A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Reshaping the Construction Industry

A favorite quote among training professionals is one from Zig Ziglar, “What’s worse than training your workers and losing them?  Not training them and keeping them.”How appropriate for our industry!  The ManpowerGroup’s 2011 Talent Shortage Survey lists “skilled trades” as one of the top 10 in demand jobs and the most difficult to fill.  You can look back to previous surveys and one of the top 10 occupations listed every year is skilled trades workers.  (See chart below from page 6 of the report.)In addition, construction, manufacturing, retail and technology industries are all competing for the same workforce which makes training no longer up for discussion or debate if we want to stay competitive.  Quite simply, our survival depends upon it.  
Katrina Kersch's picture
October 25, 2011
Several weeks ago, 300 Houstonians gathered at the Bell Tower event center for the unveiling of the 2040 Scenarios for the Houston region.  This unveiling to the community was the result of over two years of work at the Center for Houston’s Future (CHF).  With the help of the CHF team led by London-based strategist and scenario planner Dr. Barbara Heinzen, thirty volunteers from throughout the region studied, researched, debated, cajoled and in that dialog developed two alternative scenarios of what the Houston Region might be like in 2040, 30 years into the future.The brochure handed out to the attendees after the unveiling states, “The Center for Houston’s Future has completed Scenarios 2040, the largest public-interest, business-led, regional scenario project in the country.”The two scenarios, Playing to Win and Learning to Live, are now being rolled out around the community in small groups of industry leaders and the dialog has begun ...  
Jim Kollaer's picture
October 24, 2011
Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney exchanged heated words during Tuesday’s debate after Perry accused Romney of hiring illegal immigrants to work as...
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
October 20, 2011
Some employers who have been paying employees as independent contractors have now been given a chance to reclassify these workers and move forward without paying the penalties and...
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
October 19, 2011
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) will host their annual Safety and Health Committee Conference in San Antonio, Texas in January.  The three-day event will...
Construction Citizen's picture
October 18, 2011
On Thursday, October 6, the Houston Interfaith Worker Justice Center (HIWJ) hosted an event to raise awareness of the wage theft crisis in America.  The Houston Wage Theft Forum featured moderator Francisco “Pancho” Arguelles Paz y Puente: former teacher, activist, author, co-founder of HIWJ, and current co-director of Colectivo Flatlander.  Attendees were invited to come and hear from a panel of workers from various industries who shared their experiences of wage theft abuse and from responsible business professionals who are struggling to remain competitive in a market where others are cheating their workers.  Dinner was provided as well as listening devices through which the entire evening was translated so that anyone who was not bilingual in English and Spanish could understand what each speaker said during the evening, which alternated between the two languages.  The purpose of the event was to encourage citizens to join the fight to make Houston, and ultimately the United States, a “zero tolerance place for wage theft
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
October 13, 2011
The federal minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 per hour, but 18 states and the District of Columbia have higher minimum wage rates, as they have laws which adjust the...
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
October 12, 2011
As we stated earlier this week, the employment numbers that came out this morning from the Bureau of Labor Statistics may be telling as to whether we are still recovering, stagnating or slipping back toward the edge of another recession.  They are, at best, mixed.  That means more uncertainty, less likelihood of more hiring and another month of sluggish activity – not so positive for the construction industry.There were some new jobs created, but when we looked a little deeper, we found a problem.  According to the BLS press release that came out at 8:30 this morning,“Nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 103,000 in September, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  The increase in employment partially reflected
Jim Kollaer's picture
October 07, 2011
Today, The WorkFaith Connection of Houston held its 4th annual fundraising breakfast with keynote speaker Herman Cain.  There was an overflow crowd.The WorkFaith Connection is a group who works with individuals in transition from prison to the workplace.  The message is that it is possible to make the right choices and decisions that will give you a productive life for the future.  The Connection shows individuals that someone cares for them and that they can learn new skills, through God’s help, that will enable them to transition back into the workforce in a responsible manner.  Many of their clients find work in the construction industry.  Several of their clients spoke about their experiences.  One of the most poignant stories was Freda Smith’s story.Ms. Smith was introduced by her son, Dominic Miller, who attends the “5-0” University of Houston on a full football scholarship.  Freda’s story is that she served 24 months in a federal prison facility for accepting child support money that was later proven to be drug money.  She served her time and then, in her transition, became a client at the WorkFaith Connection.  Through the team at WorkFaith, she found a job where
Jim Kollaer's picture
October 06, 2011
The latest employment numbers will be released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) this Friday, October 7 and we are all on “pins and needles” waiting to see what they tell us.  There has been talk around the country that we are either emerging from the economic doldrums or heading into a double dip recession.  It is hard to tell where we are, especially with the politicians spouting their rhetoric in the debates and in the media.  This Friday’s numbers should give us a better indication of where we stand.The latest numbers indicated that 90.9% of us are employed and 9.1% of us are looking for work.  They also indicated that 60,000 new workers applied for unemployment.  The numbers in our industry, according to the latest ENR review (subscription required), are still in the 85-87% employed
Jim Kollaer's picture
October 03, 2011