Constructor - January/February 2018 - 32

incidents on the jobsite, which was active
for eight years as the tapering tower and
its spire rose from the ashes of tragedy to
symbolize triumph.

CHANGES AND CHALLENGES
There's little doubt that the industry
has undergone significant changes over
the years. A few AGC members, whose
companies predate the association,
weighed in on a few of the biggies.
McCarthy Building Companies, a member of multiple AGC chapters, was founded
in 1864. Chairman and CEO Mike Bolen's
history with McCarthy is only 40 years long
(he came onboard in 1978 as a carpenter
for one of McCarthy's subcontractors), but
in that time, he's seen an industry that's
undergone massive change in myriad ways.

Safety
Construction, he says, used to be a very
dangerous business, "but today safety is
Job One for us and that's true for a lot of
our best competitors, too. The industry,
the environment has totally changed and
now people can come through the gates,
go to work and with reasonable reliance
believe that they're going to go home that
night just the way they showed up. This is
because of a change in philosophy, technology, the way we conduct our work, the
equipment we use, it permeates everything the industry does."
Michael Meagher is senior vice president for Chicago-based  James McHugh
Construction Co., a Builders Association
member. He says safety was traditionally viewed as an imposition - a necessary evil to be managed, often at the
expense of deadlines and money. "Ego
and showmanship were commonplace
on the construction site," Meagher says,
"compromising safety and, by extension,
the GC's livelihood." But the years brought
increased competition and the development of EMR scores and owner-controlled
insurance programs. From there, safety
evolved into a strategic consideration for
general contractors. In turn, this made
safety a strategic consideration for subcontractors and employees.
"Today," says Meagher, "the best companies recognize that safety isn't taught in
a three-hour orientation, and it isn't enough
to pencil in daily audits on your work sites.
The companies that consistently secure the

best contracts for the best developers and
clients are those who make safety a part of
their cultural fabric, giving their employees
the tools and resources to make good decisions and prioritizing safety above deadlines or cost. In the end, most GCs have seen
that approach pay dividends."

Workforce
Some of the industry's biggest changes
are still works in progress. Bolen's not sure
they're things to be overcome, but rather
understood as being in perpetual evolution.
Back in the day, being a plumber or a
mason was a skill job, something many
young people aspired to. "It beat working
in the mines or on the farm or at the Ford
plant," Bolen explains. "And that base of
talent and ambition fueled our industry
for 25 years, but then came college and
computers and a change in our culture
and ever since then, [construction professionals] have been fighting the notion that
our industry is not an attractive place for
high-quality ambitious people."
Daniel Haag, chief administrative officer for Sundt, a member of multiple AGC
chapters, says, "Our education system has
not sufficiently produced the workforce we
need to be successful decade after decade."
Tempe, Arizona-based Sundt was founded
in 1890 and is a 100 percent employeeowned company. The company "has a
long history of partnering with education
institutions to influence the direction of
education and in the development of college-level programs aimed at graduating
skilled construction professionals in the
construction trades."
Meagher says the industry is at a crossroads. "There is a general disinterest in the
trades from younger generations, who favor
careers in professional and technical fields.
... We risk losing decades of knowledge and
skill if we can't find the answer."
Inviting school children to visit worksites, offering tours and job shadows to
recent graduates, and partnering with job
training organizations to reach new audiences are just a few ways contractors can
help bring more capable workers into the
trades.
Bolen says working with school districts
to create new high schools is an avenue
for success.
"You're seeing these schools pop up, and
soon one out of every six will be a two-year

32 constructor | JAN U ARY/ FEBRU ARY 2018

school that picks people up after their
sophomore year and trains them in a
trade so when they graduate, they can
move right into a productive role in our
industry."

Technology
Many say the construction industry
has been historically slow to adopt new
technology.
"Thanks to the rapid growth in available technology as well as a younger,
more technically savvy workforce, entering the trades," says Meagher, "we've
seen a shift in the industry's willingness to incorporate innovations into their
operations. From 3D modeling capabilities, which vastly improves our estimating and training functions, to digital
programs that enhance our safety auditing processes, technology has allowed us
to become more efficient and, as a result,
more valuable to our clients."
Moving forward, Haag believes the
construction industry will be faced with
changes at a faster pace in the future
than ever.
"These changes will include significant technology changes, robotics, Lean
work processes, SMART Buildings and
productivity enhancements."
And, he believes, the demographics
will continue to change the face of construction at a faster pace.
"The construction industry will be
much more sophisticated in workforce
development and planning than ever,"
he says.
John Carlson, senior vice president
and corporate strategic business officer
at Sundt, believes the next 100 years will
see "a continued investment in people,
technology and leveraging of private
funds to design, build, operate and maintain our public and social infrastructure.
How we tackle and implement strategies
around this will affect how successful our
industry can be in playing a vital role in
our society," he says.
A shot of the accountants who helped
plan the Empire State Building, while
relevant, could never match the romantic image cut by those lofty ironworkers
above Manhattan. And while we don't
know what the industry will look like a
century from now, we'd venture it's in no
danger from a cadre of robots, either. ◆



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Constructor - January/February 2018

Editor’s Note
President’s Message
CEO’s Letter
Come for the Puppies, Stay for the Mission
Simonson Says
2018 Regulatory Update: AGC Leaves No Stone Unturned
De-Constructing Delays and Disruptions: Task Force Tackles an Ever-Increasing Problem
Workforce Development Is Priority One
Going Up
Technology Toolbox
Improving Safety With Building Information Modeling Technology
Book Shelf
The 99th Annual AGC Convention: Celebrating 100 Years of Construction
Member and Chapter News
Overcoming Permit Delays
2018 Service & Supply Buyers’ Guide – a Special Advertising Section
Products & Services Marketplace
Index to Advertisers
Constructor - January/February 2018 - Intro
Constructor - January/February 2018 - cover1
Constructor - January/February 2018 - cover2
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 3
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 4
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 5
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 6
Constructor - January/February 2018 - Editor’s Note
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 8
Constructor - January/February 2018 - President’s Message
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 10
Constructor - January/February 2018 - CEO’s Letter
Constructor - January/February 2018 - Come for the Puppies, Stay for the Mission
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 13
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 14
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 15
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 16
Constructor - January/February 2018 - Simonson Says
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 18
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 2018 Regulatory Update: AGC Leaves No Stone Unturned
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 20
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 21
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 22
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 23
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 24
Constructor - January/February 2018 - De-Constructing Delays and Disruptions: Task Force Tackles an Ever-Increasing Problem
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 26
Constructor - January/February 2018 - Workforce Development Is Priority One
Constructor - January/February 2018 - Going Up
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 29
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 30
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 31
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 32
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 33
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 34
Constructor - January/February 2018 - Technology Toolbox
Constructor - January/February 2018 - Improving Safety With Building Information Modeling Technology
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 37
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 38
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 39
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 40
Constructor - January/February 2018 - Book Shelf
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 42
Constructor - January/February 2018 - The 99th Annual AGC Convention: Celebrating 100 Years of Construction
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 44
Constructor - January/February 2018 - Member and Chapter News
Constructor - January/February 2018 - Overcoming Permit Delays
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 47
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 48
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 2018 Service & Supply Buyers’ Guide – a Special Advertising Section
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 50
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 51
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 52
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 53
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 54
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 55
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 56
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 57
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 58
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 59
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 60
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 61
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 62
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 63
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 64
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 65
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 66
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 67
Constructor - January/February 2018 - Products & Services Marketplace
Constructor - January/February 2018 - 69
Constructor - January/February 2018 - Index to Advertisers
Constructor - January/February 2018 - cover3
Constructor - January/February 2018 - cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0318
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0218
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0118
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0617
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0517
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0417
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0317
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0217
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0117
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0616
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0516
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0416
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0316
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0216
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0116
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0615
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0515
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0415
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0315
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0215
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NGCS/NGCS0115
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com