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State of 208: Help wanted in the city of Meridian

Posted at 10:42 PM, Jan 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-14 00:42:31-05

MERIDIAN, Idaho — One of the many challenges facing the city of Meridian is finding qualified inspectors for all the growth that is happening.

Communities across the state are growing and trying to meet the demand, and when you throw in the competition factor with the private sector things get a little more tricky.

Meridian services development manager, Bruce Freckleton, has seen a lot of changes in the 20+ years he's been with the city, but nothing like this.

"We've had the hiring process going on nine months, and we've been able to hire two," Freckleton said. "With the way the economy is booming, most four-year experience journeymen are making good money out on the free market right now contracting. The availability of individuals to fill that position has been very limited."

Freckleton went before the City Council last month to explain how the current situation could affect the city's future.

"One of the things we see as a problem is that our inability to hire and Treasure Valley jurisdictions and across the state is that this could have a slowing effect on building," Freckleton said.

At the root of the problem: private companies can offer higher wages, but the situation is further hampered by Idaho law.

"Right now the state of Idaho requires inspectors to have a four year journeyman experience, and that's where cities like Meridian are hoping the 2019 legislature can help out," Freckleton said. "That's why our electrical program proposal is that the statute be looke at, and changed to allow other certifications to be able to qualify at the state level. We are proposing legislation that is going forward this coming session."

For now, if you're interested, they're still hiring.