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Housing Rebound Stymied by Spot U.S. Labor Shortages

Stephen Shelton wants his son to inherit his masonry company staffed with skilled craftsmen. To guarantee that happens, he started a school.

“It’s a real challenge to find really good skilled guys who aren’t 50 years or older,” said Shelton, owner of Shelton Masonry & Contracting and founder of the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh. The nonprofit provides 10 weeks of brick-laying training to participants, focusing on people with troubled pasts. It’s placed 42 people into full-time jobs since 2008, including five at Shelton’s company.