Dating in the twin cities

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“I was eager to begin working and making my own career path.” In the recession, as others fled the industry, he stayed the course and is glad he did.He has never been without work and has been able to pick and choose jobs.“We make extremely good money, work reasonable hours, get to be active and build actual communities within the Twin Cities,” he said.“I want young people to realize that it is not a step down to go into construction.” With costs and job openings on the rise, the industry is getting more creative.Such increases can be even more detrimental for new buildings, which employ hundreds of workers from many trades.Last month, plans to build a Hy-Vee store in White Bear Lake were scuttled.

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Mark Scherer, an owner of the one of the largest lumberyards and truss-building plants in the region, has managed to keep his staffing levels steady by regularly raising wages.

He hasn’t, however, been able to solve a more serious problem: Timing.

He said it normally takes 90 days to build a house, but it’s now taking 120 to 180 days in some cases. Scherer said an upscale house used to cost 5 per square foot, but increases in labor and other inputs means the price is now 0 to north of 0 per square foot.

This summer a consortium of industry groups will launch one of its most comprehensive efforts yet to help fill jobs: Project Build Minnesota, a marketing campaign aimed at “making construction sexy again,” said David Siegel, executive director of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities.

The goal is to sweep as many trainees into both union and nonunion jobs. Earlier this year, a collective of labor unions launched its own PR campaign dubbed Elevate Minnesota to promote union construction jobs.

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