Workforce Development

September 10, 2008
Seasonally adjusted construction employment fell by 8,000 in August and 437,000 (-5.7%) over the past 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Friday. The drop was the 14th in a row but the smallest in that span. Total nonfarm employment fell for the eighth straight month, by 84,000, and by 283,000 (-0.2%) since August 2007. Employment at residential builders and specialty trade contractors fell by a combined 19,000 for the month and 352,000 (10.9%) over 12 months. Employment at nonresidential builders, specialty trade contractors and heavy and civil engineering contractors rose 10,000 in August and dropped 85,000 (1.9%) over 12 months. But Census Bureau data and reports from contractors suggest BLS has understated residential job losses and that nonresidential employment has risen, not fallen. Census reported on September 2 that residential spending fell 27% from July 2007 to July 2008. There were even bigger drops in residential starts (-30%) and building permits (-32%), Census reported on August 19, making it likely that residential contractors reduced employment by at least 27%, not 10.9%. The difference, roughly 520,000 employees, probably comprises workers at firms that originally identified themselves as “residential” specialty trade contractors but are now doing nonresidential work. If that number is added to the BLS estimate of nonresidential employees, nonresidential employment actually rose 435,000 (10%) over the past year, a number consistent with Census’ report of a 14% rise in nonresidential spending and with contractors’ reports of greater competition today from subcontractors that formerly did residential work. Such an adjustment also helps explain why seasonally adjusted average hourly earnings rose more in construction over the past 12 months (5.0%, to $22.05 in August 2008) than among all private production and nonsupervisory workers (3.6%, to $18.14).
September 8, 2008

Each summer for the past half dozen, AGC of Maine has helped sponsor what one newspaper article called

September 8, 2008
This article originally appeared in the July/August edition of Constructor Magazine Even in an uncertain economy, one thing remains the same: Education helps construction professionals meet changing market demands. AGC’s ability to offer continuing education credits to meet licensing or designation requirements helps members get the most from professional development programs. In addition, the added convenience of local programs, webinars and audio conferences reduces travel costs and time away from the job. Whether the student is a project manager, specialty contractor, safety director, supervisor, estimator or other project leader, AGC’s increasing variety of courses help build a successful career.
September 8, 2008
AGC has begun offering regular webinars on a variety of topics that reflect the industry’s demand for the most up-to-date information. Webinars provide several benefits to participants. They are simple and convenient to participate in. They allow participants to access critical information in real time. And, perhaps the largest benefit is that attendees do not need to travel to participate in the seminar. What will you need to participate in an AGC webinar? All you need is a computer and Internet access.
September 8, 2008
Plan to participate in the next AGC Supervisory Training Program (STP) Train-the-Trainer in Albuquerque and learn to: Effectively teach adult learners,  Encourage interaction among participants,  Get the most out of the STP instructor materials,  Incorporate visual aids into the curriculum, and  Prepare for and conduct STP courses.  Contact education@agc.org to learn more. Registration to open soon!
September 8, 2008
The 2008 October Estimating Academy will be presented by AGC of America and the American Society of Professional Estimators, held on October 28-29, 2008 in Omaha, NE. The conference will be held at the Embassy Suites Omaha Downtown/Old Market. This two day course will cover current topics like LEED® - Estimating for Green Buildings, Estimating with Electronic Documents, Managing Preconstruction and Conceptual Estimating. This program is appropriate for Junior and Senior Estimators.
September 8, 2008
AGC members and chapters are encouraged to hold an event during the upcoming Careers in Construction Week, October 13-17, 2008. This week is designed to increase public awareness of the hard work and contributions of our nation’s craft professionals and increase students’ interest in pursuing construction as a career. The week is an integral part of the Build Your Future national education and recruitment campaign, sponsored by the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER).
September 8, 2008
The ambitious, state-of-the-art school is a stand-alone public high school devoted to the construction industry.  “This futuristic school marks the launch of a new era of high-tech construction instruction in the District,” said DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Phelps graduates can look forward to well-paying jobs that can’t be outsourced and trades that can never be taken away.”  Phelps first opened in 1934 was closed in 2002 because of a lack of funding.  
September 8, 2008
Thanks to Kraemer Brothers, the Central Illinois Builders of AGC, AGC of Michigan, and the San Antonio Young Constructors Forum, all of which have provided Build Up! kits to clubs in their region. The clubs are very excited about the prospect of using Build Up! Here are some of the notes we’ve gotten with the requests: “My goal is to get the members to look at their neighborhoods and learn the history and importance of where they live.”
September 8, 2008
The Associated Contractors of New Mexico (ACNM) has been a partner with the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) for the past 12 years in which both state and industry employees are trained under the same program. The Technician Training and Certification Program (TTCP) classes are conducted at the Albuquerque headquarters of ACNM, which not only boasts a state-of-the-art classroom but also offers in-house testing labs for soils, aggregates, concrete, nuclear densometer and hot mix asphalt (HMA).

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