Trade-worker shortage drives opportunity in Illinois

Employees at Perfect Homes Services, Lisle, IL.

There’s a shortage of skilled trade workers in the U.S. – including in Illinois. A recent study, conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America, suggests up to 80% of contractors nationwide are having difficulty filling well-paying job openings. Many industry leaders warn, if unchecked, it could pose significant risk to future economic growth.

In towns across Illinois, small business owners are sounding the alarm. Justin Carrol is founder of Perfect Home Services – a plumbing, heating and air-conditioning business in Lisle. He says the shortage is already impacting the growth of his business, “At times, we’ve had to turn [customers] away, because we don’t have qualified people to meet that demand.” He’s been in business for 13 years. “We noticed about five years ago that something was changing. People who are 35 and under now aren’t as interested in the skilled trades as people who I grew up with and I’m not sure what’s causing it.” Asked if he’s optimistic about the future, Carrol said after a long pause “Yeah. Something’s going to have to give. I do believe people are starting to take action, but it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

Listen to our full interview below:

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