ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – It has been slow in coming but the St. Louis construction industry is starting to catch glimpses of a possible light at the end of the tunnel.
Productivity and Responsibility Increase Development and Employment (PRIDE) St. Louis Executive Director Jim LaMantia says the only reason to celebrate a jobless figure of around 20 percent for local construction is that it was up to 35 percent during the depths of the Great Recession.
“With the help of the union pension money’s reinvestment back into our region, we have [seen] slowly but steady growth in construction,” he says. “We still feel the effects from the economic downturn of 2007 but we are coming back.”
LaMantia says it helps to have major projects coming down the construction pipeline again, such as the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge, the General Motors plant expansion in Wentzville, and Ballpark Village downtown.
“At one time in St. Louis, we were retooling all the car plants at the same time. That’s gone but I think that we will fill that void with other types of construction,” he added.
For instance, LaMantia says that St. Louis has become a booming hospital hub with expansion providing more area construction jobs.