How Hot Is Immigration?

Laura M. Porinchak / May 2015

I should be doing my taxes, but I hate math. That’s why I’m a magazine editor; I’m a words person, not a numbers person.
    
I’m also a great procrastinator. You could say I’m a professional. I am writing this in the very early hours of April 15, and I have barely penciled in some numbers on my federal income tax form. So put it all together—I hate math, I love words, and right now I can either do my taxes or write my monthly column. Which one should I do? Both are due on the same day, so what gets the priority? Heck. This is a no-brainer for me. Words win again!
    
I can justify it any way you’d like. That’s what we professional procrastinators do. Good procrastinators also get the job done on time, and if they’re like me, they do it pretty darn well. I’m not bragging, just pointing out that perhaps I am the kind of person who needs a deadline in order to meet the deadline. That last click of the timer is both a foe and an inspiration.
    
What about you? Do you wait until the last minute but still meet your deadlines? Construction is notorious for not making schedule, but I know a lot of you do meet the schedule and you also come in under budget and with zero incidents or injuries. Kudos to you.

I look at immigration in the United States and its effects on the construction industry in a similar manner. We know it’s an issue that needs to be addressed, but our representatives on Capitol Hill have many other issues to decide—and there is no deadline, so they can take all the time they need to debate. Until immigration truly becomes a national hot-button issue, nothing will be done as more pressing issues take the stage.
    
But just as the U.S. economy is getting back on its feet, immigration is reclaiming the spotlight as the lack of a labor force in the construction industry (and other industries as well) makes it clear that we have a problem. You’ll find immigration is the subject of many industry education sessions, including one at AWCI’s Convention, and it is also the subject of the article on page 38. Here Mark Johnson tears apart the numbers and analyzes the situation with the help of some industry insiders.
    
There is still hope that the immigration situation in the United States can be resolved to the satisfaction of most, and this article is proof. The only unknown is when it will be resolved. Let’s just hope it comes sooner rather than later.

Other articles in this issue focus on why running your business as “one big happy family” might not be such a great way to run a business (page 44), and how you should consider commissioning as a way to increase profits (page 48). And don’t miss the Spring New Product Guide, which starts on page 32. I’m still amazed at the innovation and creativity in this industry, and the new products of today only make me more interested in the tools of tomorrow. What about you?
    
Don’t be like me and wait until the last minute. While you’re thinking of it, send me an email (porinchak@awci.org) to let me know what you’re most looking forward to when it comes to the “construction industry of tomorrow.” Is it drones? Robots? New materials? Something that hasn’t been invented yet? Tell me what your crystal ball says, and look for your answers to appear in an upcoming issue of this magazine. That is, if enough of you take the time to respond. I’m counting on you!