The BP Whiting Refinery project continues to buoy the entire construction industry in Northwest Indiana, with as many as 13,000 construction trades workers on the job there at any one time.
"Without that I would hate to imagine what the industry here would look like today," said William Hasse III, president of Hasse Construction.
Hospitals and health care facilities are another bright spot in the industry, with the August opening of Porter Regional Hospital the most visible example, but far from the only one. Commercial construction, practically dormant through the recession, is beginning to recover with about a 10 percent increase in activity locally this year.
Figures from the Construction Advancement Foundation show about 22 percent more hours being worked by union construction workers in the region.
Another booster of construction activity is new businesses moving into Indiana, Hasse said. Those companies are building new facilities here to take advantage of the state's superior tax and business climate.
"We have seen a steady flow of businesses moving into Indiana, and that creates work," Hasse said.