A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Holland Explains the Importance of Workforce Development

Mike Holland, Division President for Marek Brothers Systems Houston, shared his thoughts with me prior to a goal-setting meeting earlier this month about workforce planning.  Marek is one of the companies investing in their workforce development in order to provide the highest quality to their clients today and also to be ready when the construction industry recovers.

At Marek, workforce development planning has always been part of an annual process, but on Jan 12 they held a meeting which Holland described as an evolution of that process with the key stakeholders in Marek’s Houston office workforce development group gathered together to establish goals for the upcoming year.  Key stakeholders are Marek employees with a “stake” in a dedicated effort to improve the quality of the company’s workforce.  The group includes Katrina Kersch, Marek’s corporate workforce director, and other workforce development staff specific to the Houston office, superintendents, and key foreman and coaches who must support the program out on the job sites.  These are leaders who understand what Marek is endeavoring through training and workforce development.  Looking for solutions not only from their own job perspectives, but also in recognizing the problems and needs of those in other job descriptions, they show their commitment to creating one of the most qualified teams in the industry.  

Smaller groupings of workforce advisory councils meet throughout the year to evaluate progress toward the goals and target action items to help reach those goals.  The annual meeting with the larger group is held each year for the purpose of defining what the goals for the upcoming year and beyond will be.  (This year goals were set through 2015.)  For the first time, Marek hired an outside consultant, Jim Kollaer, to facilitate the meeting and encourage creative yet realistic responses in the process.  About an hour before this year’s meeting, Holland explained its purpose, how it differs from the smaller workforce advisory meetings held throughout the year and what advantage an outside consultant brings to the mix.

Construction Citizen representatives were allowed to observe the meeting and we will soon report on some interesting insights and strategies which resulted that day.

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