Better Times Ahead?

Laura M. Porinchak / December 2016

Well, folks, we made it through another year. Congratulate yourself! You (and your company) made it!

President-elect Trump will take his oath of office next month, and the Great Recession is now just a little blip in the rearview mirror.
    
But we still face challenges: labor and land shortages, standards for exterior envelopes, OSHA regulations, health care, new technologies, etc. And I’ll bet it won’t be long before you stop worrying about where your next job will be coming from; instead you’ll go back to trying to get paid (remember that?).
    
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all knew what to expect from 2017? We don’t know for sure what will happen, of course, but we could ask the experts what they think. And that’s just what we did. The article that begins on page 32 includes discussions with economists at AIA, AGC, Dodge, FMI and The Conference Board, among others. The article also looks at the various construction markets and peers into regional employment issues in the construction industry. While not everyone agrees on everything 100 percent, all do seem to agree on one thing: No recession in 2017, just steady and available work. So check it out and make your plans for 2017.
    
After this magazine goes to press, I will be attending a webinar called “Post-Election Outlook for Design and Construction” sponsored by ConstructConnect. It will feature presentations from the chief economists of the AGC, AIA and ConstructConnect, and I will bring you the highlights in my column next month.
    
We continue our predictions for the new year in the article that starts on page 42. This is an in-depth look at construction market predictions for 2017 provided by Robert Murray, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics, and it’s well worth your time.
    
Finally, our feature articles wrap up on page 46 with an article on how contractors and suppliers can “wow” the general contractor. George Hedley, a well-known industry speaker and consultant, offers several ways to make you and your company stand out on a crowded bid list. I’ll bet there are some ideas in the article that are new to you, so make sure you give it a read.
    
This is also our annual “Corporate Profile” issue, which allows prominent advertisers in our magazine to tell you about their accomplishments in 2016 and what they have planned for 2017. The profiles start on page 53.
    
Last year at this time, I said in my column that “there won’t be as many challenges in 2016 as there were in 2015,” and I think the same will be true for 2016 going into 2017. Things can only get better, right? I thank you, all of our faithful readers, for spending this year with us, and I hope you’ll do the same in 2017. Best wishes from me and the AWCI staff for a happy, healthy and profitable holiday season and 2017.