A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Reshaping the Construction Industry

Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) was in Phoenix today to release a plan to increase the demand for construction and in so doing, grow the national economy.  The plan is titled Building a Stronger Future, A New Blueprint for Economic Growth.  According to AGC’s press release, the plan “outlines measures to help boost private sector demand for construction, help tackle a growing infrastructure maintenance backlog and reduce needless red tape and regulations. ... The association developed the plan to overcome the years-long construction downturn that has left over 2.2 million construction workers unemployed and the industry’s unemployment rate at 21.8 percent, more than twice the national average.”  
Construction Citizen's picture
March 15, 2011
Jim Stevenson, CEO of Bellows Construction, talked recently about his view on the Ethics Matrix, which is a way to explain what we consider to be right versus wrong as a society and as individuals.  Jim introduced the topic by stating that although many people might think that the laws a society makes are the highest form of law, in fact these are actually the lowest.  These laws which communities enact are called Human Positive Laws, and reflect what the community and society regard as important and “moral” at one particular point in time.  Above these laws are Ethics, which include standards which groups such as doctors or lawyers hold themselves to across regions and throughout history.
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
March 10, 2011
According to ENR (Engineering News-Record - subscription required), a new 3D Model Viewer is rocking the BIM world.Tekla has released BIMSight, a free 3D viewer for BIM modeling...
Jim Kollaer's picture
March 09, 2011
Judy Schreiner at Engineering News Record (ENR) has, in her latest column in the February 28 issue, talked with author Chuck Underwood about ways that we will have to work with the Millennials who are showing up at your offices looking for work on your construction sites.  Underwood is the author of The Generational Imperative and the founder and principal of The Generational Imperative, Inc.  According to Underwood, the Millennials are people who were born from 1982 through the present.  His comments were focused on the First Wavers who are 18 to 29 years old this year.  According to the statistics there are 40 to 50 million of them and they are likely already working for some of us.I was interested in the article as it compares the various generational similarities and differences between Gen Xers and the Millennials.Most interesting to me is Underwood’s comment:  
Jim Kollaer's picture
March 07, 2011
One indicator of where we are in the economic recovery is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a measure of the output of goods and services produced by labor and property as reported by the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Their most recent analysis of the final quarter of 2010 gives a bit of good news.  Yesterday Bloomberg reported that commercial construction contributed to the gross domestic product in the last quarter of 2010, after delivering a deficit to the number during every quarter since the middle of 2008. Even more promising, the article points to the close relationship between commercial construction spending and another market indicator, the Federal Reserve’s Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization index, which measures what US factories, mines and utilities produce.  Bloomberg’s chart shows that commercial construction generally follows the same pattern as industrial production, only about a year afterwards. 
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
March 03, 2011
Over 90 business leaders from over 65 companies as varied as McGraw-Hill, Campbell Soup, Duke Energy, Credit Suisse, Bloomberg, Quest Diagnostics, Hasbro and the National Basketball Association attended an event this Monday which focused on the economic benefits of “doing the right thing” by seeking solutions to community and global concerns.  The Board of Boards CEO Conference was hosted by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), which is an international forum of businessmen dedicated to helping members improve corporate philanthropy.  They teach that initiatives which benefit the global community such as
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
March 02, 2011
In Part 3 of the I-Team report, reporter Randy Travis continues his undercover investigation of illegal workers laboring on publicly funded construction projects in the Atlanta area.“The goal of the Stimulus Bill was to stimulate the economy and put Americans back to work.  A FOX 5 I-Team investigation discovered one local stimulus project is actually making it easy for illegal immigrants to get those jobs.To get a job in this country, you have to show identification and prove you can legally work.  So why did one company on this stimulus project say to get work there, you don't need any papers at all?”  
Jim Kollaer's picture
February 25, 2011
Despite one of the toughest winters on record, Hines, the developer of the new Devon Energy Center in downtown Oklahoma City reported that the tower is on schedule and just passed 500 feet on its way to 850 feet and 50 stories making it the tallest structure in Oklahoma.NewsOK.com reported some interesting stats about the building scheduled for first occupancy in 2012.  The main entrance to the building will be a rotunda which will be as tall as the nearby 12-story Colcord Hotel.  The tower will also feature a public Garden Wing with restaurants, shops and trees, as well as a 285 seat auditorium.  It was originally planned to rise to 54 stories, but after revisions it is now scheduled to be 50 floors.Devon, an Oklahoma City based company, hired Holder Construction from Atlanta, GA and Flintco Construction from Tulsa, OK as the project’s joint general contractors.  They were awarded the contract because they promised the shortest interruption to downtown area parking.  In a May 2009 video report by Oklahoma City’s News 9, Flintco’s Mark Grimes talks about
Jim Kollaer's picture
February 24, 2011
Representatives from Construction Citizen attended an extraordinary Workforce Development Meeting at Marek Brothers Systems, Inc. on January 12, 2011.  The meeting was opened...
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
February 21, 2011
In part 2 of their investigation which we told you about last week, Randy Travis, a reporter with Fox 5 in Atlanta, follows the money on the use of undocumented workers.  In this case, 50 bricklayers from Mexico were employed to work on two school sites and the Gainesville, GA police department headquarters, but were not paid for the work by the subcontractor Surig & Sons who hired them to do the work.According to the video, even though the masons provided false papers, they were allowed to work on the projects and then were not fully paid by the company for the work that they performed.
Jim Kollaer's picture
February 19, 2011