A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Construction employment in Greater Cincinnati continues to grow despite economic turndown


October has been designated as Careers in Construction Month by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The designation comes as construction employment in Greater Cincinnati continues to grow despite the economic turndown.

“Currently, we are experiencing strong growth in the residential building and remodeling trades as homeowners and homebuyers are looking to move into a new home or renovate their current home,” said Brian Miller, Executive Vice President of the Building Industry Association of Northern Kentucky (BIA). “This portion of our sector only took a short pause during the onset of the pandemic but immediately surged as our community became blatantly aware of the insufficiencies in their current living situation.

“Commercial and Industrial construction became more sporadic but is now regaining momentum with several commercial and industrial builder/developers reporting bid activity at an elevated level for projects expected to break ground in the spring.”

Employment has particularly increased among the eight skilled construction trades taught locally by the BIA-NKY through its Enzweiler Building Institute. These trades are carpentry, diesel mechanics for heavy equipment, electric, facilities maintenance, heating & air conditioning, masonry, plumbing, and welding trades training in eight subjects.

“We are seeing an increase in employment and wages in all eight subjects we offer at the Institute,” Miller said. “According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 33,000 individuals are employed in these eight trades in Greater Cincinnati. That represents an increase of over 5,000 construction trades professionals over four years. On average these individuals are earning nearly three thousand more per year than they made four years prior.”

BIA Director of Professional Development Dr. Vicki Berling said that interest in the skilled trades has increased during the pandemic.

“Our school enrollment grew by five percent over last year, despite the troubling economy. As people look around Northern Kentucky, they can literally see construction everywhere. They have begun to recognize that these are steady careers with great earning potential that will continue for years into the future.”

Miller added that construction jobs often lead to small-business ownership.

“The barrier to company ownership is only constrained by one’s own willingness to work hard and learn what it takes to run a business. There are no glass ceilings if you are willing to apply yourself and start your own company,” he concluded.

Berling urged people to explore careers in construction by visiting www.buildinginstitute.com and clicking “Programs Available.” Or interested parties can contact her at vicki@buildersnky.com or (859) 640-4294.

Following is four years of data in the eight construction trades offered by the Enzweiler Building Institute:


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One Comment

  1. Nancy says:

    This is wonderful. Far too many young people take on huge amounts of student debt, some of which will still be paying that debt off near retirement for them, and they only make $40k a year. And that’s only if they picked a worthy major that actually has jobs in the real market. That’s a no brainer skip the student debt and go in to a industry where you make more money from the start and it’s a secure industry, construction will be around for however long the human race is.

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