Construction Industry Jobs

Spokane-area contractors, such as Inland Coating Specialist, admit it is extremely difficult to find quality workers in a booming economy.

When business is booming like it is in the Inland Northwest, nearly everyone feels the effects. Job seekers often seem to have the upper hand because there are more jobs available than workers. And employers need to be on their ‘A’ game in order to attract – and keep – top notch talent. Despite recent volatility in the world economy, the economy in and around Spokane is remains one of the strongest in the nation.

Just to illustrate how hot the job market is right now: a local painting contractor has been trying to hire several hourly workers. He says with the unemployment rate around 3.9 percent in Washington state - and 2.9 percent in Idaho - he’s having a hard time finding qualified workers.

“I’ve got the work lined up. The customers are there for me,“ said Ken Watkins, owner of Inland Coating Specialist. “I just need people who want to work! They don’t even have to be expert painters to start – that can be developed over time.”

Watkin’s struggle as an entrepreneur is an opportunity for people looking for work. Here are three things job seekers can do to find work in the home services and construction industry.

1. Create a resume that includes important keywords to showcase your talents and abilities. You build things, paint things, and fix things. You probably didn’t choose construction to write a book about it. When crafting your resume, be careful to include the keywords pertinent to the job you are seeking. Here are some examples of construction resumes. Most importantly (thanks, Monster.com for the advice), get someone to look it over before you send it off to a potential employer. Even the most knowledgeable English teacher needs a proofreader!

2. Climb the ladder by starting at the bottom. Everyone has to start somewhere. If you are new to the industry, consider starting out as what the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls a Construction Laborer. Laborers and helpers typically do a lot of the heavy lifting that allows the skilled trades to work their magic. With a little bit of training and a good dose of hard work – whether you’re a painter’s assistant or on the cleanup crew – you can work your way into a skilled position that demands better pay and exciting opportunities for growth.

3. Get all of the education without the student loan debt. Trade schools and apprenticeship programs are excellent opportunities for people who want to make a good living without going into debt for a pricey college degree. Spokane Community College, for instance, offers 19 apprenticeship programs – from painting to plumbing and everything in-between. SCC works with local employers to train workers over a period of time – from one to five years. And the best part about on-the-job apprenticeships – you get paid to learn!

Whether it’s painting houses and commercial structures with Watkins at Inland Coating Specialists, or learning how to frame houses with a local homebuilder, opportunities abound in the Greater Spokane area. According to a recent article in the Spokesman-Review, the region created more than 4,600 jobs in 2019. Economists say similar growth will continue into the future, providing local employers plenty of opportunity for growth, while giving workers all of the opportunity they want.


This content is sponsored by Inland Coating Specialist. ICS is a licensed contractor in Washington and Idaho, specializing in residential and commercial painting. For more information, or to apply for employment with ICS, contact Ken Watkins at inlandcoatingspecialist@gmail.com , or call him directly at 208-219-2727.