Industry Game-Changers

Typically, disruption in the workplace is counterintuitive to productivity. But in terms of creating innovative ways to manage people, processes and technology, the concept of “disruption” isn’t such a bad thing for the construction industry. Change is stirring whether contractors are ready for it or not, and firms that have adopted new ways of managing scheduling and workflows are seeing stellar results—earning the accolades of repeat projects for key clients, as well as happy project partners.

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HiringMore Like This

Programs Geared Toward Young Professionals Bring Value to Employees and Construction Companies

As the economy rebounds, construction firms expect to see many employees set retirement plans in motion. Couple that with fewer people turning to construction careers due to the industry’s above-average unemployment rate over the past few years, and what’s left amounts to a skilled craft professional shortage of two million workers expected by 2014. Recognizing this looming need, AEC companies and industry groups such as Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) are taking steps to develop the next generation of construction leaders.

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Corporate StrategyMore Like This

An organization’s new strategic plan often gets distorted somewhere between boardroom approval and action in the field. In many cases, all parties involved want the best thing for the company—yet the vision of the future and the steps to get there vary. Lack of integrity between strategy and execution often leads to the plan’s failure. Worse yet, leaders often are unaware that the organization is undermining its own plan.

Recognizing the symptoms of a lack of integrity between planning and execution is imperative. To prevent a breakdown in  the process, construction executives must implement specific techniques. Continue »

Workforce DevelopmentMore Like This

In April 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its long-awaited Enforcement Guidance regarding employers’ use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions.

The guidance highlights the EEOC’s approach to using criminal records in background checks. Because claims can be made against employers by people who are injured by negligently hired or retained employees, firms need to know the risks involved in hiring decisions. Construction companies must walk the tightrope between potential claims of race discrimination by their employees or the EEOC, and claims by victims of those employees’ actions. Continue »

Press ReleaseMore Like This

Latest version of Bluebeam Software’s PDF-based collaboration solution addresses key needs for technical industries and remote professionals

Pasadena, CA (March, 19 2013) – Today Bluebeam® Software, leading developer of PDF-based collaboration solutions, announced the release of Revu® 11. This new version of Bluebeam’s flagship solution makes it easier than ever for users in document-intensive industries including architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) and oil and gas to collaborate on project documents and digitize technical reviews. Continue »

HRMore Like This

As the economic landscape continues to shift and belts tighten, small and medium-size companies—estimated to represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)—may wind up being so focused on core business issues they overlook one of the potentially most serious and costly issues: human resource compliance. Unlike their large counterparts, small and medium-size companies lack the time and resources to build infrastructure and processes that are beyond core business objectives.

But if entrepreneurs and smaller business owners are focused solely on growth and product, how do they know what issues to look for to protect the company? Continue »

Economic OutlookMore Like This

Power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy last October and thunderstorms followed by a heat wave along the East Coast last July tested the U.S. electrical grid, proving the system is too outdated to support the nation’s demands. While a comprehensive solution to increasing efficient power supplies and decreasing consumption may be far off, experienced contractors are busy responding to the immediate need for updated electrical systems. Continue »

Business DevelopmentMore Like This

According to early estimates, Hurricane Sandy’s rampage across the United States caused at least $50 billion in damage. Of course, that only represents a partial measurement because it does not fully reflect the economic losses associated with damage to business operations, business failures, loss of compensation, and most importantly the loss of more than 100 people and others with severe injuries.

How Hurricane Sandy ranks against other U.S. storms depends on the manner of measurement. In 2011, the National Hurricane Center attempted to rank the most damaging and expensive storms in the nation’s history. According to a straightforward analysis of economic damage, Hurricane Sandy is positioned to rank as the second or third most expensive storm since 1900—surpassed only by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and effectively on par with Hurricane Andrew in 1992.  Continue »

HiringMore Like This

Hiring a young person can be an enriching and performance-boosting act. Young workers under the age of 25 account for around 8 percent of the construction workforce. Youth are enthusiastic and eager to learn and contribute to the team. They can be a true asset to the business.

There are differences that need to be addressed when hiring young workers compared to older, more experienced workers. First, youth are computer-savvy and often want to know where they’re going. They’re at a stage in life where they are new to the workforce and it likely will be necessary to offer them a career and not just a job. For contractors hiring young workers, here are three tips to help attract and retain this demographic. Continue »

OutlookMore Like This

The multibillion dollar market for remediation of groundwater and soil will continue to grow. Fueling this growth is a reduction in available water per capita. This is the prediction of the McIlvaine Company in its Site Remediation and Emergency Response Newsletter.

By the year 2030, the world population will rise from today’s population of 7.1 billion to 8.3 billion. Demand for water will increase 40 percent between 2011 and 2030. The population across the globe will need 6,900 billion cubic meters (BCM) of water in 2030. This total exceeds current sustainable water supplies by 40 percent. By 2030, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that nearly one-half of the world population will live in areas of severe water stress. Continue »

RegulatoryMore Like This

OSHA QuickTakes, OSHA‘s monthly e-newsletter, recently published several notices of  information designed to help protect construction workers from a variety of workplace hazards. The Construction Industry Digest contains a summary in both English (80 pages) and Spanish (88 pages) of OSHA standards for construction safety. The agency also has published new fact sheets to help employers minimize exposure to silica when using construction equipment and a new web page warns of hydrogen sulfide exposure. Finally, OSHA reveals a study that finds a higher rate of roof fatalities among roofers in residential construction, particularly among younger, Hispanic, racial minorities and immigrant workers.  Continue »