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The Florida construction industry is expecting to really feel the effects of the country’s severe labor shortage as residents make their way back to storm-damaged communities, such as Mexico Beach, Panama City, and Apalachicola for rebuilding. WBUR reports Florida is already among the country’s most affected with 82% of companies saying they’ll be hiring next year in almost every area of the trade, including drywallers, plumbers, and even office staff.

One of the solutions, according to Barton, is to encourage and facilitate training for students, instead of pushing every teenager into college, which he says "isn't for everyone."

"We're trying to bring them together and tell them, 'In the construction industry, we need you — and it's lucrative,' " Barton says. He adds the high school program Future Builders of America is a good place for kids to start.

Young workers can make upwards of $50,000 to $60,000 a year just repairing air conditioners. Spreading that information and providing training, Barton says, will help build up the workforce.

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