Recovery and construction employment has been bumpy to say the least. That's why students at the Potomac Job Corps Center are feeling new power in their power tools. That's because builders need skilled workers.
"About two weeks ago we started getting calls - like 7 or 8 a day - and we've been asked to bring students to work sites," Linda Thomas with the Potomac Jobs Corps Center said. "We said look just bring them with their resumes, we've got work, we're pushing more contracts now."
That's a far cry from just a few months ago when Linda was still begging home builders to hire these students from the Department of Labors Job Corps Program.
"Because nothing was going on," Thomas said.
Now these soon-to-be skilled construction workers are in high demand and they know it.
"There's a resurgence in construction so I know this is the place to be," said student Brandon Alexander.
Housing starts climbed into the 800 thousands this fall after falling to a low of just around half a million in 2009, when the industry and the trade were decimated.
"Over 2 million workers left the construction industry and most of those are not coming back, so we have a great need to have skilled workers," John Courson with the Home Builder's Institute said.
With instructors from the nonprofit home builders institute, these students learn plumbing, masonry, carpentry, landscaping, weatherization, painting and all the construction skills seen on a residential or commercial site.
Many of the workers who left the construction industry did not return after a long housing recession. Now many of those workers retrained into other careers.
(Copyright © 2012 NBC Universal, All Rights Reserved)