A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Reshaping the Construction Industry

Recently I visited my hometown of Amarillo, Texas, USA in time to go to the Tri State Fair, that annual gathering of folks from the panhandle areas of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. I had not been there since the 1960s when, as a thrill-crazy kid I would play every “rigged game” and ride the wildest rides they had on the Midway.
September 27, 2017
The Texas Standard, a statewide radio program that airs on NPR stations throughout the state, has been doing an in-depth series on the realities faced by undocumented people who live here. As part of the series, reporter Joy Diaz took a look at the plight of undocumented workers in the construction industry.
September 26, 2017
Coalition to Save Local Businesses Executive Director Michael Layman released the below statement on the recent House Education and the Workforce joint subcommittee hearing on the Save Local Business Act (H.R. 3441).
September 25, 2017
An article by Ileana Najarro published in the Houston Chronicle says that rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey’s destruction will be especially painful due to the shortage of skilled workers the area was suffering from even before the storm hit.  The article, titled Labor shortage could hamper Harvey reconstruction, quotes Texas Association of Builders executive director Scott Norman as saying, “There is not enough skilled labor to meet this challenge today, immediately.”
September 22, 2017
Here's a look at two legal developments in California that might show up in your backyard soon. First, according to our friends over at Construction Dive, The California State Assembly last week passed a bill requiring general contractors, or direct contractors, to pay the wages of their subcontractors’ employees if the subcontractors do not pay them. The bill, if signed by Governor Jerry Brown, would go into effect in January 2018.
September 21, 2017
A federal judge in Texas has invalidated an Obama-era overtime rule that was aimed at giving millions more Americans a shot at earning overtime pay. The rule, proposed by former President Barack Obama’s Labor Department, doubled the salary threshold for workers to qualify for overtime pay, from $455 per week to $913 per week. The Labor Department estimated that the rule would have benefited an additional 4.2 million workers.
September 20, 2017
The McKinsey team posed the question: “Why do so many large projects continue to fall short of expectations despite so much global experience, learning, discussion, and analysis?” To find out they “researched the literature and had in-depth interviews with 27 large project practitioners, who collectively have more than 500 years of project delivery experience.”
September 19, 2017
The citizen response to Hurricane Harvey was awe-inspiring to the entire nation. Those of us who make our living in the Houston area and the State of Texas are right to feel a sense of pride at the way our community has come together to respond to this challenge. We seem to have made it past the initial crisis stage but a much longer and perhaps more difficult trial remains: RECOVERY.
September 18, 2017
Among the most positive things that can be said of any person is “He or she has good character.” It means the individual is reliable, honest, a person of his or her word. You can count on him or her. It used to be a base requirement for people in roles that influenced others – those natural role models such as clergy, coaches, congressmen and commanders. Regrettably, in recent years, the requirement for impeccable character in these roles seems to be discounted or waived.
September 15, 2017
Immigrant rights activists, experts in the law, and business leaders gathered Wednesday night in Houston to talk about challenges the region faces following the convergence of a state crackdown on “sanctuary cities,” a devastating hurricane, and the impending end of a federal program that allows young undocumented immigrants a chance at employment without fear of deportation. A 90-minute discussion at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston presented by the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University and the Houston Immigration and Legal Services Collaborative featured speakers from various walks of life.
September 14, 2017