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Facing a labor shortage, construction tries to rebrand

April 11, 2019 / Amy Scott

On a recent morning in downtown Denver, a group of high school kids sat in a classroom taking a quiz. The students were on a field trip to the Construction Industry Training Council of Colorado, to learn about apprenticeships. Executive Director Cori Gerlitz gave the sales pitch.
What’s the average salary for first-year apprentices in the construction industry? she asked the group. As dramatic game show music played, the kids punched their guesses into an app on their phones. The answer popped up on a screen: $15 per hour. And that was an old number, Gerlitz told them. I’ve got people who are coming into the school right now, no experience, they’re making anywhere from $15 to $17 an hour, depending upon their trades, Gerlitz said.