African American Construction Worker Carrying plywood

Are women the answer to construction’s labor shortage?

While a majority (79 percent) of construction firms are planning to expand their payrolls this year, nearly an equal percentage are concerned about their ability to hire qualified workers, according to survey results by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and Sage Construction and Real Estate. “With overall unemployment now at the lowest level in nearly 50 years, contractors are having an ever harder time finding workers with or without construction experience,” said Ken Simonson, ACG’s Chief Economist. “AverageRead More

How to use a Digital Toolkit

Much like a media kit, the digital toolkit contains several items to help you get more from your marketing investment with Construction Publications; it’s like a Swiss Army knife for your marketing strategy. We encourage you to repurpose the stories, photos and videos in as many ways as possible. Here are some ideas to get you started: Website Content Create a dedicated place on your website for articles, such as a blog, case study/customer success story page or news page.Read More

welder with prism rainbow reflection

New Path to Skilled-Trade Jobs

Thanks to budget cuts and a growing emphasis on preparing teens to enter four-year colleges or universities, many trade-related programs have been reduced or cut completely from the public school system. This has shrunk the pool of qualified workers who can trade their caps and gowns for hard hats and steel toes upon graduation. One strategy delivering positive results is to tailor education that fits the prevailing college-bound mindset of today’s students. Such programs allow young people to have theRead More

Virtual design with building information modeling saves taxpayer dollars

by Jim Lynch, Vice President, Autodesk Construction Products Group No longer the infrastructure envy of the world, many of the United States’ roads, bridges and tunnels are crumbling and in need of substantial maintenance or replacement. Compounding these challenges are the pressures of increased urbanization and population growth, which will place added stress on already strained systems. So, while the Beltway banter continues about addressing infrastructure funding, we can no longer focus solely on the amount of spending, but ratherRead More

Feature Photo for beyond basics blog

Beyond the basics: Comprehensive training for a better workforce

            It’s rare that employees come fully prepared to do the jobs for which they were hired. Skilled construction workers know how to move dirt, build buildings and put pipe in the ground, but do they know your expectations and how you approach projects? With comprehensive training, they will.             “I’ve talked with many companies that wonder whether training is worth it, considering that in today’s world, most employees only stay with a company for a relatively short time,” saidRead More

Young Adult holding blueprints.

Investing in the future: Partnering with education

by Katrina Kersch             The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce states, “The business community is the number one consumer of the public education system and therefore must be an involved and engaged stakeholder in the education of America’s children.”             It is not unusual to hear employers talk about partnerships with education as having no real return on investment (ROI). I have personally heard the following statements from employers: “I attended three career fairs and sawRead More

Additional federal infrastructure investment is critical for safe drinking water

by Sara Schwartz When news of the Flint, Mich., water crisis made headlines, nearly 21 million people across the country relied on water systems that violated health standards. Low-income communities, minority populations and rural towns disproportionately deal with barriers to safe water. (See related story from Pittsburgh, Penn., below.) Drinking water challenges are complex: failing infrastructure, polluted water sources and low-capacity utility management are all part of the issue. Declining investment in water infrastructure throughout the last several decades hasRead More

How advanced technology is shaping tomorrow’s jobsites

            Technological revolutions don’t happen overnight. Instead, they typically resemble the progression of a jobsite; one area is built, connected to another, tied to a third and so on. Once a project nears completion, the full picture finally begins to emerge. When looking at the future of technology in the construction industry, that picture is starting to come into focus.             While other industries may receive more mainstream attention for exciting advances, construction has already experienced its share of revolutionaryRead More

Road construction

Mobile technology aims for safer highway work zones

More than half (54 percent) of highway contractors reported that motor vehicles had crashed into their construction zones during the past year, according to the results of a highway work zone study conducted in 2018 by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). In response, association officials have launched a new mobile advertising campaign that urges drivers who pass through work zones to slow down and be alert. Forty eight percent of contractors who reported crashes on jobsites said driversRead More

Worker in PPE cutting steel beam

Creating a safety culture:
Focus on more than just recording zero incidents

by Bob Fitzgerald, Sr. Risk Control Consultant at Willis Towers Watson Great news! Your project achieved a safety milestone with zero OSHA-recordable injuries. Mission accomplished, right? Not entirely. Most safety practitioners insist that there is always room for improvement with safety practices and procedures. While the OSHA Recordable Incidence Rate (RIR) is a common and important metric for many organizations, some industry groups rank this indicator too high. Avoiding OSHA-recordable injuries is always a good thing, but claiming victory basedRead More