The Associated General Contractors of Alaska met Saturday in the Captain Cook Hotel for the final day of an annual four-day conference.
AGC Executive Director John MacKinnon said the conference traditionally comes in the first or second week of November and allows members of the construction industry to reflect on the season they’ve just had.
The AGC, made up of around 640 business members, is working toward producing its 2019 forecast for the construction industry which it expects to be completed by January.
“We’re seeing a recovery but we’re not seeing a steep recovery,” MacKinnon said. He described that there are indicators that there is an uptick in growth after a long recession and significant job losses across Alaska.
“We’re looking for a recovery, what started in 2014 when the price of oil fell, the state reacted by making some budget cuts,” said MacKinnon. “The big piece of the budget cut they made, came out of the capital budget, and of course, most of what’s in the capital budget involves building.”
MacKinnon described a nationwide labor shortage that had mostly missed Alaska because of the shortage of work.
“Now we’re starting to see with some of the recovery, especially in the Interior and the Fairbanks-area, especially with what’s going on in the military up there, we’re starting to see some worker shortages,”he said. “It’s time to start reacting to that and start getting younger people involved in the trades.”