Good Ideas

Laura M. Porinchak / June 2018

Not that you need a reminder, but we like to bring up the subject of jobsite safety whenever possible. In fact, I make sure that at least one issue of this magazine has a feature article on safety. And, boy, do we have a great one for you this month. The must-read safety article on page 32 is one you’re going to want to read—and make sure that key people in your company read it too. You may also want to take notes.
    
Some ideas are just too good to keep to yourself, so we went to the best of the best, the companies that have recently won AWCI’s Excellence in Construction Quality Award. We asked them not only about their safety programs but how they ensure a good safety culture in the office and in the field. (One company goes one step further and offers tips to employees on maintaining a safe household as well.)
    
We’ve had many great articles addressing safety issues over the years, but I do believe this is the best one. I learned a lot! I offer sincere thanks to the individuals interviewed for this article; they were kind enough to share their secrets for the good of the entire construction industry. Admirable.
    
For the next article, which begins on page 38, we continue the regional series we started last month where we ask wall and ceiling contractors about business and trends. Last month we looked at states in the northern region, and this month it’s the South.
    
Contractors in the north gave uplifting, hopeful reports about current and future business; however, it’s not so sunny in the south. In the interviews with contractors in the southern section of the United States to learn about current business trends, we learn that contractors in some areas still have some room in their backlogs, and some are still enduring tight margins.
    
Although one contractor in Arkansas says it’s “not as big an issue,” much like the rest of the country, labor is scarce below the Mason-Dixon Line. So, this article also covers some of the ideas being tried to lure new talent—and keep them so that they grow to more supervisory positions within the company.
    
Speaking of the labor shortage (this will be a hot topic for quite some time, so we should get used to it), the article on page 44 is one that may help you fill some of your open slots. It’s about a networking strategy called “candidate recycling.” Say you conduct an interview or simply meet with a very talented but unemployed plasterer, but what you really need is someone who can hang board—fast. Now, let’s say you know that another contractor in your area needs a good plasterer. What do you do? This strategy that involves trust, but it can also work really well in your favor. I could go on, but it’s really best if you read the article for yourself.
    
Also featured in this issue is our Spring New Product Guide (page 28). I’m noticing lots of new tools out there. Are you seeing the same? Are you using them in your company? Talk to me! I’m listening at porinchak@awci.org.
    
Enjoy!