construction trades.

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