Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Are You in Compliance?

As a construction professional, construction safety compliance is your highest priority. Have you taken steps to ensure your policies and practices are in compliance for 2014? 

Now is a good time to update workplace posters, employee handbooks and employee safety-training programs. Below are links to helpful compliance resources to get your spring projects off to a great start.

Compliance Assistance Quick Start: Construction Industry - Library

Get Help Navigating DOL Laws and Regulations

Workplace Poster Requirements for Small Businesses and Other Employers

List of all states and labor office contact information

New OSHA Compliance Assistance Products

Employers in states operating OSHA-approved state plans should obtain and post the state’s equivalent poster. Request the OSHA poster for free.

Construct Corps has partnered with ClickSafety, the nations' leading provider of online construction safety training. From OSHA 10 and 30 Hour Construction courses to more specific safety program applications, we quickly address the unique needs of any construction project. 

Onsite safety certifications are also available from our Certified Safety Instructor. Please email us to learn more about onsite safety certifications for your staff.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Staffing Agency

Many organizations use staffing companies to lessen their risks, hire talent as quickly as possible, or to keep their labor costs flexible.

Choosing the right staffing partner is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a business leader. At the end of the year, everyone’s plate is beyond full – and if you elect to partner with a staffing company, it needs to be the right one: the one whose values, approach and industry understanding complement that of your own organization.

Here are a few questions to ask to ensure you are hiring the right staffing firm for your company:

  1. Does the company specialize in my field; how much industry experience do they have? Keep in mind, specialized staffing companies tend to attract more highly qualified workers and have a better understanding of your needs than general staffing firms.
  2. What kind of reporting and documentation will be provided? Will you receive detailed weekly/monthly/quarterly reports showing specific information including placements, pay rates, bill rates and quality control metrics? Are invoices and billing information detailed?
  3. What is the turnaround time for placement? Turnaround time for placements can range from a few hours to a few weeks. What will work for you?
  4. How are the candidates qualified? What screening processes, tests, background, reference checks, etc. are in place to ensure the candidates meet your project criteria?
  5. What are the pay rates and benefit packages for workers? Because the employee is officially working for the staffing agency, it is the agency who will be determining his or her wages and benefits. Are these wages in line with industry averages?
  6. Will my contact be available 24/7? Construction is not a 9-5 business. Will the agency be reachable outside of normal business hours?
  7. How do you charge? Some agencies charge placement fees while others charge a certain percentage of the employees’ wages.

Working with the right staffing partner can reduce your overhead, operational costs and improve performance. See how we work to meet the unique demands of your business. Click here to view available workers by trade and location.

Questions? Call 1.866.532.6777 or request more information.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

CONTRACTORS: Construct Corps, LLC Exceeds Service Expectations

Construct Corps was recently rated by its customers in a survey conducted by Open Ratings, scoring high marks in every category.

Tampa, FL (PRWEB) November 18, 2013
Construct Corps, LLC, a leading provider of temporary skilled workers to construction, industrial, manufacturing and disaster response projects throughout the United States, had a productive and accolade filled year. Recently, the Dun & Bradstreet company Open Ratings, surveyed a broad sampling of Construct Corps’ clients asking them to rank the performance of Construct Corps in the delivery of skilled trade staffing services. Construct Corps’ Overall Performance Rating is an impressive 92 out of 100 when asked “Overall, how satisfied do you feel about the performance of Construct Corps during this transaction?”
“We pride ourselves on delivering an excellent customer experience, so we’re pleased to see that reflected in the opinions of our clients,” said Corey Tashkin, Construct Corps, LLC President. The survey uncovered noteworthy topics, including:
  •     Construct Corps follows through on its commitments.
  •     Customers find that Construct Corps’ pricing correspond to expectations.
  •     The services delivered by Construct Corps are high in quality, matched order specifications, and are delivered on time.
  •     It is very easy to do business with Construct Corps; the staff is courteous, professional and has a good attitude.
  •     Construct Corps is responsive to requests, issues, and problems that arise in the course of doing business.
Additional survey findings can be found at http://www.constructcorps.com.
About Construct Corps, LLC
Construct Corps is a mission-driven skilled trades staffing company that delivers real labor solutions to its clients. For more than a decade, it has led the industry by providing an excellent service experience to customers throughout the United States. Construct Corps, LLC’s services includes providing skilled workers to construction projects, industrial sites, manufacturing centers, and disaster response projects of varying scope and size. For more information about Construct Corps, LLC, call (866) 532-6777 or visit http://www.ConstructCorps.com.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Are You Prepared for Labor Challenges in 2014?

Construction employment hit a 50-month high as employers added 11,000 jobs in October, reaching its highest level since August 2009. As the industry continues to add new jobs, nearly 74% of construction firms nationwide reported having a hard time finding qualified workers to fill key positions.

There are just six weeks left in 2013. It's time to review your performance and start making plans for success in the new year. Part of your year-end review should include an assessment of your labor needs.

Here are some questions to help identify your potential labor challenges in 2014.
  1. Did you increase or decrease the size of your staff in 2013?
  2. Did you experience challenges filling certain positions?
  3. What positions were most difficult to fill?
  4. Do you expect that it will be harder to fill certain positions in the next twelve months?
  5. Are you losing workers to higher-paying jobs?
  6. Is your firm having to increase wages and/or benefits to retain construction professionals?
  7. Do you expect to increase wages and/or benefits to retain current workers?
Construct Corps can help you plan ahead and address these challenges by working with you to create a strategic staffing plan that meets the needs of your business. Contact us or call 1.866.532.6777 ext. 223 for more information.

Construct Corps just received an Overall Performance Rating of 92 in a recent PPE report powered by Open Ratings, a division of Dun & Bradstreet (D&B.)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

5 Ways Staffing Can Help Control Labor Costs

Are you looking to improve operating margins on your projects? Here are 5 ways you can use temporary staffing to reduce your overhead, operational costs and improve performance.

1. Go from a Fixed Labor Cost to Variable

Your revenue may cycle up and down from month to month but labor will generally remain flat. Using temporary workers gives you the opportunity to reduce costs during the down times and gives you the flexibility increase manpower when workloads are heavier.

2. Let the Staffing Company Do the Leg Work

When you partner with a staffing company, they handle screening, testing, interviewing and reference checking. Not to mention all the costs associated with processing payroll and managing benefits. This frees up your office personnel to handle more critical tasks.

3. Limit Benefit Expenses

Benefits can cost up to 30% of payroll expenses. Using staffing companies where temporary workers are paid through a staffing firm alleviates you from carrying the burden of benefit expenses.

4. Reduce Training Costs

Working with a staffing company gives you access to skilled and experienced workers. This will help improve productivity by saving you and your core staff time spent training. This frees up valuable employee resources and allows your veteran staff to focus on the job rather than new recruits.

5. Prevent Unemployment Claims

Using temporary workers shifts the unemployment burden to the staffing company rather than your business. This keeps unemployment expenses from affecting your bottom line.

If your business can benefit from a more flexible workforce, or if you need the expertise of an experienced construction staffing company, don’t hesitate to contact us or call 1.866.532.6777 ext. 223.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

ACA Update | Construction Marketing Tip: Can Your Customers Find You Online?

ACA Update: Which Employers Must Provide Employees Notice of Exchange Coverage Options?

Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, individuals and employees of small businesses will have access to health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace (or Exchange).

If your company is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, it should provide a written notice to its employees about the Health Insurance Marketplace by October 1, 2013, but there is no fine or penalty under the law for failing to provide the notice. FAQ on Notice of Coverage.

Learn more about the Marketplace notice requirement and Affordable Care Act Regulations and Guidance.

Can Your Customers Find You Online?

As more local consumers look for construction companies online, are you missing out on potential customers? Local business directories are a great resource for promoting your construction company for free. 

Every individual directory that you submit to is another chance to get found online, so it's important to make sure you're listed in multiple directories. 

Chances are if you have a business phone, your business already has some sort of data on these sites. You should “claim your listing” to ensure that your listing profile has accurate, current information.

Getting Started:

  • Save time and prepare your company description in advance.
  • You'll also need your logo and a few photos with samples of your work. Many of these sites offer some portfolio sections where you can include pictures. 
  • Label all photos with your company name (or website address) and key words. 
  • Adding your city will also help your business come up in local searches.

Take advantage of free online business listings to jump-start your online presence:

Pressed for time?  Check out Express Update or GetListed.org to manage multiple listings in one place.

It is important to balance your offline and online marketing according to what works for your business, in your market. Take the time to measure which strategies are working so you can invest in the activities that are generating the most leads, ultimately helping you build your business. 

Using a temporary staffing company can help supplement your workforce as your business demands increase. Contact us or call 1.866.532.6777 for more information.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

7 Common Marketing Mistakes That Contractors Make

Since growth has remained modest in 2013, having an effective marketing strategy, planning and budgeting are more important than ever as you make plans for the new year. Are you making these common marketing mistakes? 
Advertising in irrelevant sources
Many construction companies turn to inexpensive advertising sources to maximize budget dollars hoping to gain exposure. However, while low-cost advertising deals seem attractive, they may be irrelevant to your target market.
Relying too much on referrals
Contractors often rely heavily on generating leads through word-of-mouth referrals from other contractors. However, your prospects don’t always take these recommendations to heart and will often try to research a company online.
Not Having an Up-to-Date Website (or no web presence at all)
A well-designed and current website will make the best first impression on prospects. If potential clients can’t find any information about the recommended construction company on the web, your prospects will look elsewhere.
Not Having an Effective Win Strategy
You should have a strategy to win more of the “right type” of jobs. A win strategy must address the specific issues that are important to the customer about the particular job. This can only be done by thoroughly understanding your customers' buying motivation, organization, project goals and objectives.
Not Having a Good Proposals and Presentations
This is where the rubber meets the road and many contractors lose projects they should have won. A good presentation will not win a job by itself, but a bad one will lose the job. Good proposals and presentations tell a story. Without it, the customer will assume that contractor “A” is different from contractor “B” only on price. Your prospects want a reason to choose, and a winning presentation will give it to them.
Not Having a Marketing Budget
You must set a solid dollar figure you are willing to spend and developing the mix within your budget.  It is important to develop and use estimated budgets for your increased sales - if your marketing plan works, do you have enough people to handle additional work? Do you have a backup staffing plan just in case?
Not Having a Back Up Staffing Plan

Nothing is worse than winning a bid and not having the labor resources you need to complete the project. Using a temporary staffing company can help supplement your workforce as your business demands increase. Contact us or call 1.866.532.6777 for more information.
Source: constructionmarketingideas.com

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Where Have the Construction Workers Gone?

Staffing Companies May Have the Answer
Construction unemployment fell to 9.8 percent in June, the lowest June level since 2008. Despite signs of recovery, the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) has projected there will be a shortage of two million commercial construction workers by 2017.

Many construction workers left to find other jobs during the recession; subsequently there is a serious lack of skilled laborers in the construction market.

In a March 2013 survey of its members, the Association of Builders & Contractors found that labor shortages have grown across a variety of positions and professions compared to the same time period in March 2012.

  • 38% of companies currently report "some shortage" of carpenters for rough work, up from 24%
  • 57% report no shortage, compared to 71%
  • 23% reported some shortage of roofers, up from 14% in 2012

A similar trend holds, across many other construction-related occupations, including electricians, bricklayers, plumbers and workers in framing crews. While these figures may indicate a strengthening industry, they also could signal future constraints on growing firms looking for workers.

In addition, shortages of framers and wallboard installers are evident in certain individual markets. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of carpenters fell from 969,670 in 2007 to 471,350 in 2012, a 51% decline.

Future worker shortages might still be averted with renewed interest and investment in vocational, educational programs designed to help prepare students for careers in construction and manufacturing as they enter the workforce.

In the meantime, many contractors are turning to temporary staffing agencies to help reduce recruiting costs. Across America, temporary work has become a mainstay of the economy. Every year, a tenth of all U.S. workers finds a job at a staffing agency. Last year, more than one in every 20 blue-collar workers was a temp. 

If your business can benefit from a more flexible workforce, or if you need recruiting resources from an experienced construction staffing company, don't hesitate to contact usor call 1.866.532.6777. See how we have helped other contractors.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Changes to Jessica Lundsford Act - HB 21

Florida contractors with projects in the public education sector will no longer need to submit employee badge applications to each and every school district where work is performed.

During the 2013 Legislative Session, HB 21 was approved, and placed into law effective July 1, 2013.

The bill requires the Department of Education (DOE) to create a uniform, statewide identification badge signifying that a noninstructional contractor has satisfied the specified background screening requirements.

At present, there is no required uniform, statewide identification badge that signifies that a non-instructional contractor has satisfied background screening requirements. School districts generally issue their own identification badges or proof of clearance. Non-instructional contractors will be charged a fee for the statewide identification badge, as set by DOE. Currently school districts that issue identification badges set their own fee. 

Read the complete bill here:
HB 21 Background Screening for Noninstructional Contractors on School Grounds

Friday, April 19, 2013

Construction Demand Outpaces Skilled Labor

The commercial construction continues to improve at a moderate pace, with nonresidential projected to increase by 5% this year, according to a survey of the nation's leading construction forecasters.  A 7.2% increase is expected in nonresidential construction spending for 2014 and the biggest winners are expected to be hotel, retail and office buildings.  If office space construction is going to get robust, what factors will drive demand? Stifled construction and increased demand for office space are already fueling the likelihood of new office property development.  In particular, an uptrend is approaching for the high-quality urbanized office sector of trophy skyscrapers otherwise known as Class A office space.  These Class A properties represent the highest quality buildings in their market. They are generally the most attractive buildings with the best construction, ideal location and high quality infrastructure. As a result of this, they attract the highest quality tenants and also command the highest rents.  The demand for the most sought-after Class A office space means new office buildings are likely to be built, but who will build them? Many contractors already feel the strain of construction activity outpacing the supply of labor.  It is estimated that nearly 1.5 million workers have left the industry to take other jobs, retire or leave the workforce completely. The construction labor shortage can be blamed for slowing down recovery for some companies  as employers are being cautious about adding headcount while others simply can't find workers.
Is your business somewhere in between? Construct Corps can help you manage these workforce challenges with a  variable staffing strategy.

For a limited time, get two hours of labor for FREE when you request a quote. Simply enter "2FREE" under promo code.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Strategies to Offset ACA Penalties

The obligations and penalties of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will take effect in 2014. Under these provisions, if employers do not offer affordable health coverage that provides a minimum level of coverage to their full-time employees, they may be subject to a penalty if at least one of their full-time employees receives a premium tax credit for purchasing individual coverage on one of the new Affordable Insurance Exchanges.

Here is a look at two different staffing strategies that could help a business avoid penalties and contain healthcare costs.

Part-Time Worker Strategy
The Internal Revenue Code 4980H(a) penalty applies to full-time employees.  A contractor may choose to limit the hours of certain workers or create more part-time positions.  Part-time employees generally average fewer than 30 hours per week.

A successful part-time strategy may require the contractor to impose rigid restrictions on work schedules – which could limit the ability to respond to changing project conditions and project demands. However, if the contractor isn’t careful about monitoring employee’s hours, it might become subject to the Internal Revenue Service Section 4980H(a) penalty. 

If a contractor has 100 full-time employees, all with employer-provided coverage, and 20 part-time employees, none with employer provided coverage.

Because the contractors entire full-time workforce appears to have employer-provided coverage, the employer believes that it has satisfied the requirements and is not subject to the 4980H(a) penalty.
But assume that six of those part-time employees have worked enough hours to be qualify as full-time employees.  The employer could then be subject to the penalty, because it actually has 106 full-time employees, and only 100 of them have employer provided coverage.  The annual penalty under Section 4980H(a) would be $152,000.00 (106 full-time employees, minus the first 30, multiplied by $2,000.00).

Variable Staffing Strategy
The variable staffing strategy is similar to the use of independent contractors. Variable staff (i.e. temporary skilled workers) are generally not entitled to healthcare coverage, and their expanded use could offer businesses a way to avoid or reduce healthcare costs and PPACA penalties.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), if a temporary skilled worker is actually an employee of a staffing company, and not an employee of their client, then the temporary skilled worker does NOT count toward determining whether the client is a “large” employer –and would NOT be considered a full-time employee of the client for purposes of the PPACA penalty.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will impact the bottom line of every construction company. Whether you agree or disagree with health care reform, business owners must determine the extent this new law will impact them and how best to prepare for it.  Please contact us or call 1.866.532.6777 to see if your business can benefit from a Variable Staffing approach. Our services can be structured to meet your specific organizational needs.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Construction Industry Faces Worker Shortage (USA Today)

The construction industry shed 2.2 million workers between January 2007 and last year.
So now there's an overabundance of them eager for jobs, right?
Contractors are struggling with shortages of workers as the home-building market comes to life and some commercial sectors strengthen. The crunch is affecting a handful of states, including Texas, Arizona, Iowa and Florida. But it's expected to worsen and spread across the USA over the next few years, building officials say. The shortages are already prompting builders to raid each other's job sites for workers.
"It has been a shock for us," says Milton Chicas, who heads recruiting for Wayne Bros., a Kannapolis, N.C.-based commercial builder in the Southeast. "There are so many folks out of work right now, we thought we were going to have a large amount of individuals coming through the door."
During the downturn, hundreds of thousands of laid-off construction workers left the field, retired or moved to other states to find work, leaving some markets without an adequate supply for even the current moderate upswing in activity. After scrounging for odd jobs and hoping for an upturn, many workers retooled to become truck drivers, factory workers or roughnecks in the nation's booming oil and natural gas fields.
Meanwhile, Baby Boomers are retiring and fewer high school graduates are entering the field as parents and school officials promote a college education or training in high-tech fields such as computers.
The result is a widening gap between construction labor demand and supply in some areas.
Nationally, building-permit applications for homes and apartments this year are up 31% over 2011, though they're still well below average and the mid-2000s peak, according to the Census Bureau. Builders are finally responding to record low new-home inventories, historically low interest rates and a modestly improving job market. All construction spending, including commercial and government, in September was up 14% from the market bottom in February 2011.
Yet construction payrolls are virtually unchanged from two years ago at 5.5 million. Contractors are coping with the added workload in part by paying employees more overtime, says Ken Simonson, chief economist of Associated General Contractors of America.
Some companies are being cautious following a brutal slump, but others simply can't find workers. Despite the industry's static employment, its jobless rate has dropped from 17.3% to 11.4% the past two years as 320,000 construction laborers stopped working or looking for work, Labor Department figures show.
Twenty-nine percent of home builders surveyed by the National Association of Home Builders in June reported some shortage of framing workers and 6% said there was a serious deficit — only slightly less than in 2006 at the height of the home construction frenzy. By 2017, there could be a shortage of 2 million commercial construction workers, according to the Construction Users Roundtable, a trade group.
The shortfalls are slowing the recovery​ in some states hit hardest by the housing crash. In Florida, permits to build single-family homes this year are up 25% from last year but remain less than a quarter of the 2005 peak. In Tampa, crews that install drywall in new homes are especially scarce after many headed north when projects and wages plummeted in the recession, says Angela Phillian, owner of Angela Drywall. Walls can typically be installed in a house in a week, but it's now taking up to two weeks or more, she says, because she often has to wait at least several days for a crew to free up from another job.
She routinely contends with managers of rival companies who sidle up to a job site and poach her workers by offering them an extra dollar per drywall board, a tactic Phillian says she's forced to deploy as well. "We're in a labor crisis right now," she says.
Recently, she says, the builders that subcontract drywall services have agreed to pay more. That has allowed Phillian and her competitors to return their pay rates to pre-recession levels of $5 per board after they fell to less than half that. And it's helping Phillian gradually lure drywall crews back to Tampa from Northern states such as New York.
But it's squeezing Tampa builders such as John Fowke, who says he's been hit recently with a 10% increase in both labor and material costs, forcing him to raise the sales prices of his houses. He worries that home appraisers won't increase their valuations in a still-distressed market, preventing buyers from obtaining a loan.
In Arizona, which is also seeing a moderate turnaround after being battered by the housing crash, a labor shortage is exacerbated by the new law that lets police check people's immigration status. Most white laborers won't work in Arizona's brutal heat and many Hispanic construction workers have left the state because of the law, says Buddy Satterfield, president of Shea Homes in Scottsdale. He says he's tried to coax Hispanic workers from Texas, Colorado and New Mexico, but "those guys won't come to Phoenix."
Satterfield says he's building about 450 homes this year instead of the 750 he should be putting up based on demand. "It just takes so much effort," he says. "A trade (crew) doesn't show up because they're on another job site and we have to reschedule."
Although the housing bust wasn't nearly as severe in Texas, many construction workers left the industry to toil in the state's thriving oil and natural gas drilling fields for higher pay and greater stability. With limited crews putting up frames, Tilson Homes is building houses in six to eight months, two months longer than normal, says President Eddie Martin.
Commercial contractors are also struggling in some areas. Scott Norvell, head of Master Builders of Iowa, a trade group, worries there won't be enough workers in the state to handle billions of dollars in projects over the next few years to rebuild structures damaged by the 2011 floods.
Redstone Painting & Finishes, which is turning a historical 12-story building in Des Moines into a complex of offices, stores and condos, has been unable to add 14 workers to the 41 now on site, says company President Rob Knudsen. Instead, he says, existing employees are running up overtime, increasing his costs by 50% and reducing his profits by 25%.
"That's less money for more new equipment and increasing marketing and growing," Knudsen says, adding that he could double his revenue if he could find enough workers.
At North Carolina's Wayne Bros., which builds concrete walls and foundations for power plants and other commercial buildings, positions stay open three to six months, forcing the company to accept about 25% fewer jobs than it can handle, Chicas says. The contractor offers apprenticeships, but it takes one to three years for an apprentice to be productive, he says.
Such training is less prevalent than it used to be. Many commercial contractors offer apprenticeships and courses in-house or through local trade groups and unions, says Don Whyte, president of the National Center for Construction Education and Research. But a declining number of residential builders provides training, says John Courson, head of the Home Builders Institute. There were 5,453 construction apprenticeship programs overseen by the federal government in fiscal 2012, down from 6,076 in fiscal 2007, Labor Department figures show.
Home builders "want workers that can hit the job site and go to work the first day," Courson says.
Meanwhile, some laid-off construction workers are trickling back as activity picks up, but others are entrenched in more stable fields. James Bewley of Omaha, a 36-year mason who was laid off in 2008, worked sporadically at reduced hours for several years. After his income dwindled so dramatically that he almost lost his house, he took a $4,000, four-week class at JTL Truck Driver Training in August 2011.
"It was time to do something else," says Bewley, 52, adding that driving was physically easier but far more stressful than construction work.
His first job kept him away from home 11 days at a time and paid half the roughly $50,000 salary he earned in construction. But he recently took a $34,000 job with a petroleum company that lets him make deliveries to area stores and sleep at home nightly. His company also offers a 401(k) plan and paid holidays and vacation — perks he never had in construction.
He sometimes misses his old job, noting, "You take pride in your work." But, he adds, "Then I remember how hard it was."
"I can always go back to bricklaying," he says, but "I'm not going to if I don't have to. I could see (a major downturn) happening again."
Others are open to returning to construction. Steelworker Ryan Espinoza of Reno saw his work slow down in 2008, forcing him to eventually take a job as a bill collector for a cable company and file for bankruptcy. This year, he took a 16-week class to learn to operate computer-controlled factory machines.
He quickly found work at an area factory earning $12 an hour, far below his $30-an-hour construction salary. He also misses working outside and at an endless variety of locations. Espinoza says he'll stay in manufacturing if he can learn to program factory machines, allowing him to approach his former pay.
"Otherwise, if construction comes back and shows it's steady, I would probably go back," he says.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lack of Skilled Builders Feared as Economy Lifts (USA Today)

CINCINNATI — Chris Fridel is an experienced electrician, loves his work, and loves to pitch jobs in the construction industry.
Last month, for the first time since the Great Recession, he actually had new jobs to talk about at a regional jobs fair.
But he's worried. So few young people entered apprenticeship programs during the economic downturn that he and other recruiters fear the building trades could run short of skilled workers.
"When the economy picks up, we'll have this big hole," he said.
The implications are huge: A full economic rebound won't be possible without a robust comeback in the construction industry.
New home construction leads to spending on furniture, lawn equipment, appliances and residential upkeep. Commercial construction leads to new retail and entertainment venues. And construction jobs tend to pay well, giving those workers the ability and confidence to spend money on their own homes, fueling the economy more.
But restocking the talent pool can't be done overnight. Apprentices need three to five years of classwork and on-the-job training to become the expert masons, electricians, iron workers, insulators and painters needed to build a house or a skyscraper.
Younger workers, too, have more options than a decade ago. As service industries have become a bigger part of the nation's economy, workers can choose from more jobs that don't involve strenuous physical labor and long hours outdoors.
"There's definitely a need for people," said President Pete Chronis of Reece-Campbell Inc., a Cincinnati construction company. Many of the contractors he works with are worried about having enough skilled laborers in the training pipeline.
"There's a certain amount of ruggedness required," he said. "We need to glamorize working with your hands."
See Canadian imports Mike Holmes of Holmes on Homes, Holmes Inspection, and Holmes Makes It Right; Scott McGillivray of Income Property; and Jonathan Scott of Property Brothers along with the supporting cast of many other HGTV and DIY Network shows and perhaps the original reality-show tradesman, Massachusetts carpenter Norm Abram of PBS' This Old House.

To Read More, see the full article...   Lack of Skilled Builders Feared as Economy Lifts

Thursday, February 21, 2013

How to Cut Costs Using a Variable Staffing Approach

Looking to cut costs? Position yourself for a more profitable future with a Variable Staffing Approach.

How does your business respond to competitive pressure to reduce overhead and lower labor costs?
When it comes time to set cost-cutting objectives, you should consider long-term factors, such as your anticipated growth. It is important to set challenging, but realistic goals that take your company's limitations into account. Your staffing strategy should be a key part of this process.
Consider how well your current strategy responds efficiently and effectively to a wide variety of situations, both known and unknown. Then take into account the capability of your personnel, space and equipment limitations, and the timing of anticipated work. Your strategy should be flexible enough to adjust staffing levels to fluctuations in your work load over the course of a day, week, month or year.
One way you can help your organizations leaner is by partnering with a staffing company to adopt a Variable Staffing Approach.
Advantages of the Variable Staffing Approach:
  • Flexibility in type and amount of labor resources
  • Save costs in benefits and taxes
  • Immediate access to workforce not present internally
  • Savings in long-term compensation costs
Please contact us or call 1.866.532.6777 to see if your business can benefit from a Variable Staffing Approach. Our services can be structured to meet your specific organizational needs so you can take advantage of reduced budgets, just-in-time resourcing, and local labor.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Obamacare Drives a Bull Market In Staffing Agencies

Although President Barack Obama signed the health care reform bill into law on March 23, 2010, many of the changes to the health care system won't take effect until 2014. Per the reforms, companies that employ more than 50 full-time workers will either need to provide their employees with costly health care coverage or pay penalties of up to $3,000.
"That's why businesses of all sizes are now searching for ways around the law and the easiest way to avoid paying these expenses is to hire more temps," Cramer said. "Since most temp assignments are just three to four months long, the temp agencies are unlikely to get hit with the full brunt of the law." 
Large or small, Cramer said companies of all sizes will likely try to get around Obamacare by replacing their full-time workforce with temps.
"And even though Obamacare only kicks in starting in 2014, companies need to start making these adjustments now because the law has a 12-month look back or measurement period for the purposes of figuring out how much each company will be on the hook for," he said.
For investors interested in the temporary staffing space, Cramer suggests "best of breed" Robert Half International. The company boasts high gross margins, strong growth opportunities, Cramer said. Its stock currently trades at 19 times earnings with a 20 percent long-term growth rate, beating its competition.
Although Robert Half's stock has had a big run of late, Cramer said "this move has only just begun."



Wednesday, January 16, 2013


What are the consequences under Affordable Care Act if an employer offers no health coverage? 

The Affordable Care Act, and the state health exchanges it mandates, are fraught with confusion – particularly for employers. Business owners just want to know what decisions they will be faced with, and how much time will they have to figure it out before the next fiscal year.
The health care reform law does not specifically require employers to offer health coverage to their employees. However, beginning in 2014, an employer will be liable for a penalty if at least one of its full-time employees obtains subsidized coverage through an Exchange.  The  use of a skilled trade staffing company to provide your project specific skilled labor needs will mitigate this penalty.
The sweeping and unprecedented legislation is taking effect so quickly that not all the answers are clear. Most employers are waiting for decisions at a federal level before they can take action or answer pressing questions.  The meaningful interpretation of the Affordable Care Act will be an ongoing project for Construct Corps in 2013 and beyond.   
Proposed regulations that attempt to resolve issues and practical problems related to employer penalties under the “play or pay” provisions of the Affordable Care Act were revealed early January by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service and placed in line for publication on Jan. 2. The proposed regulations run 144 pages long.
Under the Affordable Care Act, beginning in 2014, most employers will be subject to penalties if they decide not to offer health care coverage to employees and dependents.  To be covered under the penalty provisions, an employer must have averaged at least 50 full-time equivalents during the preceding calendar year.  
To determine the number of full-time equivalents, add up the number of hours that part-time workers performed during the month and divide that number by 120.  Add the resulting number to the number of employees who work more than 30 hours a week.  This gives you the number full-time equivalents for the employers. 
To calculate a month’s penalty, use the following formula.

(number of full-time employees during the month – 30) x $166.67 = Penalty for that month
Here is an example:
XYZ Electrical Contractors, Inc. has 85 employees in the month of June 2014, and the company does not provide health insurance to those workers. That month, three XYZ Electrical Contractors, Inc.’s employees are participating in the state’s health insurance exchange.

(85 – 30) x $166.67 = $9,166.85

XYZ Electrical Contractors, Inc. would pay $9,166.85 penalty for June.
The best news for contractors with project specific staffing needs is the much-anticipated ‘look-back’.  The ‘look-back’ system allows temporary staffing agencies to measure the full-time status of employees over retrospective averaging periods as long as 12 months — instead of making that determination over monthly averaging periods.  If XYZ Electrical Contractors, Inc. used temporary staffing as their primary source for project specific labor they would capture an annual savings of nearly $110,002.20 ($9,166.85 x 12 months) in potential penalties.
Content  sourced from the Society for Human Resource Management

Friday, January 4, 2013

ModSpace kicks off 2013 season at ROLEX 24 Testing at Daytona with Mazda Ladder Champion Stevan McAleer and CJ Wilson Racing

CHARLOTTE, NC January 4, 2013-
As the green flag drops on the 2013 Grand American Road Racing season at Daytona International Speedway this weekend, with the ROAR Before the 24 Test Days, the ModSpace Mazda MX-5 Miata driven by Stevan McAleer will be sporting the ModSpace colors. Thanks to his 2012 championship in the Mazda MX-5 Cup, the CJ Wilson Racing ST (Street Tuner) entry driven by 2012 Mazda MX-5 Cup Champion McAleer will be showcasing Mazda’s continued partnership with ModSpace - the leading provider of modular buildings, portable storage and services for temporary or permanent space needs and Construct Corps, a leading provider of temporary skilled workers for construction, disaster response, environment and manufacturing companies throughout the US. The team, owned by Major League baseball player CJ Wilson, will campaign two cars for the full Grand Am Continental Tire Championship season. McAleer will be driving with Marc Miller. “We look foward to working with Mazda and CJ Wilson Racing on many levels again in 2013, in both Grand Am and in the 2013 Mazda MX-5 Cup series, to help them expand their business and entertain their clients and partners. With CJ's success in baseball, we hope to blend our racing program and promote cross over between our fan bases. We're in this sport for the long haul, and look forward to providing experiences for our partners that sets up long term relationships. We sincerely hope that this is the first of many great years working together with ModSpace and their partners," commented William Mann, Vice-President of Business Development, for ModSpace.


Modular Space Corporation (Modspace), based in Berwyn, PA, is a leading provider of modular buildings, portable storage and services for temporary or permanent space needs. Building on more than 40 years of experience, ModSpace serves a diverse set of customers and markets – including commercial, construction, education, government, healthcare, industrial/energy and special events – through an extensive branch network throughout the United States and Canada: www.modspace.com.

Construct Corps is a leading provider of temporary skilled workers for construction, disaster response, environment and manufacturing companies throughout the US. Through its exclusive Construct Buddy recruiting system, Construct Corps provides more workers in more locations with one point of contact than any other company: www.constructcorps.com.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Temporary Workers Are Making a Comeback

During the week of Nov. 26–Dec. 2, 2012 temporary and contract employment increased by 3.67%, and staffing employment in November is up 4.2% from the same month last year, according to the ASA Staffing Index.

The temporary staffing industry has always been a strong economic indicator of recession recovery. It can be said that when the economy is bad, temporary workers are the first to be let go. When the economy improves, temporary jobs account for much of the growth.

A recent U.S. News & World Report article indicated that after hitting a peak of nearly 2.7 million workers in 2006, the temporary help industry lost more than one-third of its members during the downturn. Since then, it has regained a vast majority of the workers it lost - 87 percent - and continues to add them steadily. Compare that to all private employers, which have only brought back just over half of their jobs.

Although it is positive that the economy is showing signs of recovery, this trend can potentially lead to a rapid escalation of labor cost - especially towards the end of projects.

How can you minimize the impact of rising labor costs and a higher demand for skilled workers? Here are 3 ways you can gain a strategic advantage using temporary staffing:
  1. Identify High Turnover Positions - Positions with turnover rates of fourteen months or less can cost you money in the long run. Many employers have added to their bottom line by outsourcing jobs that have high-turnover rates instead of using valuable resources to recruit and retain for these positions.
  2. Take on New Business - Don’t turn away new business because of labor constraints. Instead, consider hiring specialized temporary workers for unexpected special projects. This can give you the flexibility to expand your business model with minimal risk.
  3. Use Temps for Short-Term Projects - Instead of hiring a new permanent employees and then trying to find new work for them when the project is complete, consider using temporary workers. These individuals can work on the project at hand and then move on at completion 
In a struggling economy, recruiting qualified construction workers is much easier than in a more stable economy when businesses are thriving and qualified workers are scarce. Using temporary workers can be a great strategy to minimize costs and help your business in the coming year.  Please contact us or call 1.866.532.6777 if we can be of further assistance. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

4 Construction Industry Trends for 2013

The frozen construction industry is finally beginning to thaw.  Credit and funding are becoming more accessible as market conditions slowly become more hospitable.  According to McGraw-Hill Construction’s 2013 Dodge Outlook Report, the total U.S. construction starts for 2013 will rise 6% to $483.7 billion, slightly higher than the 5% increase to $458 billion estimated for 2012.

What else should we expect in 2013? 
Here are four major trends that could impact the construction industry over the next few years.

  1. Stabilization of Nonresidential Construction - Expect to see relatively large upticks in permitting and spending on large construction projects. The 2013 project starts for the commercial construction sector are expected to total about $55.9 billion nationwide, for a 12% gain over 2012. The much-needed stabilization will continue, however, most sectors are only chugging modestly upward after hitting rock-bottom. It is important to keep in mind that these incremental increases are based off of historic lows, so overall volumes may still feel suppressed.  We most likely won’t experience the stratospheric spending like we did during the boom years.
  2. Strengthening Labor Markets – We can expect ongoing improvement in construction-related employment, a sector that shed 2.2 million jobs between 2006 and 2011, but which through July of this year has seen its first year-over-year increase since 2006.  The U.S. construction sector added 17,000 jobs in October. The U.S. construction unemployment rate is also down significantly from 13.7% (October 2011) to 11.4% (October 2012) according to reports from REED Construction Data.
  3. Positive Momentum - Permitting for new projects, which is a key indicator of new construction projects and development, has largely been put on hold for the last five years.  However, with stronger job prospects and more secure employment, this trend will change.  In fact, a new study released by Harvard University projects that the pace of growth the construction industry for the 2010-2020 period will average 150 million square feet annually, largely supported by the growth in the medical sector.  McGraw-Hill Construction expects residential contracts to show the most improvement, increasing by 22% in volume.
  4. New Building Trends - As builders and developers continue on the path to recovery, new building trends are emerging. The green building movement is being embraced by a growing number of contractors, suppliers and design professionals providing an opportunity for construction professionals to expand their services to include green building. Many contractors, architects and project owners are also seeing benefits to modular building construction. Modular design and prefabrication can support eco-friendly designs and building materials, faster production times and lower operating costs. These building trends can be an indication of the direction the construction industry may be taking. Contractors will need to be proactive in order to improve their competitive position and demonstrate their understanding and commitment to sustainability and green building projects in order to stand out in the marketplace.

What does all of this mean? 
The growth may be modest but pockets of opportunity are emerging in markets across the country. The overall outlook has improved for commercial construction albeit cautiously optimistic. Take these trends into consideration, examine the economy in your local market, and then create a plan for progress. Using temporary workers can be a great strategy to help your business in the coming year.  Please contact us or call 1.866.532.6777 if we can be of further assistance.

Are Rising Workers’ Compensation Costs Impacting Your Business?

Workers' compensation insurance rates increased an average 3.7 percent in 2012 as a result of rising claims costs and underwriting standards tightening. The price increases average in the range of 3% to 7% annually.

Many construction and manufacturing business are feeling the impact. InsuranceJournal.com published an article indicating that controlling workers’ compensation costs is a primary insurance concern for employers. The findings were from the 2012 P&C Workers’ Compensation & Safety Survey. According to the survey, 48 percent reported a workers’ compensation premium increase in the past year, while 28 percent reported a decrease and 24 percent said their premiums stayed the same.

What Can You Do?
Participants in the study indicated the most effective measure they took to control workers’ comp cost was to adopt a safety-minded culture. Another highly effective way to help control costs is to implement a light-duty or return to work program. Other cost-cutting initiatives include onsite accident evaluations, loss prevention evaluations, zero-accident goals, having a dedicated claims manager, safety committee efforts, and using a preferred occupational medicine facility.

The insurance brokerage, Barney & Barney LLC, suggested the best way to mitigate this increase in future years is to implement the following measures:
  • Improve loss control and safety programs
  • Regular review of open indemnity work comp claims for reserve accuracy and appropriate claims management
  • Institute a formal return to work program
  • Hold regularly scheduled and mandatory safety meetings
  • Implement an accident investigation and review process
Using temporary workers instead of adding permanent employees is another way you can control costs because it shifts the workers’ compensation expense to the staffing company.

If your business can benefit from a more flexible workforce, or if you need the expertise of an experienced construction staffing company, don’t hesitate to contact us or call 1.866.532.6777. See how we have helped other contractors.

Source: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2012/03/19/239972.htm

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Construct Corps Expands Labor Solutions Program

Construct Corps' Labor Solutions program turns previously fixed labor costs into a variable expense based on need and eliminates the potential expenses related to benefits, administration, terminations, workers compensation, and even legal risks.

Construct Corps' Labor Solutions program is expanding to meet the demand of medium to large contractors in the construction, marine, and environmental response sectors who are trying to mitigate risks associated with worker employment on long-term projects. Specific expenses avoided by these customers include potential required benefits payouts of medical insurance, holiday and vacation pay, also worker downtime, HR related expenses and legal risks, and other workforce exposures. In addition to competitive pricing, detailed project labor metrics are provided to customers allowing them to accurately track wage and hour based data and trends required to make important personnel decisions. These clients gain direct access to the Construct Corps management team, making a decision maker only a single phone call or email away. For information about Construct Corps Labor Solutions, contact Construct Corps VP of Sales Mel Capo at acapo(at)constructcorps(dot)com or dial Mel directly at 866-532-6777

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fed Economists Disagree Over Construction Jobs' Lesson on Economy

Washington Post (04/06/12) Peter Whoriskey
The housing market collapse left 1.4 million construction workers without jobs, pushing the unemployment rate in the construction industry above 17%. However, U.S. Federal Reserve economists disagree as to whether unemployed construction workers are worse off than others who lost their jobs during the economic downturn. Two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Richard Crump and Aysegul Sahin, do not believe construction workers are "experiencing relatively worse labor market outcomes," contrary to the opinion of two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Pedro Silos and Lei Fang.

The construction industry is the focus of a debate about how to handle unemployment, with one side insisting economic shifts have resulted in a mismatch between the skills possessed by workers and the skills needed by the economy. This means there are too many people right now with construction skills who are unprepared to enter other professions, and stimulating the economy with monetary policy or government spending will not improve the situation. This viewpoint is in contrast to those who believe the economy needs to be stimulated through government policy to reduce unemployment rates and that following every recession, the economy and workers make adjustments. These economists believe that unemployment in the construction industry, for instance, would decline if more money was spent on infrastructure projects.

Read More

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Two New Promotions to Keep Your Project Under Budget

Construct Corps, a skilled trades staffing firm, announces two new promotions each lowering contractors’ costs, making it easier to come in under budget. The promotions are available on all new staffing orders placed before March 31, 2012 to customers in the construction, marine, response, and manufacturing industries.

(PRWEB) March 14, 2012
Free Labor

Order any number of workers from Construct Corps and receive the first 8 hrs at no charge when the workers are used for 40hrs or more. Each staffed worker also has an 8hr satisfaction guarantee. This means if the customer is not completely satisfied with every worker after the first 8hrs, Construct Corps will replace him at no charge.
Free Mobile Office/Site Trailer/Storage Containers

Through a preferred provider, Construct Corps will pay the costs of mobile offices, site trailers, and/or site storage containers when labor is provided by Construct Corps. Dollar value of the modular space credits are based on the amount of labor used.
These offers are not exclusive of each other and may be combined. To take advantage of these great cost saving opportunities call 866-532-6777 x 217 or email info(at)constructcorps(dot)com.

Construct Corps is a skilled trades staffing firm that supplies qualified workers to companies in the construction, manufacturing, marine, environmental, and disaster restoration industries throughout the US. Based in Tampa, FL, Construct Corps has a unique centralized operations center that allows the company to recruit, qualify, and staff workers in any location. This frees companies from the burden of paying travel expense, utilizing multiple firms, or having multiple points of contact to staff remote projects. Construct Corps prides itself on its flexibility, it ability to adapt to the needs and circumstances of each individual contractor or organization. With a flexible rate structure that is built around your budget, Construct Corps is confident that it can meet your customer service and price point requirements. For additional information go to http://www.constructcorps.com or call 866-532-6777.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Balfour Beatty Communities Breaks Ground on New Military Family Housing at Hunter Army Airfield (Businesswire.com)

-Representatives from Balfour Beatty Communities, LLC, and Hunter Army Airfield (Hunter AAF) located in Savannah, Georgia, recently gathered with service members and their families to celebrate the groundbreaking of Hunter Ridge, a new neighborhood that will consist of 98 homes for Junior Enlisted families. The homes are planned to offer three and four bedroom duplex - quadruplex floor plan options complete with 2 ½ baths, large walk-in closets, ceiling fans, covered porches, fenced-in yards and two car garages. Energy-efficient appliances, lighting and HVAC systems will also be included. The neighborhood will be completed with two new playgrounds to further enhance the community amenities offered to families at Hunter Ridge and Hunter AAF.
Balfour Beatty Communities, LLC, is a subsidiary of Balfour Beatty Capital Group, Inc. and one of the leading Public-Private Partnership (PPP or P3) providers of housing, lifestyle and community solutions for members of the U.S. military and their families. At the groundbreaking for Hunter Ridge, Joel Jacobs, Deputy Project Director, Balfour Beatty Communities, was joined by Colonel Kevin W. Milton, Garrison Commander, Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield and Lieutenant Colonel Edward A. Kovaleski, Garrison Commander, US Army Garrison, Hunter Army Airfield for remarks.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Florida Contracts Stumble in December, End 10% Down for '11

By Scott Judy (Southeast.Construction.com)
Florida’s construction contract activity in December was a microcosm of the state’s overall year, as nonresidential and nonbuilding markets declined significantly, and residential picked up the pace, according to the latest information from McGraw-Hill Construction.For the latest month, McGraw-Hill Construction estimated the value of Florida’s nonresidential contracts at about $299.1 million, or 42% lower than the same period of a year ago. The nonbuilding market, which includes infrastructure contracts, tallied $226.1 million, or about 20% lower than a year ago.Residential contracts improved, however. The company estimated new housing projects at more than $778.1 million for the month, or 19% better than a year ago.For 2011 as a whole, the pattern was similar. Nonresidential ended up the year 17% worse than 2010, with nearly $5.8 billion in new contracts started during 2011. Nonbuilding contracts totaled nearly $6.9 billion, or 24% behind last year’s tally. McGraw-Hill Construction estimated the residential sector’s 2011 total at nearly $9.6 billion, or 10% better than 2010.Overall, Florida experienced approximately $22.2 billion in new contracts during 2011. That’s roughly 10% behind the 2010 total of $24.6 billion.