Older Workers in Construction

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (33)

Joanna in Loughborough, United Kingdom

95 months ago

I am a researcher who would like to hear from older construction workers to find out your experiences of the industry. What skills do you bring to the job that younger workers are missing? Does the work become physically harder as you become older? Do you feel you have ever been discriminated against because of your age? I would love to hear from you.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (43) / No (6) Reply - Report abuse

Bruce in Fenton, Missouri

93 months ago

My name is Bruce from St. Louis, Mo.Im 49 y/o . I went to heavy equipment/crane school in Oklahoma earlier this year. The school said there is a placement sevice( they hand you a list of phone #s
the day you graduate). Tell you its not a
problem for an older person to get a job,
because the younger guys cant pass a pee test ok ........St louis VERY heavy union town , which Im not against. Every
app I put in I get told you have to go to the union school in Silex Mo to get a union card. So I work for ADB a utility
contractor(non union) terrible pay. I apply for a operator job. They put me in as a laborer, hand digging ditches 10 hours a day. I just got let go on day 89, because, I couldnt keep up with the
other laborers half my age.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (8) / No (5) Reply - Report abuse

william draper in Trenton, Missouri

92 months ago

jon phillips in Houston, Texas said: i'm 54 yo. i have done construction work my whole life,i can't buy a job in houston because of the hispanics.go to a job site you won't find a white or black man on the crew.

we have hispanics he also,but most of them are non union,perhaps u should check into that or maybe move out of texas.i worked in the dallas area back in the 80s and i know its a right to work state.stayed there just long enough to get out myself. i joined the union in 1967,left for 18 years when i had my own company in florida, and came back here after andrew got me and my insurance company,and went back in the union, at this time we make 27.43 an hour,so good luck on what ever you decide to do. im a cement finisher by the way.good luck!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (7) Reply - Report abuse

dallasduck in Houston, Texas

70 months ago

i got laid off aug.28 in houston,i have'nt found anything in a month of searching

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

MWnMobile in Mobile, Alabama

70 months ago

Joanna in Loughborough, United Kingdom said: I am a researcher who would like to hear from older construction workers to find out your experiences of the industry. What skills do you bring to the job that younger workers are missing? Does the work become physically harder as you become older? Do you feel you have ever been discriminated against because of your age? I would love to hear from you.

Hey just wanted to let you know about another good job search site... completely free membership... and it has a live chat service to talk to other construction people just like you and me.. My name is Gary and this site covers job openings in all crafts...Give it a try and if ya like it spread the word will you... its completely free and easy to use.... hope to see ya there...heres the link...

smokepen.phpbb3now.com/index.php

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Hvacgln in San Diego, California

68 months ago

Hello, I'm 46 and have work in the HVAC industry for 25yrs. What I've noticed is, the younger gen. just wants you're pay, without learning anything or paying any sort of dues. They will back stab you however and whenever possible. Most are worthless greenbacks.
I had to leave my job do to a simple sprained ankle injury and as soon as I took leave my job was gone. My job of installation of air ducts and units was very unpredictable. A 3 mo. lay off and I got so far behind on my mortgage I lost my house and property. Thank god my wife's a nurse and is still working for now. Later I found I had a hernia and had to go to surgery. Its been 4 months of job searching and nothing.
The job market is really lame here. if you have a BS degree in graphic design you might be able to get a job making copies at mail boxes, or UPS store for $9.00 an hour.
Trying to re-invent myself ...Peace

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

countrydanny in Houston, Texas

68 months ago

Joanna in Loughborough, United Kingdom said: I am a researcher who would like to hear from older construction workers to find out your experiences of the industry. What skills do you bring to the job that younger workers are missing? Does the work become physically harder as you become older? Do you feel you have ever been discriminated against because of your age? I would love to hear from you.

hello;
im danny i am from dallas tx moved to houston in 1990,i am 60 yrs old
never graduated high school,been working since i was 16yrs old, been welding since i was 17,no trade school just good old OJT.6 yrs ago i found out that i had degenertive spine condition, and two yrs ago i had total knee replacement,and the other knee is bad as well,still haveing problems with the replacement,my last employer i was with for 17 yrs and after i could not function as a welder any more,i changed my job tittle and went into the tool room,but because of the economy i was laid off 11/20/09,just went on unemployment,unable to continue in my trade i have been trying to find employment tin the position as a tool room attendent,but without a ged
or experience in matienance and if you cant operate one type of machine or another,then they arent intrested,7 to 10 dollar an hour jobs these days
just dont pay the mortage.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

jon phillips in Houston, Texas

68 months ago

i'm from dallas also, been in houston for 30 years. i'm a carpenter, have been for 38 years. i got laid off aug.28, been looking for a job ever since. good luck to all us older guys,

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Hvacgln in San Diego, California

68 months ago

Hey, I have some more to add. Its hard to find any other job when all you know is beating you're self up out there day after day. After I hit 40 I hated my job and every one I worked with were backstabbers even people i've known for years... It just got to hard on my body and extremely frustrating putting up with the office's incompetence. Unemployment pays more than say...working at Home Depot. But that doesn't last forever and my benefits are running out.

I don't know what to do . I guess I'm going to let my unemployment run out and deal wit it then. I've thought about going back to school or something but .. To try an get an engineering degree or something. I'm just too burnt out. And my heart just wouldn't be into it. After all these years It's kinda hard to get excited about industry.

I've been spending more time with my kids, mountain bike riding and going on long hikes..Seems to help a little. good luck everyone, hvacgln

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No Reply - Report abuse

briankelly61 in Gilbert, Arizona

68 months ago

hi brian here ive been in the industry for 30 years plus have been a carpenter and a superintendent for the last 18 years and ive been out of work for over a year dont know why i havent got ten a job have taken resume classes my exp is great i have ran jobs from 100,000 to 50 mil and still no work what do you do cant even get a job as a dish washer went back to the carpenters union that didnt last because of my exp i know thats why im not working there it threatens people i guess let me know if you have any throughts on this thanks

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

briankelly61 in Gilbert, Arizona

68 months ago

oh by the way im only 48 and very fit

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Waywoo54@hotmail.com in Scio, Oregon

68 months ago

I am still not working. I just wonder if we will ever recover from this slow down. I will pray for all my brothers and sisters out there looking for work.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Carl Holbrook in San Diego, California

64 months ago

Joanna in Loughborough, United Kingdom said: I am a researcher who would like to hear from older construction workers to find out your experiences of the industry. What skills do you bring to the job that younger workers are missing? Does the work become physically harder as you become older? Do you feel you have ever been discriminated against because of your age? I would love to hear from you.

I'm 55 a Painter for 30+ years... It doesn't get harder to do your job I can still run circles around younger guys cause it's like 2nd nature to me where as their still learning. My biggest problem is finding work in this wonderful rescession. Never had so much trouble looking for work

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

tony in Memphis, Tennessee

63 months ago

i am a carpenter of 26 yrs i can frame any thing i can't find work and i am a united states american an i am here legally the guys south of the border are working in this country illegally come on america help your own

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No Reply - Report abuse

Nelson in San Diego, California

63 months ago

yeah, I posted here before, I now unemployed for yr. and a half now.. totally sucks no work in commercial HVAC. Yet all these people are in a up roar about Arizona's new law well I say the Mexicans ran the wadges down in my field where I live in San Diego and they should toughen up all the border states just like Arizona. Maybe some folks could get there jobs back. and quit letting rich as*holes gamble with our lives like those Goldman and sacks f*ckers. Creating the housing bubble to betting against it, and profit from peoples misfortune the get payed off a gain by a bail out with our tax money, they screwed us twice.
FU*KED UP

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

tlalmimilolpan in Knoxville, Tennessee

63 months ago

you are a closed minded moron saying that about the mexicans. the mexicans did NOT run wages down. you wanna blame someone? blame the AMERICAN contractors who decided to hire illegals at a lower rate of pay, instead of hiring americans. the contractor thinks and says, "why should i pay an american 16 something dollars an hour for hvac work, when i can hire an illegal who can do the same work as well for 8 dollars?" you KNOW what i am saying is true. they are money hungry. just like the auto manufacturing companies---why pay union auto workers nearly 20 dollars an hour when we can move the plant to a third world country and pay them less than 10 dollars a day?" and mexico IS a third world country. so, when they close the plants down in detroit and move them to mexico and other third world countries, why are you gonna hold that against the mexicans? there are MANY american auto plants in mexico. the mexicans did NOT move them down there on their own. the greedy AMERICAN owners of said companies moved them down there. if you aRE GONNA BE MAD, BE MAD AT THE RIGHT PERSONS. THE GREEDY AMERICAN CAR MANUFACTURERS ARE O BLAME. NOT THE MEXIVANS OR ILLEGALS. white and black men spend all day at highway rampos with signs saying, "daydreaming of a cheeseburger. anything change helps" or, "homeless. unmemployed. any change helps. God bless"------and in the evening, after they stood out there all day buming change, they hit the liguor stores and buy alcohol and cigarettes and if anything is left, they buy dope. but where do you find the illegals? they hang out at home depot and lowe's hoping some small time contractor will pick them up for the day so they can work. you do NOT see them on ramps with signs bumming. blame the greedy american contractors, my man. THEY started this.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (6) Reply - Report abuse

Galen in Salinas, California

62 months ago

I've been in the heavy construction, demolition, and hazardous waste removal for 10+ years.I'm hazmat certified, certified traffic control tech.,certified construction forklift operator, can operate everything from a shovel to a 330 cat excavator.I held a CDL A licence w/ all endorsements for 20 yrs before entering the construction trade ( should of kept that ). Now i'm 56yrs old,unemployed for over a year, and have applied for for any position that relates to my qualification, not only in the United States but world wide. I have a family that encludes a pair of twin 13yr old boys, we talked about the possibility of me working at a job were i'll be gone for months at a time and they agree, it's better than beinging unemployed and struggling. I have yet to hear from anyone, except " this position has been filled ". Don't you think age and wisdom account for anything? My last pay rate was $23.00hr.,now no one wants to pay more than $9.00hr.without benefits. I can't raise a family on that. All I can say is, I hope them cheap %*^&^%@s get what they pay for. I've always been proud of my work, doing it right the first time, safely and on time. The question now is, where do I go from here?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No Reply - Report abuse

Lucy in Coventry, United Kingdom

60 months ago

Hi Joanna

How did you get on with your research? I'm currently conducting a study into the reasons for early retirement from the construction industry and would love to hear of anything interesting you have found. I've conducted interviews with older construciton workers (over the age of 45) and am currently writing up my paper. Would be great to see if we could help each other out at all.

Thanks
Lucy (Nottingham, UK)

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

tlalmimilolpan in austin, Texas

60 months ago

the reason i retired early at 62 is because i had to have some kind of income coming in to pay for my medication, my monthly storage fee (for when i lost my home and put everything in storage), and for peronal items and monthly bus passes. my umemployment ran out after a year and after that, i had no income coming in. i resorted to riding my bicycle cross country in the u.s.a. and staying at campgrounds for 5 dollars or less. sometimes the campgrounds were free. i had to do this to survive. i have lived in a tent for several years now as i travel the usa with no particular place to go. some campgrounds will only let you stay for a week or so, so i have to constantly keep moving on. i have worked hard all my life and paid my taxes and social security, and now all i receive from the government is 571 dollars a month. what a shame this is happening more and more to other americans.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

jimgiles1940

60 months ago

Joanna in Loughborough, United Kingdom said: I am a researcher who would like to hear from older construction workers to find out your experiences of the industry. What skills do you bring to the job that younger workers are missing? Does the work become physically harder as you become older? Do you feel you have ever been discriminated against because of your age? I would love to hear from you.

Hi,I am 69 years old and in good health.I can out work most younger const workers because I know what to do and when.I have been in const 51 years as a builder and hands on worker in all phases of const.I have had as many as 5 large houses being framed with as many as 35 men at the same time and not missed a deadline.I sent resumes to several different companys and posted my experience on several sites and I have yet to receive even a call from anyone.I would gladly go to Haiti or anywhere for a couple years,But it seems no one wants us old people.If anyone can tell me how to do it I would gladly go.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

philip in Greenville, South Carolina

56 months ago

Joanna in Loughborough, United Kingdom said: I am a researcher who would like to hear from older construction workers to find out your experiences of the industry. What skills do you bring to the job that younger workers are missing? Does the work become physically harder as you become older? Do you feel you have ever been discriminated against because of your age? I would love to hear from you.

Experience- books and class rooms can only take you so far.30 something years ,you can learn alot,thats not in a book.personnally have never felt discriminated againts,but have been blessed with good health,and the fact that i really enjoy what i do.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Mr502 in Chicago, Illinois

54 months ago

Having been in cement for a few generations, now at 50, I haven't worked in a good year and a half. With the economy in the toilet, the unions reps are giving whatever work they can to their kids and kids friends. Or to the ones "they" see fit to give it to.

I enjoy(ed) the union wage and insurance, but,I, as one cannot fight the entire union, which is backed by the international. I will never see my pension, as I cannot get the requirred units or whatever it's called to qualify.

Corruption, greed and bacstabbing all play a part in the older workers getting screwed. And the sad part is, I have more stamina than these kids today.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

JBD in Sandpoint, Idaho

53 months ago

I,ve sent out two hundred resumes, I,ve worked in construction for over thirty years, in all aspects of the business. For the last twenty I have run my own company, due to the man make depression Wall Street created I lost my funding to keep my business running. Having said that I have nothing but rejections from every construction outfit that I have applied to. It seems that experience is not in high demand, When I went to college one could not get into a computer class unless you were a computer major, fast forward thirty years and you can't get a job unless your computer skills are of computer major education. What happened to the calculator that I was taught to use with just as good results. This country has to remember we of the over 50 group built and trained the kids of today. That is unless you work in every major city that has hired Eastern European undocumented workers that will work for less.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No Reply - Report abuse

trackman52@gmail.com in Clarksville, Tennessee

51 months ago

i am 59 years old and cant find a job been working const. all my life .operated heavyequipment 35 years custom work mostly.ive been in the dirtwork business and made good living for years. then 9/11/2001 everything went down hill fast.but im not one to live in the past.i am trying to sell my 963 cat trackloader & lowboy truck trailer cheep. anyway ive tried to find a operators job for six months.i talk to supers an can see in their faces they are not going to call me.old const.workers are just out of luck for finding a job.i guess after you give your life to const. and you get where you cant do it anymore they just throw you away.good luck to all out of older construction workers.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

hvacpro44@gmail.com in San Diego, California

51 months ago

Yep, time to go into service or maintenance.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

American Hard Hat in Somerville, Massachusetts

50 months ago

Hvacgln in San Diego, California said: Hello, I'm 46 and have work in the HVAC industry for 25yrs. What I've noticed is, the younger gen. just wants you're pay, without learning anything or paying any sort of dues. They will back stab you however and whenever possible. Most are worthless greenbacks.
I had to leave my job do to a simple sprained ankle injury and as soon as I took leave my job was gone. My job of installation of air ducts and units was very unpredictable. A 3 mo. lay off and I got so far behind on my mortgage I lost my house and property. Thank god my wife's a nurse and is still working for now. Later I found I had a hernia and had to go to surgery. Its been 4 months of job searching and nothing.
The job market is really lame here. if you have a BS degree in graphic design you might be able to get a job making copies at mail boxes, or UPS store for $9.00 an hour.
Trying to re-invent myself ...Peace

I am the casting producer for a new series on the Travel Channel called American Hard Hat.
We are looking for contestants who can operate big machines and are up for using them in amazing competitions.
If anyone you know is interested please email me at americanhardhat@powderhouse.net. Thanks

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

nicolenyc in Ridgewood, New York

40 months ago

Hi guys,
Can any of you help me,i try to get in touch with an old friend of mine,named Edward,he also goes by name Ed,he works as a ac installer,he did the installation at Westin Hotel Times Square,he live in Long Island.I have his old number but seems that he changed it.I would appreciate your help.
Thank you.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

casey in Saint Louis, Missouri

28 months ago

Im only 21 but im one of the fastest workers at my company i learn fast rarly take a day off and i Wont pass a pee test but it hasnt slowed me down

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

boredbuilder in Southfield, Michigan

10 months ago

Joanna in Loughborough, United Kingdom said: I am a researcher who would like to hear from older construction workers to find out your experiences of the industry. What skills do you bring to the job that younger workers are missing? Does the work become physically harder as you become older? Do you feel you have ever been discriminated against because of your age? I would love to hear from you.

I'm 40 self employed remodeler in mi. I hate every minute of my job. It sucks. I'm at the point of not returning calls anymore. Sick of the cheap stupid homeowners.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Bobby761 in Los Angeles, California

10 months ago

Joanna in Loughborough, United Kingdom said: I am a researcher who would like to hear from older construction workers to find out your experiences of the industry. What skills do you bring to the job that younger workers are missing? Does the work become physically harder as you become older? Do you feel you have ever been discriminated against because of your age? I would love to hear from you.

I am a journeyman and it has been hard for everyone in the "Land of Milk and Honey" During my off times our Pipefitters/Plumbers Union AKA DC-16 of Southern California recruits members of various ages. They call it "Organizing" each local is supposed to "Organize" AKA Jobs for Relatives of the Union. Our union is under the huge umbrella of the AFL-CIO, we give them millions of dollars of the union brothers money to be in their club. As a result, AFL-CIO give money to the Washington branch of the United Association so they can "Organize" it launders the money to justify paying for "Organizing". Most of the times a relative who would never get a job because he has been coddled by the union get the job as a Organizer. They make work up for the guy with at least 120 thousand a year with a credit card, car allowance, travel perks.
PART ONE:
These guys organize members, and knowingly lie to the new guys and say they will be taken care and jobs are available. The funny thing is there are no jobs. And it here are any jobs you are lucky if you work a month, you may average 3 months out of the year.
This organizing is a hoax. And here is the truth!!!
All insurance companies have a need to make a profit, they make a profit when you cannot collect.
It is the same with a union. A pension is nothing but an insurance program and they want to keep your money.
As a newbie union member they know they cannot provide jobs but they continue to organize because by joining the union your money goes into the pension program.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Bobby761 in Los Angeles, California

10 months ago

PART TWO:
You are losing your home and cannot stay in the union because you are broke and must get a lower wage job and you quit after a few years lets say after 6 years of part time union employment. Too many call by names etc. The union does not care because the intent of organizing is to build up the pension with money contributed by members who were organized. They have studies, research all the money in the world , they confer with lawyers and pension trustees that they need to organize. That the guys who get organized will be the sacrificial lambs to support the entire jurisdiction.

These officers in charge have meetings with actuaries etc. and know full well that jobs are almost non-existent and gamble that they will win the "House"! and they will and usually do.
So all the advertising of becoming union and "good Union Jobs" is a hoax on unemployed and naive workers. The organizers continue to get fat, they continue to add more people to speak with "Forked tongue".

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Bobby761 in Los Angeles, California

10 months ago

By now you kinda sorta got the picture.
Long and short, you will never get the money, you will either die or quit and all of the money placed into the pension stays there for the well fed officers and organizers.
It is like an insurance company where you paid for 6 years of monthly premiums then stopped payment, and you v\can no longer collect.
And like an insurance company they know full well what the union is capable of handling, employees etc. They know they cannot provide jobs and bet that the unemployed, heartbroken, downtrodden and desperate recently recruited by organizing worker will quit.
Once you quit you lose it and they thank you for the contribution to make their pension strong.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

anonymous in El Paso, Texas

6 months ago

These comments are scary to read. I'm 22 and I work in wireless construction, and I invest almost all of my pay in the stock market in hopes that I never have to face age discrimination. To anyone older than I who is facing this problem, I would look into truck driving or some other occupation that will pay the bills and respect your age.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.