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Builders Can't Find Employees

April 5, 2012, 7:08 AM by Austin Hoffman

Builders Can't Find Employees

Drive around the outskirts of nearly any Sioux Falls community and it’s not hard to tell that the housing market has changed. One builder we spoke with is busier than he's ever been before.  While it's great for business, it's also creating some challenges.

"Now, everybody's busy. No matter who you call, they're swamped," WT Construction Owner Willie Tschetter said.

Tschetter has been building homes for nearly 16 years. But he now has a problem he's never had before. Tschetter can't find enough people willing to put a hammer in their hands or a roof beneath their feet.

“It’s for every trade of, in the process of building a home; for stone layers, for framers, for shingling, siders, whatever you can think of,” Tschetter said.

He's currently building five homes and has five more on the waiting list. He's never seen numbers like that before and believes it has a lot to do with why he can't find employees.

“For instance, this particular house, it was on the market for less than a day before it sold and it's not even done. So that’s what we’ve been seeing.  The people that bought this house, their home was on the market for less than a day. So, the market is coming around; there’s stuff moving in new, used, whatever.  The market's hot," Tschetter said.

Tschetter says two years ago, he had the exact opposite problem. He had people coming around looking for jobs. And while he always stayed fairly busy through the recession, he didn't have enough positions for everyone.

It's been a change he didn't see coming. But in the end, it's not that bad of a problem to have.

“No, I never have and I never thought I would, which it’s good. We’re loving it,” Tschetter said.

Tschetter also says many other builders in the area are also having problems finding enough employees.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
A grammatical error was corrected in this story.

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