A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Reshaping the Construction Industry

This week, an article by Matt Dunning in Business Insurance lists some of the numbers which reveal the enormity of the combined projects currently under construction at the World Trade Center site in New York.  The article states that “there are 13 integrated megaprojects”  in progress at the site.  When the projects were initiated, details of risk management such as safety inspections and incident reports were maintained separately for each individual project, but in 2008, risk managers for the developers and their insurers implemented a system which integrates relevant
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
November 30, 2011
I recently saw the headline that stated in bold type that the price of crude had once again broken through $100 per barrel, and I was reminded that it wasn’t always that way.In the 1990s, when the price of oil dropped through the floor to $10 per barrel, I was in a conversation about the future of Houston and the economy with the CEO of one of the major oil companies.  He was a member of our executive committee and board of directors and I looked to him as someone who could see a little further into the future than most.  After all, he was making 30-50 year investments to explore for new finds, and he had access to the best research that
Jim Kollaer's picture
November 28, 2011
I was thinking about the people and things in my life that I wanted to be thankful for this year when I ran across this blog posting by Simon Sinek, the author of Start With Why,...
Jim Kollaer's picture
November 23, 2011
Jerry Nevlud, President/CEO of the Houston Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, recently offered the following remarks about The 2011 U.S. Construction Industry Talent Development Report by FMI, a management consulting and investment banking firm for the engineering and construction industry.There is plenty of good information in the recently released survey by FMI on talent development in the construction industry.  As stated in the report’s introduction, FMI has polled US construction firms for over 15 years in order to determine current practices and emerging trends in training and workforce development throughout the construction industry.It is critical that companies develop and improve strategies that will ensure our industry continues to find and retain the best talent.  Unfortunately, what is desperately missing is the same focus on talent development that would ensure a sustainable craft workforce well into the future.  
Jerry Nevlud's picture
November 22, 2011
Immediately following the presentation of the two 2040 Scenarios, Pat Kiley, CEO of Kiley Advisors LLC and former president of the AGC in Houston, spoke with Donna Rybiski from the Center for Houston’s Future.She asked Mr. Kiley for his first impressions following the presentation and discussion.  Kiley felt that both scenarios were very plausible, and that both offered the construction industry in the Houston area a very positive prognosis, but also some very real challenges.  He noted that both scenarios indicated an increase in construction which would create a demand for a larger skilled workforce than Houston is currently prepared to provide.  Speaking about the decrease in training  and the lack of increase in wages which has trended over the past several years, Kiley pointed out that the industry will need to do a lot of work to provide what will be needed, even if there were not going to be an increased need for double or
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
November 16, 2011
There has been a lot of conversation in the news and on the web about the burden on young people who graduate from college with crushing student loans.  I cannot help but think that one of the solutions to this problem is to stop selling a college education as the only path to success.The recent MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Preparing Students for College and Careers reports that 76% of middle school students say that they plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree or higher.  Although only about 28% of these students will actually enter a university or community college, it’s clear that the message that college is the preferred career path has reached our youth.  However, according to the book Workforce 2020: Work and Workers in the 21st Century by Richard Judy and Carol D’Amico, only 20% of jobs by 2020 will require a four year degree, while 65% will require an associate’s degree or advanced training.A college degree is indeed a worthy pursuit, but if there is no job at the end, then what?  Providing our
Katrina Kersch's picture
November 15, 2011
According to an article in the Insurance Journal Online, advocacy groups and government organizations in Florida are bombarding lawmakers with suggestions for litigation which could curtail a rampant practice by disreputable contractors to defraud the state of workers’ compensation premiums.  This occurs when individuals set up fake subcontracting companies with workers’ compensation certificates and use those fake company names to get paid with checks payable to the non-existent companies.  They then cash the checks at check cashing stores, and pay the actual workers “off the books” with the cash.  The scheme has effectively become the status quo for doing business in some areas, and is estimated to cost the state of Florida millions of dollars in unpaid
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
November 14, 2011
One of our bloggers, Pat Kiley, CEO of Kiley Advisors LLC and former president of the AGC in Houston, attended the recent screening of the Houston 2040 Scenarios presented by the Center for Houston’s Future.Here are his observations and comments.I think all Construction Trade Associations and their members should see this presentation, and simultaneously learn about the Construction Career Collaborative (C3) and the Immigration Reform efforts.Either of the two scenarios, or something in between, creates enormous opportunity and enormous challenge for our industry.  The opportunity is to create the built environment required
Pat Kiley's picture
November 10, 2011
An article in Fuel Fix, an online source for energy business news, features a video from ExxonMobil with artists’ renderings of its future campus, also known as "project delta", which is currently under construction in Spring, Texas, just north of Houston.  In the video, Mike Brown, project executive for the US Real Estate Strategy Study, talks about the design of the campus.  The desire was to create a pleasant place to work which feels like a community, or a college campus with an “urban vibe”, yet also feels close to nature since it is set in a heavily wooded area.  The facility will be a “pedestrian friendly” campus with “opportunities for people to come across each other by foot” as they move between conference rooms, training rooms, office space, a fitness center, a child-care center and dining facilities.  
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
November 09, 2011
Governor Jerry Brown recently signed two new bills into law that will address the misclassification and wage theft issues in a much stronger fashion.  According to an Advisory received by Construction Citizen and issued by the law firm of Epstein, Becker, Green, the two bills are:“SB 459 directly impacts employers that classify workers as independent contractors.”  This bill imposes steep civil penalties ranging from $5,000 – $25,000 per incident with the upper levels reserved for those firms that exhibit a pattern of violations.  Additionally the penalties include the posting on the company’s website of a statement saying that they have been found guilty of a “serious violation of the law”. 
Jim Kollaer's picture
November 08, 2011