A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Reshaping the Construction Industry

With the advent of the Arizona Immigration law, SB 1070, the filing of Amicus Briefs by 27 states, and the challenge to the Arizona law, many of us are not watching the Wage Theft and Employee Misclassification movement underway in a large number of states.This movement involves religious organizations like Interfaith Worker Justice and Centro de Trabajadores Unidos.  It has spread through Florida, New York, Chicago, Iowa, New Jersey, New Mexico and New Hampshire.  Most of the laws focus on the misclassification of workers as temporary or independent contractors where the result on the workers can be devastating and substantial.  The laws impose stiff penalties on employers in a broad range of industries who have a history of wage theft through misclassification.  
August 05, 2010
A recent discussion about Building Information Modeling (BIM) on a McGraw Hill Construction forum provides some interesting reading as small business owners were asked about their...
August 04, 2010
SB 1070, the Arizona immigration bill passed and is in force, almost.  The US Department of Justice filed suit and won a restraining order to stop certain parts of the bill....
August 03, 2010
The BP oil spill has taken a positive turn in the Gulf and the next issue for the major news media and all of the bloggers will be the happenings in Arizona.  The Arizona...
July 28, 2010
Matt Capece tracks the issue of worker misclassification and off the books payments for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, whose home office is in Derby...
July 26, 2010
In a message posted last February by Mark H. Ayers, president of Building & Construction Trades Department, Mr. Ayers expresses his frustration with the prevalent practice of misclassification of workers in order to get away with under-compensating workers in the industry.  One major side-effect of misclassification is workers not receiving deserved benefits such as health insurance.  Ayres points out that lack of affordable health care options for those who are misclassified as independent contractors results in high numbers of uninsured workers.  This ultimately costs the taxpayers money in higher emergency room costs for the uninsured and their families.  Ayres writes:  “The construction industry – again, an industry dominated by the utilization of a low-wage, low-skill workforce – saddles the U.S. health care system with the highest injury and illness rate among all private industries.  In fact, it has the highest rate of non-fatal injuries and illnesses of any American industry, and it has three times the fatality rate of other private industries.
July 25, 2010
We made mention of this subject in an earlier blog post and we have seen several other discussions that talk about the pros and cons of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) as part...
July 23, 2010
According to an article in the July-August 2010 issue of Design-Build Dateline, even though construction firms tend to adopt new ideas and methods a bit slowly, Lean construction...
July 22, 2010
Construction company owners listen up.  According to an article in Finance Review, the IRS is undertaking 6,000 additional random audits over the next 3 years in order to...
July 20, 2010
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry lost 22,000 jobs during the month of June.  Some might assume this means that recruiting an adequate workforce is no longer a burning issue, but we know that despite the current conditions, there will be a shortage of construction workers by 2018 especially in the mid-level jobs.  My company recently completed the team building exercise of describing our ideal workforce for 2015.  It turns out that we have some work to do.  We are a commercial subcontractor and live and die by the talents and efforts of our supervisors, foremen, lead men, and journeymen.  In our exercise, we described each job title and how they would demonstrate leadership in every area of focus: productivity, safety, quality, company culture, and workforce development (training and developing future talent).  
July 07, 2010