Booming Construction Business Needs More Skilled Workers

"It has been a booming business. It has increased tenfold," M&D Construction Owner David Vice Jr. said.

Vice says since Katrina, hundreds of work orders pour in each week.

"We have the normal customer base that is always there, and now we have this new customer base, companies that have come in to start development after the storm. They see an opportunity to bring in new shopping and hotels," Vice said.

Vice says as his Moss Point business expands to meet costumers' needs around the coast, he is experiencing some growing pains.

"Personally, I'm limited by the amount of work I can take on, not by financing, but because I can not find enough skill supervisory to oversee the trade skill. We can not obtain enough skilled personnel," Vice says.

While Vice has offered more money to workers, he says only a few have committed to stay on the job.

"Normally, unskilled laborers would start out at or just above minimum wage. At my business,  unskilled laborers start at twice the minimum wage standard. You'd think that would attract employees in itself, but to this day it has not really worked on jobs. They want to work for a day or two and they want to go home," Vice says.

That means employees like Mike Ederer have to work overtime just to get the job done.

"Six days a week, sometime seven, anywhere from 6 30 a.m. to 5 in the evening," Ederer said.

As the rebuilding continues in South Mississippi, Ederer and Vice are hoping the pool of workers will grow to meet the demand for work.

"I am here to tell you, blue collar work is as lucrative and more," Vice said.

Anyone interested in working for M&D Construction can call or stop by their office in Moss Point.