Bryan Barnwell gets help with his resume at the WorkSource office in Everett Station on Dec. 7. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Bryan Barnwell gets help with his resume at the WorkSource office in Everett Station on Dec. 7. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Construction sector is building jobs as the county grows

Positions in that field may increase by 2.4 percent in 2019. That’s higher than most industries.

EVERETT — The growth that’s happening in Snohomish County has helped create jobs.

Apartment complexes and business spaces that have been built here in the past couple of years have made construction one of the top industries for employment. That’s expected to continue for at least the next five years.

Positions in the field are anticipated to become some of the most available in the county going into 2019.

Other industries expected to be doing more hiring include professional and business services, health and education, and leisure and hospitality. Openings in each of these trades are expected to increase by more than 2 percent.

Overall, employment is expected to rise by more than 1 percent, said Anneliese Vance-Sherman, a regional labor economist for the state Employment Security Department. Her office is at WorkSource in Everett, which is an organization that helps people with resume building, interview techniques and other skills. The agency is one of her main clients.

The industry with the highest decline also provides the most work in Snohomish County — about one in five jobs. Employment in manufacturing is expected to decrease by 1.4 percent. Availability in aerospace in particular should fall by more than 2 percent. About 38,900 positions in that field are expected to stay.

“The long-run picture of aerospace is one of overall decline,” Vance-Sherman said.

That’s mostly because new technology is being introduced all the time, she said.

The state makes these sorts of projections by looking at historical data. The number of aerospace jobs has fallen in the past few years.

“That being said, over the course of 2018 we have seen an increase,” Vance-Sherman said.

About 2,200 jobs were established, which was an addition of 5.9 percent.

Despite the projections, aerospace manufacturing classes at Everett Community College are expected to become more popular in the coming years, said Tammy Frankland, executive vice president of instruction and student services.

Courses in the more prosperous industries also have been popular at local colleges.

Brenda Banks points out some of the recent hires on a “hires tree” at the WorkSource office in Everett Station on Dec. 7. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Brenda Banks points out some of the recent hires on a “hires tree” at the WorkSource office in Everett Station on Dec. 7. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The nursing program at Everett enrolls 40 applicants three times per year. Usually the nursing school receives three times as many applicants as it can enroll.

Edmonds Community College offers a construction management program. It’s one of four in the state to be accredited by the American Council for Construction Education. The others are at Central Washington University, Washington State University and the University of Washington.

The construction industry can change quickly depending on the economy. During the recession in 2008, one in three jobs was lost.

People stopped enrolling in the program at that time, said Andy Williams, dean of the business division at the college. He oversees the construction unit and has worked at the college for nearly 30 years.

Now there are more jobs in the area than the program has graduates. Some leave the school before they receive certification because they’ve been offered work.

Williams recommends that students stay until they finish all their courses. Though they can return, they won’t have the training to change employers any time they want, he said.

Enrollment has climbed the past several years. There was a jump in fall quarter 2017, when nearly 300 people signed up. That’s about 50 more than this year.

Williams thinks the program will continue to grow, but he’s aware that there are changes affecting the trade.

“The challenge that we have here is the same challenge we have in all of our fields, which is adapting to new technology,” Williams said.

Most construction classes at Edmonds are in the evening because many students work full time. Most are trying to earn promotions. After graduation, they usually make about $70,000 per year.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192; sdavey@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @stephrdavey.

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