Construction is a large and complex worldwide industry constantly shaped by new information technologies, advanced materials, environmental policies, regulations and changing building methods. Most importantly, though, construction is shaped by people. Sustaining a strong industry requires attracting and valuing a skilled, career-driven, high quality workforce... who also like to build! How is the construction industry attracting the skilled workforce for future growth market demands? Do prospective candidates see construction as a viable career choice?

Editor’s note: The following was originally published by BRI Commercial Roofing.  Reprinted with permission.

Focusing on safety is important in any industry, but in the roofing industry it’s imperative.  A company can do everything right in terms of production for their customers, but if safety isn’t a top priority, there can be serious repercussions.

Here are a few ways that a focus on safety is a benefit to not only the employees, but the clients as well:

  • Fewer work-related accidents means less work interruptions
  • Lower risk of liability

  Read more » about Why Safety is Important in the Roofing Industry

The work we do at Construction Citizen to advance a socially responsible, sustainable and value added construction industry isn't just being noticed by those in the industry itself.  Others, including professional services firms, have started to take note and some even are taking action.

I recently sat down with Tony Fierro, President of K & S Insurance Agency in Rockwall, Texas, to talk about why he's made the decision to “join the movement,” as he put it.  Until Fierro made his commitment, all of our great sponsors had been contractors.  Since K & S Insurance is the first non-contractor to join, Fierro felt it was important to explain why he made the decision and encourage others to do the same.   Read more » about K & S Insurance Joins Construction Citizen [VIDEO]

Editor’s note: More and more news outlets are covering the epidemic levels of cheating in the construction industry and we’re thrilled to see it.  One of the latest and best examples is The Dallas Morning News Editorial Board, which has now said worker misclassification is part of the “Dark Side” of the Texas economic miracle.  We are told that the editorial board, at least in part, was inspired by the work we’ve done at Construction Citizen to expose the problem.  The following editorial was originally published in The Dallas Morning News.  Reprinted with permission.

Editorial: The dark side of Texas’ economic miracle

Every day, Texans celebrate the fruits of light government regulation: Housing is cheaper here, the economy is healthy, and jobs are available.

The construction crane easily could be declared the state bird.

But our economic miracle has a troubling byproduct: Texas leads the nation in worker fatalities, according to a recent Dallas Morning News analysis of federal data.  The special report by James Gordon reveals that over the last decade, 579 more deaths happened on the job than statistically should have occurred in a state the size of Texas.   Read more » about The Dallas Morning News: Texas Taxpayers Should be “Incensed” Over Worker Misclassification

The following article originally appeared in the August newsletter to clients of Kiley Advisors, LLC.  Reprinted with permission.

In this robust market, there is a terrific amount of positive activity, and it appears that it could last for another 3-5 years!  Companies will have many opportunities to get work and make money.  No company will have to particularly excel to do this.  If a company has capacity and basic building competency, they should prosper.  They can just drift with the momentum of the market.

But there will also be another group of companies that will not only prosper, they will thrive.  They will take advantage of this rare market to build multiple generational organizations.  Their executive teams will not just drift with the market momentum; these leaders will drive their companies to pre-determined goals and reinvest profits to build more solid foundations; they will drive the necessary changes to move to the next level, to truly become, as heralded author Jim Collins says, “Built to Last.”   Read more » about Drifting or Driving?

President Obama over the weekend backed away from his own timeline on executive action for immigration policy, something that's been a top concern for construction and other industries that find it difficult to find a sufficient number of authorized workers.

In the 3½-minute video below from NBC’s Meet the Press, Obama blamed the delay on the shifting politics of the issue brought on by the crisis along the Texas-Mexico border.  That’s after NBC’s Chuck Todd pressed the president on whether he is dragging his feet because Democratic senators in Republican states fear a backlash at the polls in November:

“‘The truth of the matter is that the politics did shift midsummer because of that problem,’ Obama said.  ‘I want to spend some time, even as we're getting all our ducks in a row for the executive action, I also want to make sure that the public understands why we're doing this, why it's the right thing for the American people, why it's the right thing for the American economy.’”   Read more » about The Trades Go Wanting for Workers While Obama Stalls on Immigration [VIDEO]

The advice KBR Pipe Supervisor Chris Pullen offers to new craft professionals on the worksite is a testament to his own career.

“Don’t stop.  Don’t give up.  Get the training you can.  Try and learn from everyone around you.”

Pullen applies his own advice during his regimented days, fitting in a work schedule, night classes and family time.  His career goals in the construction industry push him to fill his agenda, even from the very start of his craft profession.  The option to enter the construction industry seemed like the right decision to Pullen.  He says he likes to build things, and the industry presented opportunities for growth.  But at times, his path up the career ladder was a trying trip.   Read more » about CMEF Student Climbs Career Ladder While Offering Good Advice [VIDEO]

The cheaters in construction who all too often get away with avoiding payroll taxes and responsibility for their workers’ injuries are coming under even more scrutiny.  We’ve pointed out the problem for years at Construction Citizen because it is a blight on this industry and a roadblock to improving it for generations to come.

The practice by unscrupulous contractors runs counter to our mission of advancing a socially responsible, sustainable and value-added construction industry.  Misclassification in construction – and other industries as well – leads to the degradation of the employer-employee relationship, turns workers into disposable commodities, cheats taxpayers like you and me out of billions of dollars, and makes it nearly impossible for ethical companies to compete.   Read more » about A Nationwide Spotlight on Worker Misclassification [VIDEO]

Because of an absence of federal action on the problem of rampant worker misclassification in construction, we continue to track the progress of states across the nation that are trying to deal with what's been called “a cancer” in the industry.  Lawmakers in Minnesota have gotten particularly aggressive, pushing a registry for subcontractors that can be easily checked and then revoking licenses of contractors who don't comply.

Via Jonathan Barnes at the Engineering News-Record:

“After some success with the new effort, the Minnesota legislature recently extended the state's Contractor Registration Pilot Program for another year, saving it from expiring on June 30 as it was set to do, and extending its life until at least June 30, 2015.   Read more » about Minnesota Misclassification Crackdown Gets Results