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  1. #1
    JadedBaztard's Avatar
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    Jan 1970

    AZ: Building labor in short supply

    (WARNING, propoganda and BS ahead -- Jaded)

    Building labor in short supply

    Latinos take on the hard work

    Posted: Thursday, June 21, 2007 6:48 PM PDT

    Those who believe young Latinos are taking other workers' jobs probably know nothing about the construction industry.

    "There aren't a whole lot of young people really interested (in the building trades)," said Jon Ballard of Sonoma's Jon Ballard Construction. "Why? I'm confused. The wages are pretty outstanding compared with other options. Maybe they just don't want the hard work." Apparently, hard work doesn't discourage the Valley's Latino population. Ballard said at least 75 percent of those seeking jobs with his company are Latino. His workforce is now made up of five non-Latinos and four Latinos, one of whom doesn't speak any English at all.

    "If I didn't have the other three, I couldn't communicate with him," Ballard said.

    Ballard said he won't hire illegals but could definitely use a lot more willing and able employees - no matter what language they speak.

    "My business would change (with more employees)," he said. "We turn down a lot of work because we can't do it with the staff we have. Other (contractors) I've talked to are having the same problem."

    The problem, in fact, is definitely regional and probably nationwide.
    "Without young Latino construction workers, we would be in big trouble," said Keith Woods of North Coast Builders Exchange, an organization representing 1,800 firms in Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties.

    Woods relates what he sees as an increasing labor shortage to the aging of the non-Latino population.

    "There are 78 million baby boomers (getting ready to retire)," he said. "It's a national problem. There's going to be a crisis."
    In order to avert the crisis, the Builders Exchange has been promoting "career technical education," programs once called vocational education, in local high schools:

    "We've been putting money into (programs), holding career fairs, providing money for supplies ..."

    Sonoma Valley High School has definitely gotten the message. This year the school offered six elective metal shop classes: three entry-level, two level-two and one advanced; and five wood shop classes: four basic and one advanced.

    Again, those taking advantage of the opportunity tend to be first- or second-generation arrivals from south of the border.

    "A high percentage (of students) are Latino, particularly in wood shop," said vocational education advisor Mick Chantler.

    Chantler dismissed the possibility that those headed for the trades drop out short of graduation. Construction work, he said, also requires such academic skills as a knowledge of math, reasoning abilities and communication. Ballard recalls only one application from someone of high school age. Most of his new hires, he said, are between 25 and 40.
    Like Ballard, Woods finds it hard to understand why more young people don't choose to go into the trades.

    "Minimum wages don't exist in any construction jobs," Ballard said. "You're more likely to start at $10, $12, $18 an hour than in any retail or food service job. There's no better opportunity to get into a good paying job and work your way up. Potentially, you could own your own home and business."

    According to Mario Castillo, an outreach worker with Vineyard Workers Services, that many new arrivals - including those with experience in construction - haven't heard about the wage potential.
    "There are people who have taken advantage (of them)," he said, "especially (of) new people who don't get paid what they deserve - or don't get paid at all. I've heard stories about people who threaten to call Immigration (when a worker asks for a paycheck)."

    Even those who are here legally, he said, may come from "small towns in Mexico" where such notions as workers' benefits are unfamiliar. On the other hand, Castillo said, Mexicans "from a very young age are not really afraid to try any job out of necessity."

    Woods agrees. "Hispanics are the greatest workers (the exchange's membership) ever had. They've got a great work ethic and a desire to learn and earn."

    With experience - and mastery of the English language - that hard work can pay off.

    "I had a guy last week who wanted me to make him some business cards," Castillo reported. "He got his license to do construction and he's starting his own company."

    Another path to higher pay is working through a trade union but the numbers entering the trades through that route are also low - and increasingly Latino.
    "We're looking for more apprentices," said Bill Campbell, training director with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 551, which includes Sonoma, Marin, Lake and Mendocino counties.

    An apprenticeship, Campbell stresses, is completely free. Requirements include a high school diploma, paid on-the-job training and one-week class sessions totaling one month out of the year for five years. Those who complete the apprenticeship and pass related tests become journeymen, a designation with a potential annual income of $40,00 to $60,000 depending on the location and the years of experience.

    In the whole four-county area, Campbell said, there are only about 200 apprentices - and many of them are Latino.
    "We're seeing a lot more minorities and females, as well," he said.

    Campbell called construction a fast-growing, much-needed industry - and one of the few that can't be outsourced to a Third-World nation with cheap wages.

    "If you can ship the Golden Gate Bridge to China for repairs and ship it back let me know," he said.

  2. #2
    Senior Member zeezil's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Should the Sonoma New have titled their propaganda differently... "Sonoma Builders roll out the welcome mat to illegals with red carpet treatment."
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nicole's Avatar
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    May 2007
    New Hampshire
    "There aren't a whole lot of young people really interested (in the building trades)," said Jon Ballard of Sonoma's Jon Ballard Construction. "Why? I'm confused. The wages are pretty outstanding compared with other options. Maybe they just don't want the hard work." Apparently, hard work doesn't discourage the Valley's Latino

    I am so freakin sick of this. This is such a bold-faced lie! Who the heck built this country? Amercian citizens and Legal citizens of all races and backgrounds. I am sorry but Illegals do not hold the monopoly on being hard working. They do hold the monopoly on being criminals however because THEY HAVE ALL BROKEN THE LAW. I guess these people think if they say it enough, we will all drink the kool aid and believe it.

    My father literally helped to build half of the houses in th NJ neighborhood I grew up in. He worked construction while in college and even every summer when he was a teacher. I have two cousins who currently work in construction in NJ but don't get much work because the illegals do it cheaper. They do it quicker(meaning shoddy construction defects waiting to happen).

    I have read numerous posts here and elsewhere about how teenagers cannot get jobs at fast food joints because they don't speak a foreign language. My parents have a friend whose daughter made it through one week at an ice cream stand and because she was the only non-illegal there they would talk about her and gang up on her. One of them said to her , you won't last long here, we have run other American whites and blacks out of here, we will do the same to you.

    I am either in bizzaro world or just in a very long bad dream.

    When is this going to end?

  4. #4
    JadedBaztard's Avatar
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    Jan 1970
    Well of course EVERYONE knows that America was built by young latino men,...... right? I mean who can forget the huge roll they played in post civil war reconstruction? How about all those railroads going west? Ooops, that was the Chinese. Or let's not forget all the strong, young latino men that worked on the Apollo lunar mission! Don't get me wrong, I do value the contributions of all races and ethnicities that built this great nation. What I cannot stand is these idiots trying to shove this BS down my throat, as if we simply cannot live without these illegal hordes and that all white men are fat, lazy, rich and racist. PUH-FREAKIN-LEEZE

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    My father-in-law started a construction company in southern california in the late 1940's... It did great until the mid 80's when the influx began. The jefe would show up with 10 or 12 illegals... they would jump on a house and get it done faster than the guys that were working on their own or with their partner. The jeffe would then take half of the profit and split the other half between the 12. Needless to say this caused alot of trouble on the job sites..lots of PO 'ed carpenters. My husband hoped one day to take over the company from his dad and keep the legacy going..Unfortunately that was the beginning of the end for our company. We shut the doors in 1996 Every job site I see now around here is non white...the quality of construction is going down..what a bummer
    Bring back the Rotary Phone so we dont have to press¬*1 for¬*English...¬*

  6. #6
    Cigar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    One of the reasons that the "young people" don't look for jobs in the trades is...... "No Hobble Espanola"...

    The construction employers have had a field day with the suppression of wedges over the last 20 years.....
    From what I get is , I could be wrong, a framer got $ 21.00, in the 1970s-80s , per hour to frame a house.. Now it's like $12.00-$14.00 per hour.... No bennies.... So like anyone else they are going to go where the $$ is....

  7. #7
    Senior Member azwreath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Articles like this enrage me, no end!!!

    When I first moved to AZ, 14 years ago, construction was booming and you would've been hard pressed to find a "non english speaker" (apparently this week's code word for illegal alien) on a construction site.

    Our neighbors were comprised of mainly those employed in construction related trades. These guys never complained about the work, which was what they chose to do for a living for Pete's sake. The only complaints you ever heard about hours was if they got rained out or found out they wouldn't be working on a Saturday. Pay was terrific and everyone had affordable benefits. There were more people looking for jobs than crews to employ them and no shortage of apprentices learning the trades, many of them high school kids earning and learning at a great wage, making some great pay for their age group even on a part time basis.

    Probably 8 years ago was when the change started to become noticeable in the construction industry and my husband's nephew, who was a foreman, let us in on a nasty little secret. Instead of Americans who applied, illegals were being sent out to the job sites. This was followed by a culling of higher paid, less seniority workers who were told that the crews had to be cut back for awhile because work was slowing down. Those workers were replaced by illegals and, of course, never brought back. The final phase of this progressive displacement was to lay off entire crews, again "temporarily" due to "work slow downs". When work resumed the only ones called back were the illegals who had been there previously and the rest of the American's jobs were also filled with illegals. The only ones left were the foremen until they, themselves, were replaced by illegals eventually.

    I had a front row seat to what this did to neighbors, and family, who had worked so hard for everything only to have it yanked out from under them. Nobody was in an uproar screaming about injustices done to them as they lost everything or had to uproot and move away to areas where they could still find work.

    It just makes me sick to see where these pathetic excuses for employers....and human beings......can so blatantly disparage a hard working and dedicated American workforce whom, they seem to so conveniently forget, was what gave them their start toward success. Talk about ingratitude!!!!

    It's not that Americans, and particularly our younger people, don't want to work. They're just a segment of our population who were consigned to unemployment before they were even old enough to work, or even born for that matter in many cases.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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