PORTLAND, Ore. -- With warm temperatures and sunshine, it may be hard to believe we art still in the dead of winter.
And for people who earn a living by working outside, the weather is ideal, especially for construction crews. In the Northwest, they can get the job done rain or shine. But make no mistake, they prefer the shine.
“It's harder when it’s really coming down, when its real cold, so everyone has a bit of compassion and working around each other,” said Don Hynes, the project manager for the second phase of Mary's Woods, a retirement community of 144 new residential units. These crews have been going at it since April, and employ about 300 workers at any given time.
Across the metro area, construction crews are operating at full production. And those in charge say it's thanks, in large part, to the weather.
Michael Harn owns Anlon Construction LLC. He’s got more than a dozen job sites going at all times, and says the weather makes it easier to get work done.
“At this point, all of them are running wide open. Everything we have to do outside: pour concrete, painting, all of the things you have to wait for in the weather we have just been cracking it. It's been awesome," Harn said.
Last year, the snow and ice cost his company 17 days of production. That's a lot of money lost. But this year they're shining.
”It’s been tremendous," Harn said. We've been able to get full days of work in when other times, when things are too cold, we had to start jobs later. Starting jobs earlier now, production has been awesome for two weeks.”
In fact, most in the industry agree with Harn. Business is booming and there is a lot more work, and not enough workers.
“Labor is the biggest challenge we have because the markets come back and there's just less people getting into the industry now," Harn said. "The weather is not going to be our problem. The question is going to be can we fill the pipeline of labor?”
And Hynes says that's a big pipeline. Especially with the weather conditions ripe for productivity.
“Productivity is pretty much done by the discipline, by whatever is being done and it moves forward. But it’s great to have the good weather," he said.