New projects, maintenance, and turnarounds will push labor demand to a peak of more than 30,000 people in late 2014, according to The Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance Inc.’s Semi-Annual Contract Labor Forecast.

The report, issued twice a year, is designed to help education providers and industry recruit skilled workers.

The current survey shows the top industrial crafts in demand are welders, instrument & electrical technicians, pipefitters, millwrights, and scaffold builders and other “soft crafts” such as insulators and carpenters, said Connie Fabre, executive director of the alliance. Process technicians and laborers are also in high demand; BASF recently hired 21 operators.

GBRIA is a trade association whose members consist of 55 petrochemical, energy, paper, pharmaceutical, storage terminal and other industrial facilities, located in eight parishes around Baton Rouge. The group has been working with educators, state agencies and other trade associations over the last 18 months to raise awareness of the need for more skilled craft workers. In addition, several GBRIA members have supported pilot programs in North Baton Rouge and in East Iberville to reach out to more Louisianans to start training now for the coming need.

“The time is at hand and the opportunity is now to raise the level of skills in Louisiana so that greater prosperity and an improved lifestyle can be achieved for so many of our citizens who are searching for it,” Fabre said.

Fabre urged those who seek a better job to consider a career in industry.