Masonry companies having hard time filling positions

DENVER-- Construction jobs are booming in Denver and some companies are having a hard time keeping up with the demand.

With construction projects popping up all over the Denver metro, masonry companies are struggling to fill positions. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment is projecting positions in masonry to grow by six percent in two years, outpacing the growth for all occupations in the Denver metro.

One masonry company Denver 7 spoke to is doing whatever he can to get workers.

"I got nobody applying for a job, there's nobody calling and asking if we are hiring, hardly at all," said David Eatherton, of Eatherton Masonry.

Eatherton said his company has two projects in the works and two more starting soon.

"We are dying to hire more help, we can probably do triple the amount of work we are doing right now, if we can find enough man power," said Eatherton.

Ads on craigslist and word of mouth have worked before, but now he's trying something else. Signs are now posted up on all the company cars that read "need brick layers”. Eatherton said he's even reaching out to his competitors.

"I called eight of my competitors last week to see if I can borrow a couple of guys to see if I can get caught up, and they literally laughed at me and said, 'yeah, if you know anybody, let us know because we're hiring, too,'", Eatherton said.

Only a few masonry schools exist in the Denver metro. Denver 7 spoke with Cori Gerlitz with the Construction Industry Training Council of Colorado, Inc..

"Masonry is just hard to fill in general," Gerlitz said.

Gerlitz said it's a field that's growing and can pay well. Masonry workers make around $16 dollars an hour starting. With some schooling, brick layers can make around $26 dollars an hour.

The school offers a three-year course for people who are interested in laying bricks for a living.

"You can make an incredible amount of money," said Gerlitz. "You can have a very long career without having a degree."

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