Reshaping the Construction Industry

In a previous post, I wrote about my interviews with four students who will soon graduate from Dickinson High School (DHS).  We talked about their experiences in the Manufacturing (Welding) program there, part of the school’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program.  After speaking with the students, I then talked with two of their welding instructors, Mike Perry and Ricky Cox.

Mike Perry has been teaching in the welding program at DHS for six years.  Prior to teaching, Perry had worked as a welder for 20 years for a “Mom and Pop” shop, working indoors and “doing a lot of TIG welding – doing a little bit of stick and MIG and just whatever projects come up.”

I asked him what he thinks the welding program at DHS gives to the students.  Perry answered:

“It gives them a lot of real world application.  Everything that they do in here, they are going to do out there.  They get to put their hands on everything that they are going to use in the industry before they get out there.  I think that is really good for them.”   Read more » about High School CTE Program, Part 2: Interviews with Welding Instructors [VIDEO]

The recent announcement by the IRS Commissioner that the agency is moving forward with hiring hundreds of additional agents has sparked a debate about exactly how those new resources should be utilized. Some leaders in the construction industry have told Construction Citizen that if the government has more people on hand to enforce the law, proper classification of workers should be a priority.

Misclassification is the practice of designating an employee as a "1099 worker" or an independent contractor when that person, by law, should be compensated as an employee.

Unscrupulous employers do it as a way of sidestepping payroll taxes, unemployment taxes, and workers’ compensation insurance.    Read more » about IRS Hiring Additional Agents, Providing Additional Resources for Misclassification Enforcement

Craft labor shortages are a serious issue with an enormous impact on project productivity.  To gain a better understanding of productivity from their perspective, the Construction Labor Market Analyzer and the Construction Users Roundtable have collaborated in recent years to conduct surveys of construction owners, contractors and unions across the United States.

The new CLMA® white paper, Construction Productivity in an Imbalanced Labor Market, assimilates that data and addresses the construction industry productivity and labor shortage challenges.  It covers 6 key topics, and is now available for download.

  • Construction Productivity Historically
  • Construction Productivity Today
  • Productivity and Project Outcomes
  • Impact of Skilled Labor Shortages on Productivity
  • Mitigating Project Risk
  • Improving Productivity

The data verifies that an imbalanced labor market is a clear leading indicator of poor productivity.  This white paper offers the opportunity to hear from your peers about the labor risk and decreasing industrial construction productivity issues they’re facing.   Read more » about Construction Productivity in an Imbalanced Labor Market

Dodge, ConstructConnect diverge on construction starts trend; PPIs rise in April

Editor’s note: Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.

Two firms that collect data on the value of new construction starts issued starkly different assessments of April and year-to-date (YTD) starts for the first four months of 2016 combined compared to year-ago periods. April starts slumped 8% from March's level at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, Dodge Data & Analytics reported on Wednesday. "Nonresidential building pulled back [-19%] following its sharp March increase, and residential building also declined [-8%] due to a slower pace for multifamily housing. Meanwhile, the nonbuilding construction sector showed improvement [+10%], with public works strengthening after its lackluster March performance. Through the first four months of 2016, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were reported...down 12% from...a year ago.    Read more » about AGC's Data DIGest: May 7-20, 2016

On Friday, May 6, 2016, at Brady’s Landing, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Greater Houston and Construction & Maintenance Education Foundation (CMEF) hosted a Membership Breakfast with a theme centering around Workforce Development.  Approximately 200 members, educators and supporters listened to a panel of industry leaders speak about workforce training issues affecting the construction industry.

“Our members are committed to working together to develop solutions to solve the skilled labor shortage the industry is facing,” said Russell Hamley, President of the ABC Greater Houston Chapter.   Read more » about Industry Leaders Come Together to Address Workforce Development

The following article was written by Don Cerlanek, General Manager of MEMCO (Marek Employment Management Company) Atlanta:

Representatives of the City of Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, the American Subcontractors Association - Georgia Chapter, the State Office of Economic Development/Go Build Georgia and the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division recently met with the leadership of Marek, a leading Atlanta subcontractor, to discuss rapidly developing issues linked to a shortage of qualified construction workers in the Atlanta region.

The discussions identified the current state of the construction industry in the Atlanta region and across the nation that are creating the skilled labor shortages. These shortages are contributing to the inability to attract new talent into the industry and to companies like Marek. According to the construction industry representatives in the meeting, there were four parts identified as the “problem.”   Read more » about Marek Team Briefs Atlanta Officials on Regional Skilled Workforce Shortages

The following article was authored by Rob Vanya of San Jacinto College:

San Jacinto College is introducing new courses in HVACR in response to requests by industry partners and to enhance the training of graduates of the program.

As with many skilled craft trades, HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration) is evolving and adapting due to rapidly changing technology. The San Jacinto College HVACR program offers a wide range of courses and degree options at the North and South campuses, and stays in step with trends and developments by maintaining industry partnerships and advisory committees at both campuses.   Read more » about San Jacinto College to Expand Training in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration

A shortage of skilled labor along the Gulf Coast has one major company going back to its roots when it comes to training a workforce for the future. The Construction Citizen team recently had a chance to tour Fluor’s new craft training facility in Pasadena, where students are being trained at no cost to them.

As you might imagine, a waiting list has formed of people from all walks of life interested in preparing for a solid career.

While we toured the facility, one student told us his father had heard about the training center in a TV news story. “I was trying to gain some more hands-on experience in my craft," said student Wynton Perro, adding that he jumped at the chance to be a part of what’s happening.   Read more » about Demand for Skills Training on Display at Fluor’s New Gulf Coast Training Center

The following article originally appeared in the May newsletter to clients of Kiley Advisors, LLC.  Reprinted with permission.

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

That statement, attributed to the late Peter Drucker, Founding Dean of the Management Consulting Profession, is never truer than at this very time.  Only companies with strong, value-based, magnetic cultures will be the big winners in the business environment that is becoming more evident every day.  There is an intense war for talent, and there is a relentless march of technology.  Smart companies will have smart people empowered with smart technologies, working in teams, to achieve superior performance targets.

So what are the elements of a culture, in light of both the present and the future market conditions, that are proven to attract, retain, develop and excel?  Valid research is now confirming the building blocks.  First, winning cultures are based on values that stem from deeply held core beliefs about the value of people, the treatments of clients and all building partners, and the obligation of the company to the industry and community.   Read more » about Is Your Culture a Magnet?

Hi there.  The Chamberlin Man here.

When you have an MVP on your team, you win.  That’s why we’re especially proud to call Chamberlin Roofing Superintendent Curtis Purvis one of our very own.

At the recent National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) annual convention, Curtis was named one of the Roofing Industry’s MVPs.  As if that wasn’t exciting enough, he also took home the industry’s top honor – the “Best of the Best” MVP award.  To be clear, the Best of the Best award is given to only one professional in the country.  Our guy, Curtis, was named the “top gun” of our industry.  Pretty nifty!

Curtis is truly a role model who demonstrates work-related and personal goals to which others aspire.  That’s what being an MVP is all about.

Curtis was kind enough to share the spotlight with a couple other exciting wins for Chamberlin as a whole.  The company received two Gold Circle awards, both for our work at Dallas Love Field.  We received an honorable mention in Outstanding Workmanship, Low Slope category and also the highly sought after Gold Circle Safety Award.  As the only winner for safety, we’re especially proud of   Read more » about We’ve Got the “Top Gun" Best of the Best!

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