College of Southern Idaho cuts back on new construction students

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By Jay Michaels

TWIN FALLS, IDAHO (KMVT) Construction numbers took a slide during the recent Great Recession, to the point where the College of Southern Idaho is cutting back on its construction program. CSI's Residential Construction program began five years ago this fall. Their current students are among the replacements for construction workers who are getting ready to retire.

CSI spokesman Doug Maughan says, "Right now we're working on our 4th house. The first 3 houses have either been rented or leased, and the 4th house is still under construction. It's a little ways from being on the market."

But the downturn in the economy a few years ago led to cutbacks in construction projects and layoffs in the construction industry. That means right now there's a surplus of people who know how to do the work, which shoves graduates of CSI's program to the back of the hiring line.

Maughan says, "The construction industry itself has had some slowdown. There isn't as much new construction, there's more remodeling. There are a lot of very well qualified construction workers who are out of work right now waiting to go back."

Maughan says CSI has tried to remain flexible, and keep from glutting the job market in residential construction workers. He says as a result, the college will scale back the program for now, and pump it back up when the construction industry shows signs of beginning to boom again.

He concludes, "In other words, we'll suspend it temporarily and we'll go ahead and take our current students through the curriculum. It's probably going to take every bit of a year to finish that program, finish the house, and so forth."

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