A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Reshaping the Construction Industry

In our current economic situation, when money is tight, most subcontractors face the same dilemma.  The owners are demanding the least expensive project cost all the while believing that the project will be built "Per Plans & Specs", and "On Time."  Each general contractor has their own set of safety and quality standards.  The sub then has to submit their proposal knowing the material costs are almost the same, the labor hours somewhat comparable, and the equipment similar.  Really, the main variables are overhead and profit.  Now that general construction jobs are limited, the profit is minimized or set at breakeven and overhead has already been cut to the bone, so where does that leave safety and quality?  It takes money for employee training sessions, meetings, and safety equipment. Quality comes from attention to detail and an employee mindset where craftspeople evaluate their own work and ask "would I buy this?"  
David Dennis's picture
January 17, 2011
This letter is from the first newsletter that we received going into the new year and it is important.  It describes one company’s workforce development program that meets...
Jim Kollaer's picture
January 15, 2011
In spite of the recession, luxury retailers continue to market to the wealthy who visit Las Vegas from all over the world each year.  Vegas is the home of the famous Caesars...
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
January 13, 2011
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is considering interagency collaboration to step up enforcement of worker misclassification violations in Texas, a point they discussed in a meeting with construction industry leaders in December.Misclassification occurs when employers wrongfully identify their employees as independent contractors by providing them with a 1099 form instead of the W-2 for employees or by paying wages in cash and failing to withhold taxes.  By misclassifying their workers, unscrupulous employers cut their costs by getting out of paying payroll taxes and fraudulently obtaining workers compensation policies for fewer workers than they actually employ.When government agencies such as the TWC, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and the Attorney General of Texas share information, they can improve enforcement efforts by identifying likely violations for more effective investigations.
Emily Timm's picture
January 11, 2011
Steel construction on One World Trade Center, formerly called the Freedom Tower, reached the 52nd floor just before Christmas last month, marking the half-way point toward...
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
January 10, 2011
If we are in the bottom of the recession river, it is much wider than most folks thought it might be.  The recovery is taking longer that the economists thought and the...
Jim Kollaer's picture
January 06, 2011
Cyndi Mergele, Senior Manager at Padgett, Stratemann & Co., L.L.P. in San Antonio, wrote an interesting article for the Construction News, a newspaper focusing on the...
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
January 05, 2011
As much as the construction industry wanted to see 2010 come to an end, we are now faced with 2011 as a year of accelerating change.  Based on the latest figures from...
Jim Kollaer's picture
January 04, 2011
As the year winds down and we prepare to take on 2011, many of us will take a moment or two to reflect on where we are and perhaps even commit to a few changes to propel us closer...
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
December 30, 2010
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported yesterday:“Eight illegal aliens in a minivan stopped by state police at the turnpike interchange in New Stanton Monday were headed to work on a publicly financed housing project in Jeannette, according to state police and housing officials.”They were traveling in a van with a broken windshield.  When stopped by the police, several ran away.  They were subsequently apprehended and discovered to be in the country illegally.  They were traveling Maryland to Jeannette to work as framers on a $3.2 million public housing project.  The illegal workers were hired by the framing subcontractor, O. C. Cluss Lumber of Uniontown, PA who was supposed to show documentation of the workers’ identifications and addresses to the general contractor,  Steve Catranel Construction of Pittsburgh.  
Jim Kollaer's picture
December 28, 2010