A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

If one thing is for certain, the Construction Career Collaborative (C3) and its message continue to resonate throughout the commercial building industry. That is not only my opinion, but the consensus opinion of the panelists and attendees following the inaugural C3 Town Hall meetings. These meetings, held June 30th and July 7th at the offices of the ABC and the AGC, respectively, addressed questions, misconceptions, challenges and successes of the industry-wide workforce effort.The candid conversations included the all too familiar refrains of “making a career in construction attractive again”; “eliminating improper employment practices”; and “the need to reintroduce craft training in all areas of construction”.   
Chuck Gremillion's picture
July 15, 2015
As many readers are aware, the Construction Career Collaborative, commonly known as C3, is growing steadily and is beginning to have an impact as it executes its owner-driven strategy to create a sustainable workforce for the commercial construction industry.The Collaborative recently achieved a huge strategic win with the addition of Hines to the list of C3 owners. The international real estate firm, which is headquartered in Houston, is a leading influencer in the design and construction community. Hines becomes the first C3 owner from the commercial development world to join our ranks; we look for more to follow. Current C3 owners include M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Hermann Healthcare Systems and Texas Children’s Hospital.   
Chuck Gremillion's picture
June 24, 2015
As many of you may be aware, the Construction Career Collaborative (C3) began in late 2009 when a small group of leaders met to discuss the ominous signs of a looming craft worker shortage. From that meeting, a vision was crafted that not only addressed the future workforce needs of our industry, but also included a plan that engaged all participants in the construction process, beginning with the construction owner.Since that meeting, a lot has been done, and much is going on, but the real work is just beginning. A board of directors was formed. A mission and principles were adopted. Bylaws were written. Committees of volunteers, who enthusiastically endorsed the mission and principles of C3, were created and many great ideas were generated and developed. Beta projects were identified and then built.   
Chuck Gremillion's picture
March 10, 2015
It has been almost a year since I became the executive director of Construction Career Collaborative (C3). While I have learned a great deal during that short period of time, my biggest take away is that everyone with whom I have spoken agrees that the issue of creating a sustainable craft workforce is critical to the future of the commercial construction industry and all of those connected to it.
Chuck Gremillion's picture
January 29, 2015
Construction Career Collaborative continues to gain momentum. During the past year, the Board of Directors of C3 approved 52 contractors as Accredited Employers, including nine general contractors and 43 specialty contractors. In addition, eight companies were approved as Project Participants, all of whom are working on the C3 project, Texas Children’s Hospital - The Woodlands. But, we still have much, much more work to do in order to achieve our goal of creating a sustainable workforce for the commercial construction industry. In fact, we have hardly started.The next step in our growth is to hire an Operations Manager. We are looking for someone with experience in the construction industry that fits the qualifications listed in the job description below. If you, or someone you know, fit these qualifications, please consider this job opportunity.Position Description for the C3 Operations Manager: Construction Career Collaborative is an alliance of socially responsible Owners, Contractors and Specialty Contractors whose mission is to positively affect the issues facing the craft worker for the commercial construction industry.   
Chuck Gremillion's picture
January 20, 2015
The Construction Career Collaborative (C3) continues to build momentum as evidenced by two recent occurrences, starting with the announcement that Texas Children’s Hospital has specified that its new TCH-The Woodlands Campus and TCH-Feigin Center 18th Floor OB/GYN Renovation will be C3 projects.  This means that all contractors working on them – every General Contractor and every Specialty Contractor – must be an Accredited C3 Employer or have received C3 Project Status designation (formerly called Conditional Status).  Not only is this a big win for craft workers, C3, and a sustainable construction workforce, but contractors have also told me that it is a win for them as well because it ensures a level playing field for all when competing for work.  
Chuck Gremillion's picture
August 15, 2014
Recently, I described the reasoning behind the creation of Construction Career Collaborative (C3) and attributed it to the fact that the construction industry has an unsustainable workforce.  In that essay, I listed five different but related reasons how we got “into this mess.”  Among those are a misclassification of craft workers as subcontractors, a movement away from craft training and safety training, a de emphasis of vocational education in our high schools in an effort to prepare all students for college, a perception among young people that the construction industry is dirty and unsafe, and a flood of undocumented workers who work in the shadows with no recourse to address wage abuse resulting in downward pressure on wages.  All of these reasons contribute to why young people are not attracted to an industry that formerly provided an excellent path to a middle class living.So one might ask, “What is the solution to this problem?”  For starters, the commercial construction industry must cease business practices that make it unattractive to prospective workforce candidates such as misclassification of its workers as contract employees.  To be blunt, who wants to work in an industry that does not pay matching social security taxes, federal and state unemployment taxes, provide workers compensation insurance, or any form of employee benefits?  
Chuck Gremillion's picture
June 05, 2014
As many of you are aware, Construction Career Collaborative, also known as C3, was founded because several leaders in the commercial construction industry decided to step forward and address the huge problem that exists in our industry of an unsustainable workforce.  In other words, more people are leaving the industry than joining it.  In fact, the average age of a craft worker entering the industry is 29, and the average age of all craft workers is 47, with many expected to retire in the next several years.One may ask, “How did we get into this mess?”  The answer is not a simple one.  In fact, it is quite complex.  As one construction executive told me recently, “It has many tentacles.”  So what are the causes of this complex problem?Misclassification of craft workers as subcontractors, thereby avoiding the payment of Social Security, federal, and state unemployment taxes in an effort to gain a competitive advantage by reducing cost illegally. 
Chuck Gremillion's picture
May 15, 2014