If you’ve worked in metal fabrication for a while, you’d likely be hard pressed to recall a busier time. You also would be hard pressed to find a time when leaders of some of the country’s largest custom and contract metal fabricators have been so positive. Still, it’s been quite a ride.
The picture isn’t all rosy. Everyone is feeling the pinch of high material prices, and some are experiencing outright shortages. In fact, many fabricators are saying that they could actually sell more if they could find more people and material.
The labor supply and price roller coaster might be around for a while—many are predicting demand pressures to continue supporting high prices until later this year or perhaps into early next year—though eventually the ride will end. But what about the people shortages? Alas, that ride isn’t likely to end anytime soon.
Regardless, the industry has so many opportunities to offer the right person, as the stories that follow show. Metal fabrication may well be at an inflection point. Customer demand is pushing engineering to new levels, as many Employers’ are making extraordinarily large investments—not just a single machine here or there but entire factories full of new equipment.
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