Six years following the bursting of the housing bubble in mid-2007, an aggrandizing Los Angeles region is finally seeing profitable signs of a solid recovery. This comes as welcome relief for carpenters, cost estimators and construction laborers that depend on the building industry as a means of survival in an economy that has hammered persevering metropolitan areas to their knees.

The Building Industry Association of Southern California's David W. Shepherd (photo courtesy of David W. Shepherd)

The Building Industry Association of Southern California’s David W. Shepherd (photo courtesy of David W. Shepherd)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of construction managers is predicted to grow by 17 percent between now and the year 2020, with an aggregate of available jobs for electricians projected to increase by 23 percent during the same time frame.

“We are certainly responding to the market being created by pent-up demand from the height of recession, which is fueled by current low interest rates and low inventory,” said David W. Shepherd, chief executive officer at Building Industry Association of Southern California, Inc., a group that represents some 1,000 companies that employ more than 100,000 workers within the local building industry.

Shepherd said the building industry is currently demonstrating a considerable show of accomplishment to meet the needs of those pent-up investors that would have ventured into the home market six years ago, but were reluctant due to monetary vulnerability. Los Angeles County, in particular, is feeling some of the more transcendent proofs of an improved housing market in the wake of neoteric developments that are fast altering the landscape of urban centers.

In effect, doors of opportunity are now opening wider for specialty trade contractors and those that are hired to provide alterations, maintenance and repairs to rental units, a market that is booming in Los Angeles.

“The economic paradigm has changed and there are new limitations on younger and first-time buyers, such as limited job opportunities and lower wages,” said Shepherd, who holds a master’s degree in public policy administration from Columbia University. “This current regional job market reality has driven the necessity for increased rentals, multi-family and specialty products that address the needs of changing family housing dynamics and an aging population that may have put off retirement due to economic uncertainties of the past few years.”

As the future course of the housing industry continues to progress toward energy conservation and responsible productivity, Shepherd advises workers interested in entering the construction industry and its varied sub-sectors to consider technological smarts as heavy-duty equipment.

“Career opportunities, like in many other industries, are becoming more tech-savvy,” said Shepherd. “Energy and environmental efficiencies are rapidly becoming more in demand and fields that provide those services are hot right now. For those looking at office-related opportunities, they should focus on sharpening their finance skills as well as their knowledge of land-use planning and environmental regulation.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to


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