Construction is a large and complex worldwide industry constantly shaped by new information technologies, advanced materials, environmental policies, regulations and changing building methods. Most importantly, though, construction is shaped by people. Sustaining a strong industry requires attracting and valuing a skilled, career-driven, high quality workforce... who also like to build! How is the construction industry attracting the skilled workforce for future growth market demands? Do prospective candidates see construction as a viable career choice?

This is the first in a series of posts that will focus (sometimes with a bit or bite of humor) on the games that some GCs and subs play on your jobsite while they are working on your projects.

We are interested in exposing some of the dangerous, costly, and frankly, stupid practices in an attempt to make you aware and to encourage the industry to improve its practices in the future.

Let me start by relating a simple story that I saw happen on one of my first multifamily projects. Let me call it “now you see it, now you don’t.”

As a rookie architect, I was sent to a site in Dallas where a client was building a garden apartment project for our biggest private client. Not only was this particular developer the firm’s largest client, he was also the “most profit-minded client” (read cheapest).   Read more » about Games Contractors and Subs Play

Last month, I visited Lone Star College North Harris (LSC-North Harris) and spoke with Erica Jordan, Executive Director of Career and Technical Education about the skilled trades training programs at LSC and about the Construction and Skilled Trades Technology Center which is currently being constructed on that campus.

In her office on the Lone Star College-Tomball campus, Jordan advises students and works with representatives from the industry to advise them of potential hires which are coming out of the LSC programs and what particular skill sets each of them have.

Jordan works with a variety of programs offered by Lone Star College, including their Allied Health programs, Construction Trade programs, ATCP (Alternative Teacher Certification Program), and FastTrack non-credit programs.   Read more » about Director of CTE Discusses Workforce Training Offered at Lone Star College [VIDEO]

Under a deal with prosecutors, a construction firm based in Manhattan will pay out $9 million to avoid prosecution for over-billing clients over the years. The company will also be forced to establish a hotline that employees can call to report ethics violations.

We get the news via the New York Daily News:

Plaza Construction billed more than $2.2 million for hours not worked by laborers on projects that included the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Bronx Terminal Market, Federal Reserve Bank, and New York University, authorities said Thursday.

Under the deferred prosecution agreement with the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's office, Plaza will repay its clients which were defrauding in the scheme going back to 1999.

“The company defrauded its clients and abused the trust placed in it to provide construction services at some of New York's most storied sites,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Capers.   Read more » about New York Construction Firm Agrees to Big Settlement to Avoid Fraud Prosecution

Yesterday the Greater Houston Partnership hosted a reception in their newly-built convening space located in the heart of downtown to allow media including myself an opportunity to view their gorgeous venue designed to show visiting CEO’s and government dignitaries exactly how wonderful and diverse the Houston region is for both business and living.

Partnership Tower is a ten-story building consisting of parking below and office space above, and featuring a 13,000 square foot configurable space which opens up to a 2,030 square foot terrace overlooking the George R. Brown Convention Center, Discovery Green, and the Marriott Marquies hotel.  Views from the floor-to-ceiling walls inside offer impressive views of the downtown skyline as well as Minute Maid Park, home to the Houston Astros, next door.  Also nearby is BBVA Compass Stadium and easy access to the light rail system.  While it is difficult to look away from the stunning view of the city outside, the interior wall of the hall featured a photo wall consisting of local scenes representing industry and leisure and showing the many faces of the region, all taken by Houston-based photographers.   Read more » about Partnership Tower Offers Stunning New View of Houston

Gulf Coast area community colleges will host Date with Destiny, a free one-day conference on Oct. 13, 2016 for women who strive to work in the petrochemical industry. 

Sponsored by Shell Oil Company, Date with Destiny is an annual conference designed for high school juniors and seniors, current college students and recent college graduates. Attendees will learn how to network, apply for petrochemical jobs, write résumés and interview with employers in the industry.

The morning will begin with a welcome by David Smith, Shell’s manager of operations and craft recruitment, followed by the presentation “A Day in the Life of an Operations and/or Crafts Woman” by Christine Smith, a Shell production team leader. David Esquibel with Shell’s Workforce Community Strategic Initiative will also speak to the audience about scholarships. A panel discussion will be held before lunch and include insight from Shell maintenance and operations staff and contractors Jenny Weinmann, Terri Hardy, Sara Kenerly, Miranda Weldon and Monique Bryant.   

 Read more » about Conference Set for Women in Petrochemical

two seattle sound transit trains at stopContractors are not the only builders. Chambers of Commerce around the US and the globe are historically true builders as well. These business organizations help build community, recruit new company relocations, advocate for new infrastructure, educational facilities, and sports facilities. All of those facilities and projects create construction jobs in their local regions.

We were surprised recently to see that the Bellevue Washington Chamber of Commerce had issued a statement that they would not support the Sound Transit 3, or ST3, infrastructure proposal on the ballot in the Seattle region in November.

The ST3 package is a $54 billion transit package of short and long-range projects to be built over the next 20 years. Truly these are long-range infrastructure projects. Read more » about What’s In It For Us – Today?

Hi there. The Chamberlin Man here.

As you know, time, weather, pollution, corrosion and general use cause buildings and parking garages to show visible signs of their age and ultimately prompt owners and managers to seek restoration and repair services. Parking garages are in a class by themselves because of the wear and tear generated by the structural load and movement due to vehicular traffic and weather changes. The Chamberlin team are aces when it comes to parking garage remedies.

You know what else we specialize in? Proactive maintenance that can save a boat load of money and ultimately increase the lifespan of a building or parking structure. Like anything else, the longer you let something go, the more it is liable to cost you.   Read more » about Repair, Restore, Renew: It’s What We Do

Earlier this month, I visited Lone Star College North Harris (LSC-North Harris) and spoke with Michael Burns, Dean of Career and Applied Technology Division, and Brian Sanders, Director of Applied Technology about the Construction and Skilled Trades Technology Center which is currently being constructed on that campus.

Michael Burns told me that he is the Dean of Construction overseeing Automotive Technology, Diesel Technology, HVAC, Welding Technology, Inspection, Electrical Technology, Architectural Design, Mechanical Design, and Pipefitting.  He has worked for Lone Star College for nearly seven years.   Read more » about Lone Star College Administrators Talk About Skilled Craft Training Expansion [VIDEO]