Reporting Ron Jones
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The construction industry in the Sacramento region saw a boost of about 2,500 jobs last month compared to August 2010. It might not signal a construction comeback, but it could be a spark.
“We’re getting a very slight sense of optimism,” said David Higgins, president of HMH Builders.
Translation? Let’s not get our hopes up just yet, but any good is welcome news in this economy.
“Maybe we are turning the corner finally,” Higgins said.
The construction industry in the Sacramento region is feeling a boost in business, up 5 percent since 2010.
“it may not sound like a lot, but it’s a vast improvement from where we’ve been,” said Tom Holsman of Associated General Contractors of California.
Higgins’ company is one of many in the Central Valley seeing some growth.
The three areas seeing an increase in building projects are schools, apartment complexes and hospitals.
Hospitals are experiencing the most because they’re required by law to either retrofit their buildings or even rebuild to meet earthquake safety standards. They’re spending hundreds of millions to get it done.
But where is that money coming from?
“Some of it is just deferred spending that companies had in their pocket and were waiting for the upturn in the economy that they believe it’s time to do these remodels and improvements,” said Holsman.
Tom Waltman of the Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange says municipalities are also finding ways to help contractors save money.
“Any contractor or subcontractor can come through here and determine exactly what needs to be done on the project,” he said. “Elk Grove has reduced their building fees significantly, so it’s made it more possible to build some of these projects.”
Higgins welcomes any kind of positive construction news.
“It’s not a big increase … but again it’s in a positive direction, and for our industry that’s great news,” he said.