Getting Ventura County Back to Work — Construction Jobs

Rapid job losses began in the construction sector as the housing bubble burst in 2006 with a wave of defaults in subprime mortgages. Unlike most other sectors, construction jobs continue to be lost even after the recession has ended.

During the recession, family-supporting middle-class jobs like those in construction, made up most of the job losses, but the recovery has mostly seen growth in low-paying service industry jobs. Many construction workers in Ventura County have had to accept lower-paying jobs in other sectors or travel out of state for construction work, putting strains on their families.

Pete Larson, a construction worker from Fillmore, has worked almost exclusively outside of Ventura County since 2007, the majority of the time out of state including in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and currently in Oregon.

While most of us take for granted going home from work every day, Pete doesn’t. “Now it’s like every two months I’m going home to Fillmore so that’s a lot easier,” he said.  “My wife and I don’t feel like we’re strangers.”

The findings of the Getting Ventura County Back to Work — Construction Jobs: Reconstruction of our Workforce report calls for local hire agreements on publicly-funded projects in areas that suffer from high unemployment.

CAUSE calls on Ventura County leaders to take action to put local construction workers back to work. Recently, with projects such as the Ventura County Medical Center hospitial replacement project, we had a missed opportunity to guarantee local hiring and provide relief for local construction workers and distressed communities.

Fortunately school construction planned in Oxnard and Santa Paula, two of the hardest hit cities in the county, has the potential to create jobs for local construction workers. However, these projects need community benefits agreements to hold the firms being contracted accountable to hiring local residents.

Full report availalbe here.

Read coverage of the report on the front page of the Ventura County Star here.


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