A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

The Times, They Are a-Changin’!

I grew up in the Bob Dylan era, and his songs are still relevant today.  In the late 60s when he was first popular, we were in an unpopular war, there was developing uncertainty in the economy and we all knew that change was in the air, whether on the jobsite, on the streets of Chicago or in the Deep South.

Well, here we are again and those Dylan lyrics are ringing in my ears.  Now I know many of you who visit our site have no idea what I am talking about, but that is okay.  Suffice it to say that it was tough (or so we thought at the time), the issues were complex and the future of the construction industry was shaky.

Spin it however you want, we are again in a time of massive change in our industry and those of us who are not ready to meet the future “head on” are about to get slapped in the forehead with a large dose of reality.  I don’t have to tell you that there are not enough jobs, projects or prospects; that the low-bid, no bid, lean and mean process that we live in every day right now is painful; but I did anyway.  We are in changing times and it is politics as usual?

We are in “crazy time” in the presidential elections.  This is the time when all politics are crazy and politicians will promise us almost anything to get elected.

We used to have a saying in the marketing side of the industry, “There are two sides to this business: getting and doing!”  You can watch the nightly news on any channel and hear the “getting” part of politics in full swing.  Next year, we will elect a US president and the next Congress.  If that were not enough, our neighbor to the south, Mexico, will elect a new president for a 6-year term in July.  That fact and the dialog at home as liberals, conservatives and independents debate will be enough to make your head spin.  All this, while neither the economy nor our industry have recovered yet.  I saw a set of five possible predictions from the economists the other day and thought that I was watching a weather report, not an economic forecast.

If you are in the construction industry, you are in politics whether you know it or not.  I would suggest that you take a close look at what is going on in the political arena and think about those elected school boards, college boards and legislators who will set the rules for their construction programs, and ultimately make decisions about whether to “go low” or go for quality when they hire us for their projects.

Get involved, whether on your own, in an association or organization, and make a difference in your future.  Hey, I have a novel idea: why not recruit contractors to run for office so at least one person on those boards would know what is happening when they bid their jobs and set their rules?

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