A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Reshaping the Construction Industry

At a press conference to announce the kick-off a capital campaign to complete SER’s new Workforce Opportunity Center in Houston’s East End, civic and community leaders spoke at the construction site of what will become SER’s new headquarters.  The $17 million project is a joint public-private venture for which $11.5 million has already been raised.  Watch a video in which Brittany Torres shares her story of how she has recently benefitted from SER’s YouthBuild Houston program which helped her receive her GED and complete training to become a certified welder.
October 06, 2017
Experts in the construction industry met at a luncheon hosted by the American Subcontractors Association Houston Chapter recently to talk about employer responsibility for worker safety on the jobsite. The panel discussion focused largely on safety education and risk assessment, employer liabilities in situations of co-employment, and employer responsibilities when there’s a filing with OSHA or a workers’ compensation claim. 
October 05, 2017
Construction spending totaled $1.218 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in August, 0.5% higher than in July, and 2.5% higher year-over-year (y/y) from the August 2016 rate, the Census Bureau reported Monday. Public construction increased 0.7% for the month but declined 5.1% y/y.
October 04, 2017
Houston has been in the headlines a lot after Hurricane Harvey came through our region and dumped up to nearly 52 inches of rain in some places. While a few outliers wrote about Houston’s no zoning “Wild West” expansion, the majority focused on the resilience of our city, the get ‘er done mentality that had strangers helping strangers, and the compassion of our neighbors who dropped everything to lend a hand. As the water recedes, the damage has become clear, and it is, remarkably, much less than expected. This storm’s damage was mostly located in our homes.
October 03, 2017
Across the street the Millennium Tower continues to sink at a rate much higher than expected. Residents of the pricey condo tower have filed a lawsuit against the City of San Francisco claiming that the de-watering of the Salesforce Transit Center caused the soil to lose its bearing capacity thereby creating the problem for the tower, developed by Millennium Partners in New York City.
October 02, 2017
In the midst of an acute labor shortage on the Gulf Coast and after the passage of an immigration crackdown in Texas that’s already creating challenges for recruitment in construction, we now get news from the Associated General Contractors of America that Houston lost the most industry jobs nationally – 4,500 workers – between August 2016 and August 2017.
September 29, 2017
We recently reported on a panel discussion called Undocumented City about the issues surrounding the undocumented immigrants who live in the Houston area.  Following the event which was presented by the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University and the Houston Immigration and Legal Services Collaborative, I spoke with a few of the evening’s attendees.
September 28, 2017
Recently I visited my hometown of Amarillo, Texas, USA in time to go to the Tri State Fair, that annual gathering of folks from the panhandle areas of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. I had not been there since the 1960s when, as a thrill-crazy kid I would play every “rigged game” and ride the wildest rides they had on the Midway.
September 27, 2017
The Texas Standard, a statewide radio program that airs on NPR stations throughout the state, has been doing an in-depth series on the realities faced by undocumented people who live here. As part of the series, reporter Joy Diaz took a look at the plight of undocumented workers in the construction industry.
September 26, 2017
Coalition to Save Local Businesses Executive Director Michael Layman released the below statement on the recent House Education and the Workforce joint subcommittee hearing on the Save Local Business Act (H.R. 3441).
September 25, 2017