Skilled construction workers in demand

The mindset for most young people looking for work is to graduate high school and head to college - but is that the best option? Here in Alabama,{}the{}"dirty" jobs some would pass by are sometimes paying better than desk jobs with college diplomas.

LaRon Griffin decided to trade the textbooks for a more "hands-on" field.

"I do everything from run labor, I have itineraries somedays that are 20 items long, I go through making sure it's safe," LaRon Griffin, a Robins and Morton worker - who is in a craftsman training program said.

Griffin{}often thinks about getting that diploma, but in a down economy he simply makes more cash in carpentry.

"You know, it's always in the back of everyone's mind, but nowadays, you just have to get on and do what you can do to make it nowadays," Griffin said.

The associated builders and contractors says - at a time when college grads are struggling to find work skilled laborers are thriving.

"Wages, wages, wages. That's our benefit," Jay Reed, President, Associated Builders and Contractors said.

...and the pay scale adds up quickly.

"The interesting{}trend we are seeing right now is such a shortage of welders," Reed said.{}"We are starting to hear some numbers, $75,000, to $100,000 for certified welders."

In fact, Thursday, a Mercedes supplier announced their new $34 million plant for exhaust systems in Tuscaloosa County bringing in about 100 jobs.

Its very important for this area, its very important for the company because it shows expansion of the company.

The local construction association, says it's hoping to transform the unemployed into ready workers.

"With{}the Democratic and Republican convention, everyone is talking jobs and unemployment," Reed said. "What we've got to do is take the unemployed and get them skilled."

In 2010, the state developed the "Go Build Alabama" campaign to attract skilled construction craftsmen. Here is a link to their site with information on how you can find training and employment: