It wasn’t long ago when a large number of office buildings lay empty across San Jose and the rest of Silicon Valley. At one point, nearly 45 million square feet of office space was unused as a result of the dot-com bust followed by the Great Recession. But a recent report from the Silicon Valley Business Journal suggests office space in San Jose is hard to come by these days, with some businesses looking in other cities for additional office space.
Yet with demand for new office space still rising across the Bay Area, a number of major construction projects permeate the region and with it, more construction jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the San Jose construction industry have seen positive growth every single month this year. And despite the completion of Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, other construction projects in San Jose are in full swing.
Among San Jose’s largest construction projects currently underway are Cisco Systems’ new parking structure and Samsung America’s new North American headquarters in North San Jose and the new San Jose Earthquakes soccer stadium near the San Jose International Airport.
One of the top paid positions in the construction industry is construction managers, and in San Jose, first-line supervisors average more than $82,000 annually. With the prospects of a high-paying job in the San Jose area that’s much higher than the national average, more students are entering into community college programs in construction technology such as at San Jose City College and university-level programs like San Jose State University’s Civil and Environmental Engineering program and Stanford University’s Sustainable Design and Construction program.
While no one can accurately predict if the San Jose economy will stay red-hot, the future still seems quite positive for new construction workers and construction managers. In fact, San Jose City College states the industry is expected to grow by 16 percent in the next 10 years. As long as Silicon Valley continues to lead the world in technological innovation, the demand for new skilled workers in the construction industry is almost certain to follow.
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.