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?

There is growing anger across the nation about the about the cancer of worker misclassification in the construction industry.  Why are more and more political leaders, thought leaders, and others calling it a “scam” and saying that something needs to be done quickly to deal with these cheaters?

Well, as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously intoned: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”  That’s the way most people know the quote.  The entire quote is this: “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases.  Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”

The steady attention Construction Citizen has given this issue has helped inspire media outlets like the Dallas Morning News to call for a crackdown.   Read more » about More Thought Leaders Call for Cracking Down on Worker Misclassification

Editor’s note: The following was originally published in Cornerstone, the quarterly magazine of AGC Houston.  Reprinted with permission.

This December will mark the fifth anniversary of the discussions that evolved into what is now the Construction Career Collaborative (C3).  While there was a general consensus that a future workforce problem was real, creating a viable plan with an industry as diverse as construction raised many red flags.  Needless to say, there was a good deal of skepticism all around from the very start.  Fueling the skepticism was the simple fact that in late 2009, companies had more important issues to worry about than a future workforce shortage.  Most firms were working on their own work shortage at that time.   Read more » about Committed To Growing Houston’s Construction Workforce

On September 11, OSHA released new reporting rules for workers injured on projects that fall (no pun intended) under federal OSHA jurisdiction.  The new record keeping rules will go into effect on January 1, 2015.  This rule will likely impact a number of contractors and subs that were operating under the old rules or skirting the rules entirely.

The new reporting rules require that employers notify OSHA when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye.  The American Subcontractors Association newsletter said that “The rule tightens the reporting rules significantly.  The current rules required employers to report work related fatalities or in-patient hospitalizations for three or more employees.”  Reporting of single person hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye were not required under the existing rules, but that has changed.

Now any single severe injury, illness or death requires the employer to notify OSHA.   Read more » about New OSHA Reporting Rules for Injured Workers

Those of us in the construction industry are aware of the vast opportunities that exist for individuals who are willing to build.  October is Careers in Construction Month, and it’s the perfect time to spread the word about these opportunities.  According to new research from CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International, 73 percent of high school seniors reported that they already know which career they want to pursue.  Research like this tells us that we need to start early when promoting careers in construction as we seek to recruit the next generation of craft professionals.

Informational resources are paramount to recruitment, and NCCER’s Build Your Future (BYF) initiative offers numerous resources to support the recruitment efforts of our industry’s next skilled workforce.   Read more » about Kicking Off Careers in Construction Month This October

Editor's note: The following article was originally posted on MarekBros.com:

On July 23rd, Marek was pleased to recognize several of our workforce development participants for various levels of graduation within our program. An earlier post by Arthur Ehmling, our corporate training coordinator, outlined the specific levels attained by the 21 helpers, 8 mechanics, and 18 foremen, who worked very diligently to reach these levels.

In addition to our graduates, we wanted to acknowledge the contributions of our coaches, whose daily guidance is critical to each of their trainees. Also instrumental are our supervisors and workforce development executive committee, whose support, leadership, and vision establish the culture of expectations for both trainees and coaches.

At Marek, we regularly put our new trainees through on boarding sessions, commonly referred to as the “Bus tour”, a term coined by our Dallas Division President John Hinson. “If you’re coming with Marek, you’d better get on the bus," John would say to the Dallas trainees. The saying stuck around Houston too.   Read more » about Building Blocks: A Story from the Marek Workforce Development Graduation Ceremony

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

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