A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Reshaping the Construction Industry

As reported by the Workers Defense Project in a press release last week, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) held a public meeting on Monday, November 8, 2010.  ...
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
November 18, 2010
The US Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) have announced the release of a new Commercial and Industrial Construction Competency Model that provides a set of guidelines that the construction industry can use to help create a better workforce for the future.  The AGC and industry leaders have agreed to keep these guidelines updated as a key source for construction companies and individuals alike to use to create career paths for the industry.In an AGC press release last Friday, Stephen Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America stated “The next generation of construction workers needs the best training programs possible.  Improving these programs will ensure that workers stay at the cutting edge of the construction industry.”
Jim Kollaer's picture
November 17, 2010
This Thursday, November 18 there will be events across the United States to focus attention on the national epidemic of wage theft, as Interfaith Worker Justice has called for a National Day of Action.  The date is one week before Thanksgiving, a time when we often celebrate the things we are thankful for with feasts and fellowship, but workers who have not been paid what they are owed may struggle to provide for their families and may find it hard to celebrate.  Interfaith Worker Justice helps local religious communities work with labor groups throughout the year to fight wage theft which is far too common, especially against low-wage workers.
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
November 16, 2010
NBC Nightly News featured this cool video today of a 15-story hotel “snapped together like Legos” and built in just 6 days in China’s Hunan Province thanks to the innovation of prefab construction.  The Ark Hotel, built in Changsha, is another example of the successful use of prefab construction such as the building of the Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio which we told you about previously.  Enjoy!
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
November 12, 2010
No arguing that it’s tough to be looking for a job right now. If you are unemployed and 16 to 24 years of age, you are one of 18.6 million of your peers looking for work in your...
Katrina Kersch's picture
November 12, 2010
Press release from Emily Timm of the Workers Defense Project about the Texas Workforce Commission vote this Monday on proposed legislation to strengthen penalties for worker...
Emily Timm's picture
November 10, 2010
Contractor and Wife Use Workers’ Compensation Funds for Luxury ItemsA roofing contractor in Orange County, California who committed Workers’ Compensation Insurance fraud was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to repay $500,000 to the state insurance fund.  The contractor’s wife is also charged in the case and faces a pre-trial mental health screening today.  Michael Vincent Petronella, also known as Michael Constantine, and his wife Devon Lynn Kile were arrested in April 2009 following an investigation which began after one of Petronella’s employees sustained an injury on the job in March 2006.  At the time Petronella and Kile owned several businesses, one of which was Western Cleanoff, Inc.  The injured employee filed a claim with the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) using a payroll stub from Western Cleanoff.  When SCIF saw that this was a company which they did not insure, they suspected fraud and turned the information over to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) and Department of Insurance (DOI).  According to a press release from District Attorney Tony Rackauckas’ office, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, cash, and property was seized from the couple and held as collateral at the time of their arrest.  
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
November 10, 2010
The economy did add 151,000 new jobs last month, but with 15 million folks out of work in the country, it will take another 99 months to recover to the level where it was at the peak in 2007.  The recovery is already slower that the last 4 other recessions.  The blog Economix shows the recovery in graphic form, one that illustrates just how deep the recession has been.If the next peak takes place 99 months from today, or in the Spring of 2019, we will have to get underway soon.  For our industry to recover, that means that lending has to improve, developers have to be able to see markets emerging from the fog
Jim Kollaer's picture
November 09, 2010
Construction Citizen recently interviewed an iron worker who is happy to be employed by Dennis Steel, Inc., a steel fabrication and erection subcontractor in Texas which has been run responsibly and with integrity by founder David Dennis for over 30 years.  An example of a responsible business owner who is advancing the principles of Construction Citizen, David Dennis ensures that employees of Dennis Steel are paid good benefits and a solid wage and are provided with a safe working environment.  We asked Myles Parnell, a field foreman for the company, what it was like working for Dennis Steel.  He talked about the things he appreciated about working for the company including how the owner looks out for his employees by providing them with all their safety equipment, providing insurance for the employees and their families, paying a competitive pay wage and making them each feel cared for.  However, Parnell explained that the price of treating his employees so well sometimes causes the company to be under-bid by less responsible companies.
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
November 06, 2010
So what does that mean for the industry?  I really don’t care whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Tea Party, Independent or Libertarian, “It is still about the jobs,...
Jim Kollaer's picture
November 05, 2010