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News Story
Updated: 03/19/2017 08:30:01AM

Jobs plentiful

Workers, not so much

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“We run into issues where councils and county commissions are obstinate, stuck in their ways, and don’t see the bigger vision.” — Sondra Guffey, West Villages

“The old zoning that we have in place here cannot meet the requirements of new developments.” — Bruce Laishley

“The parents have to know that their kids can make $75,000 a year, not that they have to go to college and have $75,000 worth of debt.” — Julie Mathis, Charlotte County Chamber

“I’m looking at the horizon and where we need to go.” — Lucienne Pears, Charlotte economic development

“If we keep turning over our young people, you lose that sense of community.” --- Todd Rebol, Enterprise Charlotte Economic Council

“That self interest is driving much of what you have in development. It’s holding us back.” — Randy Welker, North Port economic development

“I feel like I’m battling those forces and that philosophy that you have to go to a four-year college and get a college degree because you will make more money.” — Deelynn Bennett, Charlotte Technical College

“The commissioners and the councilmen have to quit looking at the people in the room.” — Lyn Bevis Re/Max Harbor Realty

SUN PHOTO BY MICHELE HASKELL

New home construction is under way on Monaco Drive in Punta Gorda. Only a lack of skilled labor is holding back a housing boom according to those in the construction industry.

SUN PHOTO BY MICHELE HASKELL

New home construction on Madrid Boulevard in Punta Gorda.

SUN PHOTO BY MICHELE HASKELL

Construction has begun of the five-story, 103-room Marriott Springhill Estates hotel on the City Marketplace property at the corner of West Retta Esplande and Harborside Boulevard.

By GARY ROBERTS

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SOUTHWEST FLORIDA — After the housing collapse a decade ago, construction jobs fled the area, with families and their children following suit, leaving a raft of problems in their wake.

The exodus of a skilled workforce created a void that has yet to be filled. Charlotte County Public Schools has lost 2,000 students in the last eight years, despite an overall population gain, giving rise to a financial crisis in the district and a depleted labor force.

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