Reshaping the Construction Industry

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

In light of the unsettling alarmist headlines, prevalent in media these days, we wanted to offer some factual data about Houston and Texas.  They come from a Federal Reserve conference on August 7th, a Houston Economics Club meeting on August 25th, and a Greater Houston Partnership Economic Advisory Panel on August 28th.   Read more » about Headlines Alarm – Facts Calm

With the support of a wide variety of companies and organizations from the construction industry, Construction Career Collaborative hosted 36 teams at its 5th annual golf tournament on a beautiful day at Sweetwater Country Club on Monday, September 21st. Players were treated to a box lunch prior to the noon shotgun start followed by a feast at the conclusion of the tournament that included chicken-fried chicken, blackened catfish, a variety of salads and vegetables, along with bread pudding for dessert. Each participant also received a black windshirt emblazoned with the red & white C3 logo on the chest with the logos of the three underwriting sponsors, Marek Family of Companies, McCarthy Building Companies and TD Industries, on the sleeves.

Other supporters of the tournament included reception/dinner sponsors Camarata Masonry Systems and Slack & Company, along with beverage station sponsors J.M. Maly (who provided a variety of premium cigars for participants) and American Subcontractors Association Houston Chapter (who gave away a premium ice chest) and the Texas Construction Association.    Read more » about C3 Hosts its 5th Annual Golf Tournament

Construction Dive writer Emily Pfeiffer recently reported on 10 trends that are impacting construction today, and we thought that you would relate to them. They include: increasing labor shortages; increasing use of BIM and other technology on jobsites; homebuilder mergers in the wake of the Standard Pacific/Ryland Group deal; tightening home inventory; tiny houses becoming more than a fad; heightened attention on jobsite safety and penalties; the emergence of 3D printing and offsite or pre-fab construction; growth of the green building market; government crackdowns on corruption in construction; and millennials possibly moving into the first time buyer market.

Those are all great points to consider in your business plans. We have covered several of them in the past as well, but I would like to add a couple of trends that you might also consider as you make your plans for the next few years in your business.    Read more » about Ten Trends Impacting the Construction Industry, Plus Two

Fewer than half of metros add construction jobs in August; Dodge starts, ABI drop

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.

Construction employment, not seasonally adjusted, increased from August 2014 to August 2015 in only 163 (46%) of the 358 metro areas (including divisions of larger metros) for which the BLS provides construction employment data, decreased in 153 (43) and was stagnant in 42, according to an AGC release and map today that analyzed BLS data. (BLS combines mining and logging with construction in most metros to avoid disclosing data about industries with few employers.) The number of metros with job increases was the smallest since late 2011. It is possible that employment gains in some metros were held down by a lack of available workers rather than lack of projects; 86% of the 1,358 respondents to an AGC survey released on September 10 said they were having difficulty filling hourly craft or salaried professional positions.    Read more » about AGC's Data DIGest: September 22-28, 2015

Marek Dallas Division President John Hinson wrote the following President’s Message for AWCI's Construction Dimension magazine. Hinson is the 2015-2016 President of AWCI.

I am honored to serve our industry for the next 12 months as president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry. I have worked in the wall and ceiling industry for 31 years and owe my success to my teammates who helped me perform to the best of my abilities. I am talking specifically about the craftsmen in the field who are making it happen every day. Without them I would not be in the role I am in today. In fact, not many of us would be in our current roles, right? We would not be successful, and we would not be in this business. We owe them our gratitude. Let me say that again, but louder: We owe them our gratitude.    Read more » about Create a Safety Culture

Hi there.  The Chamberlin Man here.

We got the opportunity to be our own client and perform work on new construction for our own office building this summer.  The Dallas area team has some new “digs” and though they are just down the road, the new office and the old are worlds apart.

The 28,000 square foot facility features a modern design created by Alliance ArchitectsSchwob Building Company was the general contractor.  And Chamberlin, naturally, completed the roof system, as well as the waterproofing, elastomeric coating, warehouse flooring, and the control joint work.

The energy efficient building features LED lighting and sensor faucets.  The 14,000 square foot warehouse space is home to Chamberlin’s in-house sheet metal fabrication shop. The training and conference room are both equipped with all the latest audiovisual controls allowing Chamberlin offices across Texas and Oklahoma to collaborate and communicate smarter and faster – ultimately serving clients better.   Read more » about We’ve Moved!

Community colleges along the Texas Gulf Coast are working overtime to meet the needs of employers and help a student population hungry for success.  Among other things I’ve learned lately, it was especially amazing to hear Lee College President Dennis Brown say many of the students enrolled in two-year programs already have four-year degrees and are returning to enhance their skills.  There is also the college’s “fast track” program – a way for the unemployed to gain critical skills in mere weeks.

I wanted to know more about their programs, so after our conversation with Brown and the rest of the Lee College leadership team, Construction Citizen took a tour of classrooms where students gain vital hands-on experience.

Pipefitting Instructor Mark Hartley told Construction Citizen he begins with the assumption that a person coming into his program knows nothing about the trade, despite the fact many of them do have at least some experience working in construction.  Hartley has to start with that assumption, he said, because students enrolled in his classes bring a diversity of backgrounds to the table.   Read more » about Conversations with Craft Professional Instructors at Lee College [VIDEO]

The National Football League faces a growing backlash over the way cheerleaders are compensated and the reason for it will sound very familiar to regular readers of Construction Citizen. Over the years, we’ve highlighted the practice of worker misclassification in our industry. Now other sectors of the economy are dealing with the issue in a variety of ways. Our industry insider Jim Kollaer noted just this week that the popular ride-sharing company Uber is under the legal microscope for whether its drivers should be classified as employees or independent contractors.

In the case of NFL cheerleaders, at least five lawsuits have been filed including one against the Oakland Raiders. The Oakland Raiderettes settled that lawsuit with the team’s owners for a reported $1.5 million.   Read more » about NFL Faces Lawsuits and Legislative Crackdowns Over the Way Cheerleaders are Paid

36 states, D.C. add construction jobs in last year; multifamily, hotel markets remain hot

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.

Seasonally adjusted construction employment rose in 36 states and the District of Columbia from August 2014 to August 2015, declined in 13 states and held steady in North Dakota, an AGC analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released today showed. The number of places with year-over-year gains was the smallest since April 2012. California again gained the most construction jobs (43,800 jobs, 6.5%), followed by Florida (25,700, 6.4%), North Carolina (13,200, 7.4%), Washington (12,800, 8.0%) and Texas (11,400, 1.7%). The highest percentage of new construction jobs were again added by Arkansas (14%, 6,200) and Idaho (10%, 3,600), followed by South Carolina (9.1%, 7,500) and Iowa (8.9%, 6,700). The steepest percentage losses again occurred in West Virginia (-15%, -5,100) and Rhode Island (-7.9%, -1,300), followed by Mississippi (-7.4%, -3,600), Ohio (-5.7%, -11,300) and New Mexico (-5.2%, -2,200).    Read more » about AGC's Data DIGest: September 16-21, 2015

The construction industry has fought the issue of independent contractors with no benefits or employees with full benefits for the last decade. Now the startup Uber is in the middle of two suits, and the ultimate outcomes on those decisions will impact their viability in the future.

And it is not just Uber. The decisions on these cases in California could have an impact on the viability and growth of “on demand” startups and the personal service businesses like Uber. The startups and their business models are a perceived threat to the “old way of life” where you got a job and benefits and you stayed with that company or industry model until you retired.   Read more » about Independent Contractor or Employee? Uber Under Fire


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