A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Reshaping the Construction Industry

You might know him from the Discovery channel program, Dirty Jobs or more recently as the spokesman for Ford on the Super Bowl ads, but did you know that Mike Rowe has a construction industry website meant to entertain and inform?  It is a creative way to see more of what the industry has to offer including 112 job profiles, videos of skilled tradesmen talking about their work, job listings and much more.  For example, in his introduction to the “Work Is Not The Enemy” section, he talks about the image of skilled labor and how the attitude toward those who make things in their jobs has changed.
February 13, 2011
Democratic lawmakers in Nevada outlined a jobs bill that they will submit to the Nevada Assembly on Monday.  The bill is aimed at keeping construction projects “Nevada...
February 11, 2011
The political protests and related violence over the past few weeks in Egypt have not surprisingly impeded progress on construction projects in that country.  Many international companies have evacuated their employees to their home countries, while local firms have closed offices and asked their staff to remain at home.  Prior to the unrest, those in the industry were looking forward to a successful year as the government had promised to fund several large infrastructure projects and construction projects in general were on the increase.Engineering News-Record (ENR.com) reported today on the situation after talking with representatives from several firms with ongoing projects there.
February 10, 2011
Construction Citizen attended a lecture this week about Ethical Dilemmas in Construction Industry Labor Practices at Texas A&M University along with over 275 students and...
February 04, 2011
Lawrence Rebman, director of the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, spelled it out very clearly in his recent Director’s Spotlight entitled Worker...
February 03, 2011
We received a link to a Yahoo Finance article from a fan of Construction Citizen.  The article is entitled: Coalition of 'Unlikely Bed Fellows' Continues Growing to Nail...
February 03, 2011
In an article posted by The Huffington Post earlier this month, columnist Afton Branche writes about wage theft and other abuse which day laborers endure far too often at the hands of unscrupulous employers.  The article was inspired by the release this month of a study prepared by the Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic at the Seton Hall Law School Center for Social Justice in Newark.Titled All Work and No Pay: Day Laborers, Wage Theft, and Workplace Justice in New Jersey, the study’s findings are based on interviews with day laborers found at pick-up lots across the state of New Jersey.  The study points out that wage theft
January 28, 2011
Mike Holland, Division President for Marek Brothers Systems Houston, shared his thoughts with me prior to a goal-setting meeting earlier this month about workforce planning....
January 26, 2011
In a January 19th Houston Chronicle article entitled, Working: A plea for fair play, L.M. Sixel discusses how due to the economy, many construction companies are resorting to misclassifying their workers as 1099 or independent contractors instead of employees in order to get out of paying payroll taxes and benefits.Marek Brothers Systems, a Houston-based commercial interior construction firm, rightfully classifies its 2,000 workers as employees, which, according to the article, means "Marek pays the employer's half of Social Security taxes, pays unemployment insurance taxes, and provides employees a 401(k) plan and subsidized health insurance."
January 20, 2011
As you saw in David Dennis’ blog post earlier this week, these are the times when doing the right thing becomes more important than ever but it becomes even harder when owner’s and the competition is squeezing you, your profits and your training for the future.Since the recession and the current unemployment in our industry of over 20%, many of us have shelved training for a workforce for the future. One thing we need to remember about the future is that it arrives whether we are ready or not. One of my friends told me the other day that the future is already here, it is just not widely distributed yet.In the 2008 US Bureau of Labor Statistics study of the workforce needs for the next decade we learned that the industry would likely need 1,800,000 new construction workers by 2018 to offset the retirements and the demands for new construction. Surely we have had to reset those numbers and extend that period to 2020, but the demand and the need will be there.  
January 19, 2011