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This Week's Second Look

These are posts that were published in the past on Construction Citizen and then featured for a second time at a later date in our weekly email newsletter. If you are not receiving our newsletter but would like to, please send your request to newsletter@constructioncitizen.com.

Competition For Labor Heats Up

he labor shortage in construction is no myth. Here in Texas, amidst the immigration debate, we’ve heard from business leaders who tell us that it now takes about four weeks in Houston to frame up a house and homes built in Dallas take about six months to complete.  Over at Business Insider, reporter Mamta Badkar reminds us that America-born construction workers are simply vanishing“The reasons are varied. Many of these unemployed construction workers went to other sectors like manufacturing. Many found themselves moving to the oil and gas states where the energy industry has been booming. At least some have just left the labor force." Read more » about Competition For Labor Heats Up


AGC Safety Committee Visits with Austin City Rest Break Compliance Inspector

This past week, the Austin Chapter AGC Safety Committee visited with Marco Ramos, who was recently hired to enforce the City of Austin's rest break ordinance for construction workers.  Ramos discussed his new compliance role and said he proactively visits sites and also responds to complaints lodged via the City's 311 phone system.  Typically, the first thing he looks for on site is the required signage to be posted per the ordinance.  He also talks with workers about rest breaks and water availability. Read more » about AGC Safety Committee Visits with Austin City Rest Break Compliance Inspector


Signpost for the Future of Construction [VIDEO]

Occasionally we take a look out to the horizon to satisfy our curiosity about what might be headed our way and what might be a major disruptor to the construction business as we do it today.  We have introduced you to BIM, robots on the job, driverless dump trucks, driverless cars, driverless concrete trucks, drones of all kinds and more recently 3D printing. Read more » about Signpost for the Future of Construction [VIDEO]


141 Ideas for Solving the Construction Industry’s Labor Shortage

So, you’re a regular reader of Construction Citizen and you’re thinking, “I already have 141 ideas for solving the construction industry’s labor shortage!” Stick with me because not only am I going give you 141 hot-off-the-press ideas that our local leaders recently developed; I’m also going to share one big idea that I believe will solve this Gordian Knot once and for all.  I’m going to present the idea here on Construction Citizen, then I hope to continually report on progress in the months and years ahead. Read more » about 141 Ideas for Solving the Construction Industry’s Labor Shortage


Opening the Invisible Door [VIDEO]

A few weeks ago, Saied Alavi, Director of Operations at Marek Brothers Houston, and I visited an active construction site on the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) campus. The new Jennie Sealy Hospital is scheduled to be completed later this year and open for patients early next year. We went there to talk with Gloria Palau, one of Marek’s workforce trainees, to learn about her experience with Marek since she entered her new career about a year ago. Read more » about Opening the Invisible Door [VIDEO]


Austin School Board Hears about the Construction Career Collaborative

This week, I had the pleasure of speaking to members of the Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees about the Construction Career Collaborative (C3). As a journalist who's covered the program’s development in Houston, I felt the board should at least know about it as they consider how to improve the lives of the workers on AISD construction projects. Read more » about Austin School Board Hears about the Construction Career Collaborative


Construction’s “PED” Problem

The use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) by a litany of major league stars has tainted everyone and everything associated with Major League Baseball from the late 1980’s to 2010. Many good players became tangled in the mess created by a significant few. This got me thinking that maybe our industry has its own PED problem. I’m not talking about contractors on steroids or any other illegal substance. I am referring to a different PED – let’s call it proposal enhancing decisions. Read more » about Construction’s “PED” Problem


Homeland Security Headquarters Completion Revised to 2026

The future of the next phase of construction for the proposed headquarters of the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, DC has once again become a political football, according to a recent article in the Washington Post. The project originally proposed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks was intended to consolidate the departments that are now housed in over 50 buildings around the capitol area into one location. Read more » about Homeland Security Headquarters Completion Revised to 2026


Ten-Year Time-Lapse Photography of the 9/11 Memorial [VIDEO]

Yesterday the National September 11 Memorial and Museum was opened with a dedication ceremony at the site where the World Trade Center towers were attacked in 2001. Family members of the victims, survivors, first responders, community members, and elected officials including President Obama gathered to honor those who lost their lives that day Read more » about Ten-Year Time-Lapse Photography of the 9/11 Memorial [VIDEO].

Creation of Quality Construction Jobs Emerges as Issue in Austin Political Race

Texas’s capital city is economically booming in a way that’s almost unlike any other city in America, largely because of the region's technology industries. Now, it is time for Austin to take the next step to ensure that the high-wage, high-tech economy also supports the creation of quality blue-collar jobs for working families. That’s the argument laid out by Gregorio Casar, one of the “junkyard dogs” at the Workers Defense Project and now a candidate for Austin City Council Read more » about Creation of Quality Construction Jobs Emerges as Issue in Austin Political Race.