Welder on staircase

High-paying careers:
Construction affords opportunities with substantial pay and benefits

            There’s no better time to work in the construction industry. With a growing shortage of skilled workers, salaries remain high and career opportunities are plentiful. The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) released its annual Construction Craft Salary Survey, which lists the average annual salaries of craft professionals from industrial and commercial construction firms across the country. Average annual salaries ranged from $47,700 to more than $92,000.             As high as these salaries are, the reality isRead More

mechanical worker holding a ratchet wrench

Consider construction: Pay often higher than jobs requiring bachelor’s degree

by Deanna Quintana As our children grow up, we continually ingrain in them that there is one route to success – a four-year degree. However, higher education is not solely defined by a bachelor’s degree. There are other paths that will guide them in the right direction before entering the workforce. While there are misconceptions about the construction and skilled-labor industry, numbers prove that there are millions of jobs available in this field and compared to college graduates, they’re well-paid.Read More

Mix it Up:
Staff could be key to reaching more customers

Need to grow your customer base? Diversify your offerings. Looking for a safety net for investments? Diversify your portfolio. Want your marketing campaigns to succeed? Diversify your staff. That’s right, a diverse staff could be the key to reaching more customers. According to Adrianne Troilo, Managing Director, Administration for the American Society for Engineering Education, a mix of employee backgrounds leads to results that can resonate with a much wider audience.   A snapshot of the U.S. population shows aRead More

Shaking hands in office

In a tight labor market consider rehiring former employees

by Ranger Kidwell-Ross The largest complaint that I hear from most contractors is their inability to get good workers. That situation hasn’t improved with the current low unemployment rate, combined with what is fast becoming a shortage of immigrant personnel. One source you may not have considered are your former employees, often called “boomerang” workers. This is yet another reason to maintain a cordial relationship with employees when they leave for what they perceive as a better opportunity. Why notRead 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

Construction wages rising:
Firms paying more, but labor market remains tight

An Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) analysis showed construction wages on the rise, which seems to be attracting workers to return to the industry. The organization cautioned, however, that labor conditions still remain extremely tight. “Many firms are boosting pay and taking other steps to compete for a relatively small pool of available, qualified workers to hire,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC’s Chief Executive Officer. “While these measures appear to be luring construction workers back to the job market,Read More

Man painting outside

Adding the arts to technical skills can generate more productivity, innovation

by Stuart G. Walesh, PhD, PE In 1871, engineer James Watt patented a steam engine that produced continuous rotary motion. Steam engines both figuratively and literally drove the Industrial Revolution and introduced the expression “build a head of steam.” When critical pressure is applied to pistons, things happen. Construction-sector professionals and organizations must strive to achieve the same momentum by building a head of STEAM – that is, by adding the “A” to STEM, the already-developed skill levels of science,Read More

business women jumping from rock to rock that says "JOB"

How to keep a millennial on staff

Hiring and retaining millennials is a growing concern for companies across the country. Although they now comprise a majority of the work force, according to a Gallup poll, six in 10 millennials are currently open to exploring new job opportunities, So, why the unrest? Part of the reason is the ability to search for a seemingly infinite number of jobs wherever, whenever. There are thousands of positions listed across dozens of job sites, so why would employees limit themselves toRead More

Tech working on machine

BUILDING THE FUTURE: New service tech training program

When Ann Pollert watched members of the inaugural class for the Komatsu Diesel Technician Program at North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) walk across the stage to receive their diplomas, it was the culmination of 10 years of planning and an important step in helping the heavy equipment industry address its shrinking workforce. “This was a goal of ours for a while,” said Pollert, who is the Technician and Career Developer at General Equipment & Supplies, Inc., a KomatsuRead More

Construction worker on scaffolding

SAFETY ECONOMICS 101: Safety is a team effort

(Part two of three) In the first segment of this blog series, we highlighted some of the issues that companies encounter when implementing a proactive safety program. Part two focuses on ideas to strengthen your safety program and involve employees in the process. Getting started preparing a written safety plan is not difficult. If you don’t have one, you need one immediately. If you do have a program and aren’t using it, pull it out and go through it carefully.Read More