What if your construction company had the opportunity to secure K-12 construction work with the largest school district in the State of Texas?
What if you had the right crews to bid, win, and execute the work?
What if your craft workers could be safe, make a livable wage, and have the promise of several years of work on your construction jobs?
If you are in the K-12 construction industry in Houston, your “what ifs” could become reality with the Houston Independent School District (HISD) bringing an approved $1.89 billion bond, seven-year construction program to market consisting of 40 schools, three athletic facilities, and numerous renovations.
With all this work in the market, what more could a serious career-minded construction company ask for its workers?
When the economy was bad, many of us were on our knees praying to the “construction gods” to bring work. As the old saying goes, “Be careful what you ask for.” Now we have a new round of work in Houston. However, we got too much too soon with a limited number of skilled craft persons and laborers to meet the exploding demand. Competition is tight and construction schedules are unforgiving as institutional agencies such as the school districts, METRO, City of Houston, Houston Community College, and the petrochemical industry compete for able-bodied men and women to fill high-paying positions.
If you are a company dedicated to quality with certified, trained craft workers, you are in a seller’s market. The competition for certified skilled workers is on. Workers have choices: short-term top dollar or consistent long-term work. The race doesn’t go to the quickest, the fastest, or in this case, the highest paying, but to the one who endures. Short-term, HISD may not be as competitive, but long-term the district will give its public and private competitors a run for their money because of the ability to provide steady work over a longer time period, better opportunities closer to home working on neighborhood school projects, and wage protection through its Labor Compliance Program.
The objective of the Labor Compliance Program (LCP) is to build the highest quality schools safely, on time, within budget, and with the best construction workers. HISD’s Labor Compliance Program (LCP) helps ensure a level playing field and protects workers by reviewing certified payrolls, monitoring job sites, interviewing workers, providing certified payroll training and sponsoring community job fairs.
The HISD LCP is fueled by Texas Labor Code 2258 that mandates that all contractors on state-funded projects properly classify workers, pay prevailing wages, deduct appropriate taxes, and report in a timely manner. Fines can be levied for willful non-compliance with those standards. This program lets the districts stabilize, mobilize, and energize its workforce to help guarantee quality performance, product, and profit.
The HISD Labor Compliance Program must, can, and will work!
The HISD LCP team led by our firm is on the jobsite to verify workers and in contractors’ offices to review payroll and to implement this new initiative. With your cooperation and dedication all of us will be able to deliver a quality product and to support the long-term sustainability of your workforce.
Darryl Samuels is the managing partner for D. Samuels & Associates, LLC whose firm is currently managing HISD’s Labor Compliance Program.
HISD’s Labor Compliance Program: Dedicated to Quality