WASHINGTON—Construction projects across the U.S. are running short on labor just as $1 trillion in federal infrastructure money starts to kick in, leading companies to get creative in their quest to attract and retain workers.

In Southern states, contractors advertise sunny weather and 12 months of work on help-wanted websites in the frostier Northeast and Midwest, where highway construction goes dormant during the winter months. Project managers in remote areas are luring employees with signing and referral bonuses and per diems for housing, knowing they won’t be able to find enough workers locally.



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