A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Reshaping the Construction Industry

Absentee voting in Texas starts on Monday, October 18th, and the general election date around the country is November 2, less than three weeks away.  This is a critically important date for the construction industry especially in light of the current state of the economy and the industry.The economy is still bumping along the bottom with an unexpected loss of 95,000 jobs in September.  The good news is that there were 64,000 new jobs created in the private sector last month or the job loss would have been worse.
Jim Kollaer's picture
October 13, 2010
An article written by Nick Zieminski for Reuters on August 26, “Lack of skilled workers threatens recovery” captured my attention.  The article highlighted a research paper published by Manpower Inc., and quoted their Chairman, CEO and President Jeff Joerres as saying about the skilled trades shortage “It becomes a real choke-point in future economic growth.”Construction Citizen previously wrote about Manpower Inc., a global staffing and employment services company, and their assessment that strategic migration of workers will be part of the solution to the global skilled worker shortage.Another strategy is educating the younger generation and encouraging them to seek training for careers in construction.  
Katrina Kersch's picture
October 12, 2010
The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of New York State has a page that talks about why you might consider a job in the construction industry.  They list several key points that might be of interest to you if construction is on your list of possible careers.Construction projects in the United States which build schools, hospitals, bridges and roads all stay here and cannot be sent overseas.In recent years, the United States has added more than $600 billion worth of new construction projects per year such as new hospitals, schools, highways, bridges, homes, office buildings, stores, etc.  
Jim Kollaer's picture
October 11, 2010
Central Houston, the key management and economic development organization for the Central Business District of Houston, at its annual luncheon, presented the Allen Brothers Award...
Jim Kollaer's picture
October 07, 2010
Claiming that the bills were “unnecessary under existing state law,” The “Governator” of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, terminated two bills this week.  The bills dealt...
Jim Kollaer's picture
October 02, 2010
Part of our mission at Construction Citizen is to push for a sustainable construction workforce.  We developed the following set of 10 principles to demonstrate the overall...
Construction Citizen's picture
October 02, 2010
The Vdara Hotel and Spa at CityCenter in Las Vegas, Nevada is one of the newest hotels on that city’s famous Strip.  This beautiful and modern all-suite hotel is LEED Gold certified and offers the latest technology such as in-room media hubs, beautiful views, an impressive fine art collection and a relaxing atmosphere.  Recently, however, its spectacular pool area and distinctive crescent shaped façade have been drawing the most attention.It seems that the south facing curve of the building acts to converge sunlight and focus it onto an area where the temperature then rises significantly as compared to other areas in the sunlight, in the same way that a magnifying glass can concentrate sunlight to create more heat on a surface.  According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the poolside “hot spot” has singed hair and melted plastic cups and bags, scoring it the term “Vdara Death Ray” from hotel employees and guests.  Evident for a few hours each sunny day, the spot moves across the pool area as the sun advances across the sky.  Therein lies the problem.
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
September 28, 2010
The construction industry training issues in the United States are considerable, but nothing when compared to the plans in India.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projections of need for the construction industry in the US from 2008 through 2018 suggest that there is a need to add 180,000 new workers a year or 1.8 million new workers by 2018.  If we straight line that number through 2022 we get 2.16 million new workers.According to a post yesterday on the Poten & Patners website, the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) of India has set a projection of training 150 million workers in 20 sectors by 2022.  They are projecting a need for training 33 million new construction workers over that period of time.  That equates to 6.5 times the number of construction workers needed in the US over the same period of time.The very scale of that opportunity is amazing and the implications to construction world-wide are considerable.
Jim Kollaer's picture
September 28, 2010
According to an article in the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman (Wasilla, Alaska), a man who hired illegal workers and paid them in cash for at least three years has now been sentenced to one year in prison followed by three years probation, and has been told to pay $336,753 following an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service.Esteban Lane Stubbs hired undocumented immigrants for his drywall business in the Anchorage Alaska area, paying them in cash to avoid having to pay them fair wages and benefits.  While Alaska does not yet have any laws which address wage theft and employee misclassification, Stubbs was convicted of “structuring a financial transaction” because of his attempt to hide the way he paid his employees.  Knowing that a bank is required to report cash withdrawals over $10,000 to the IRS, Stubbs routinely withdrew smaller amounts on consecutive days from different branches of First National Bank Alaska.The article quotes a press release from the US Attorney’s Office in Alaska as saying:“These low wages and the absence of costs for income taxes, employment taxes, workers compensation, unemployment insurance and other benefits paid by legitimate employers allowed Stubbs to underbid fellow contractors...  
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
September 27, 2010
Randy Braun, New York attorney and blogger at Juz the Fax posted a blog last week about the pending implementation of the Construction Industry Fair Play Act (CIFPA) in New York.  The bill puts specific restrictions on the classification of construction workers and Randy thinks that it might spell the end of the use of Independent Contractor status in the construction industry in New York.  About the consequences dishonest employers will face, he writes:  “CIFPA carries civil and criminal penalties both for the employer and for individual officers and shareholders who knowingly permit a willful violation of the statute. For those contractors performing public work, debarment and ineligibility to bid on public works contracts will be imposed upon a criminal conviction.”This new law, which we first wrote about a few weeks ago, goes into effect on October 26.
Jim Kollaer's picture
September 27, 2010