The next six months are going to be very busy for the Construction Career Collaborative as we bring another project on board, ramp up our ability to track how projects are going and roll out our safety training locations.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be ready to unveil the latest project that’s signed on to carry the banner of our C3 principles: Hourly and overtime payment standards, safety training and craft training. Perhaps the most significant thing about the newest project is that for the first time we’ll be expanding beyond the medical community. Texas Children’s Hospital and MD Anderson Cancer Center continue to be wonderful partners on the five beta projects already underway. The leaders of those hospitals are as excited as we are to the addition of more partners in our mission.
One of the things I’m asked repeatedly about is our process for ensuring that the principles we’ve laid out are actually being put to use on the projects that have been brought into the fold. People in the construction industry, owners, and others want to know if we’re really able to set benchmarks and then show those benchmarks are being met. There’s exciting progress on that front. Working with our partners, we have determined a set of matrix for data that we’ll be tracking with the expectation that over time the data will show statistically that C3 projects are more profitable, more productive, and safer for our workforce. The necessary audits are being done on our existing five projects. We’re going out into the field to ensure workers are being paid by the hour, workers’ comp is provided, applicable payroll taxes are being paid by employers, and safety training is accomplished.
Another one of C3’s major goals is implementing a system of tracking who's on a jobsite in real time. When I talk about this with some in the industry, they question whether it can really be done. But, the technology to make it happen is already being put to good use in the industrial sector where security concerns have long made this kind of monitoring necessary. From our perspective, it's equally important to know who’s on a commercial site and whether those individuals have all met the safety training requirements. To achieve this, one of the things we’ve done is develop a database in partnership with the Contractor Safety Council of Texas City. That database is being populated right now with the craft workers on our beta projects. Ultimately, that will help us develop a badge system - or a similar system - that gives us the real the real time information needed about workers on jobsites.
We’re also working now to make it as convenient as possible for C3’s required five-hour safety training course to be taken across the Houston area. This month, we plan to have it set up and ready to go at the computer lab in the Contractor Safety Council of Texas City. In August, we’ll introduce that same training at the AGC Houston office on Dacoma, which will give us a northwest location. We’re not stopping there. Over the next six months, other locations will be identified and set up so that the training is as easily accessible as we can make it for craft workers who wish to be able to work on C3 projects. The C3 five-hour is very specific to the commercial construction industry; preparing workers for some of the most hazardous conditions they could possibly encounter on one of our jobs.
It’s never been good enough to simply say have certain principles and goals. If we’re going to attract a sustainable workforce, we need show that we’re truly the great career option we say we are. The data we’re collecting and the progress we’re making on safety training will help us prove our approach works.