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Construction companies re-working schedules as college students go back to school

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Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - School is starting, or already has in some places, forcing businesses who hire students to re-think their schedules.

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When students leave for college, construction companies still have to get their projects done.

Kevin Gorder/ Asst. District Engineer, NDDOT: "We start sliding staff around."

Or if they can, hiring replacements.

Sharon Schmidt/ Industrial Builders Inc.: "We always have an excess of applicants."

Every year at this time college students go back to school and for some construction projects that means losing a huge chunk of their workforce.

Kevin: "Our staffing is down a little bit so we're trying to scramble a little bit to figure out how this is all going to go together the rest of the fall."

But losing the students isn't the biggest problem construction crews have to deal with.

Kevin: "Weather actually impacts us a lot more than staffing."

And with cold weather just around the corner, losing a quarter of your crew like Industrial Builders Incorporated is on the 25th street project comes at a somewhat ideal time.

Sharon: "In the fall, you know, obviously we don't need as much help. Sometimes it's a good time, the project starts winding down."

Leaving only small projects left to do.

Kevin: "Striping, signing, signals, you know all those things, cross walks."

So delays from lack of staff are unlikely.

Sharon: "It doesn't really delay anything, it doesn't set us back any, it doesn't, things just kind of go on, you know?"

And just like other businesses in town, construction companies often keep students on part time working nights and weekends. 

Kevin: "We just keep them on and let them work a few, just a few hours when they can and do things like that just so that they can you know, help us out and it helps them out. So, it's kind of a nice deal."

A deal that benefits everyone involved.

Many colleges around Minnesota and North Dakota start fall semester this week.

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