Women in Construction: Getting Out of The Office

women in construction

The total employment of women in construction is very low, 10.3% in 2020. And most of those jobs are front-office, not front-lines.

Of all the women employed in construction, 45% of them are in office or administrative roles. An average jobsite has one woman on-the-job for every 100 men. But 44% of the 100 top construction companies’ executives are women; that’s a good percentage.

Help Wanted: Women in Construction

Here’s to strong women.
May we know them. May we be them.

May we raise them. -Michelle Obama

Obstacles women face on the jobsite include:

  • Discrimination
  • Exclusion
  • Fewer management role models (other women) available
  • Fewer opportunities for advancement
  • Gender pay gaps
  • Greater risk for injury from poor-fitting safety equipment

The construction boom we’re anticipating will hit hard in 2022 with about two million new jobs predicted. We’ll face a shortage of skills like never before.

Smart companies will begin the push-to-hire now, if at all economically possible. And studies show that more diversity – women in construction – improves a company’s profitability by 25%.

Recruiting women is possible if you emphasize training programs and support mentorship. You might consider designing a construction boot camp for girls this summer.

Some of the organizations for women in construction include:

And many states have their own organizations for women in construction. Check the web to learn more.

Women in Construction Week March 7-13, 2021

Now Through Feb. 12, 2021, you can nominate yourself or a co-worker for Construction Dive’s recognition of top female leaders in construction. Categories include:

  • Industry veteran – More than 25 years in the construction industry
  • Mentor
  • Other
  • Rising star – Under the age of 30
  • Tradeswoman leader
  • Up-and-coming leader – Over the age of 30

Change Begins With You

Construction Monitor follows industry change so we can better support your company. You can study employment trends with Construction Monitor building permits’ analytics. Or you can develop sales leads and become the change we’re following.

Contact us today.

Construction Industry Trends: Health, Safety, Money, and More

Construction Industry Trends

Last year was interesting, to put it mildly. But 2021 is shaping up to be a different kind of interesting. Here are some construction industry trends that will very likely affect your business this year.

5 Post-Pandemic Construction Industry Trends That Will Impact Your Business

  1. Air handling – Is Covid-19 an airborne virus? It doesn’t matter; almost every project will involve designing/installing better air management solutions. You’ll be required to learn more about dedicated outdoor and on-demand air systems, says construction legal professional Jeffrey Kozek.
  2. Going green – If, in your blogs and marketing materials, you can say you’re “LEED-certified,” you’ve got a leg up on your competition. Green construction focuses on environmental and human health, a trend that will be even more significant this year.
  3. Money matters – Supply chain delays, materials shortages and pricing, and other pandemic-related financial issues, will lead to more payment disputes this year. Contractors and owners will be doing damage control because of bankruptcies and interrupted projects from last year.
  4. More modular – Offsite assembly reduces workforce exposure and increases safety. Expect prefabricated construction processes to increase and continue to improve quality control.
  5. Pandemic protection – On-the-job distancing, staggering shifts, and PPE (personal protection equipment) will continue to impact your budget and timeline. Kozek says ignoring these safety precautions could lead to fines, shutdowns, or lawsuits.

Challenges Don’t Have To Be Complicated

One of our construction industry trends that is (and should be) history was our tendency to conclude business expectations with a handshake. Back when the pandemic was new, Construction Monitor advised its clients to make a more concerted effort to “get it in writing” to avoid complications. That’s our “legal” advice for 2021 and beyond.

Construction Monitor takes the complexity out of construction data for thousands of construction industry companies like yours. The basic information is easy: building permit applications. Making that information work for you to generate more business and make knowledgeable decisions is complicated. But that’s what we do.

Contact us to learn how building permit information can reveal construction industry trends in your state, county, city, or town.

Marijuana and Construction Contractor Business Employees

construction drug test

Marijuana legalization recently passed in six states. Others may follow. If not already, marijuana use may eventually become legal in your state. As a construction contractor business owner or manager, you’ll have to plan for it.

Sooner is better than later.

Marijuana Use Among Employees: What Are Your Contractor Business Responsibilities and Rights?

Medical marijuana prescriptions for approved conditions vary. Connecticut approves marijuana in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Colorado does not.

Recreational marijuana is now legal in:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Meanwhile, none of these states is in-compliance with the federal law which says marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug; a controlled substance with no medical use, and a high potential for addiction.

Before You Request a Drug Test

You have the right to request and enforce employee drug testing. But you must know the laws of your state; if an employee tests positive for marijuana but the drug test itself is “illegal,” you may not be able to take action.

In some states, random drug screens are not legal. In other states, random drug testing is legal only if you can prove you had just cause.

If the employee:

  • Appears intoxicated at work
  • Holds a safety-sensitive position
  • Is returning to work after a drug rehabilitation program
  • Was involved in a work-related accident that resulted in injury/property damage

Some states have procedural requirements.

The employer must:

  • Administer the test in a way that maximizes privacy
  • Give the applicant/employee opportunity to challenge the results
  • Pay for some/all testing costs
  • Provide advance notice to applicant/employee
  • Use a state-certified lab

Some states (Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) have no restrictions for employment drug testing.

The only recourse an employee has to challenge the testing is to prove it was administered as a result of or led to:

  • Defamation
  • Discrimination – age, disability, gender, race
  • Invasion of privacy

Construction Monitor for Construction Data

Even the most basic statistics we offer can be valuable information to the right construction contractor business developer. If that’s you, we’d like to share ways to grow your business using our tools:

Contact Construction Monitor today.

Taxes: What Your Contractor Business Can Do

contractor business

We can say goodbye and good riddance to 2020. It’s time to put that puppy to bed and plan for better business. And it’s time to pay taxes.

“The construction industry is unique in that contractors are expected to use different methods of accounting in order to pay the least amount of taxes possible and, at the same time… present a robust financial picture to lenders and other stakeholders,” says accountant James Lundy Jr., Marcum LLP.

Contractor Business Accounting Tips (and Taking Investors Into Account)

You need to grow your business, and you can’t do that if your potential clients, lenders, and investors see shaky finances. Lundy says all contractors must use the percentage-of-completion method of accounting for financial reporting.

Those are the books your investors and clients see. 

But for tax returns, there are several types of accounting methods:

  • Accrual
  • Accrual/excluding retainage
  • Cash

Long-term contracts’ accounting (started in ’20 to-be-completed in ’21, for example) include:

  • Completed contract
  • Completion percentage
  • Completion tax percentage
  • Completion-capitalized cost percentage

Many contractors maximize taxes by stalling accounts receivables. Paying out year-end bonuses and getting all accounts payable current by December 31 also decreases taxes.

Construction Monitor: We Help Your Contractor Business Succeed

Tax legislation impacting your contractor business for 2021 is dependent on which party controls the Senate. And we still don’t know which direction that wind’s going to blow. But you can put business development plans in place regardless of politics.

Targeted marketing will be even more important in 2021 and beyond. Our world has gotten smaller, and along with that came a renewed focus on your local market. That’s just one way we help your contractor business.

Construction Monitor provides information:

  • City-specific
  • Contractor business development/resources
  • Contractor business licensing
  • Homebuilders associations
  • Industry-oriented

We believe knowledge is power and we have some powerful information for your contractor business. Contact us today to learn more.

You must pay taxes. But there’s no law that says
you gotta leave a tip.
-Morgan Stanley

Data and The Construction Industry

data construction industry

A “data warehouse” isn’t a large building with garage doors and a loading dock. A data warehouse is a construction industry company’s accumulated information. The data can originate from many sources and is used to drive management decisions.

Construction Industry Sees Data Center Boom

The construction industry may have been slow to embrace technology and big data, but we’re making up for it. Today, it’s not surprising that construction industry companies have so much technology that they need filing cabinets (“data warehouses”) in clouds.

What no one saw coming was the increased need for data centers. Data centers are real, on-the-ground buildings. And the construction industry is seeing a lot of new-build projects, thanks to the need for more data centers.

Construction industry writer Zachary Phillips says U.S. states are heavily competing to land projects for internet companies needing physical space to accommodate computer systems. The companies have names like “Amazon,” “Facebook,” and “Google.”

“…Northern Virginia has become known as ‘Data Center Alley’ because of the tech-focused companies that have flocked to the area,” says Phillips. Amazon has established a major presence (they call it a “cloud cluster”) in Fairfax and Loudon counties of Virginia and plans more development.

Facebook is looking further north, toward the Chicago area to build an $800 million data center this year. This project should employ over 1,000 construction industry workers to complete the infrastructure requirements and new-build.

Google is checking out areas in California, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington for data center construction.

Construction Monitor: The Source for U.S. Construction Industry Data

Construction Monitor…makes building permit information available to suppliers, subcontractors, and building industry professionals in the construction industry. Construction Monitor provides records of residential, commercial, swimming pool, and solar building permits in a searchable database.Wikipedia

Construction Monitor lead-generation service is available in 89 U.S. markets, making it the nation’s largest provider of real-time building permit data. We have information that can give you “the leading edge” in the construction industry market. Let us explain how to use it.

Call 800-925-6085 or contact Construction Monitor today.

How AI Helps Our Construction Industry

construction industry AI

Artificial intelligence is enhancing construction industry infrastructure deliverables by providing valuable – and possibly life-saving – insights. The American Society of Civil Engineers recently learned more than 56,000 bridges in the United States are structurally deficient.

One technology firm is using AI to watchdog bridge issues before they can take hold. It provides “actionable intelligence” for construction industry personnel by providing instant alerts if there are irregularities.

Risk Mitigation for Your Construction Industry Organization

Optimizing work schedules is one of the most common ways construction industry managers utilize artificial intelligence. But risk mitigation is perhaps more valuable.

Using machine learning, organizations are able to spot and catch potential issues faster than humans. When it comes to scheduling, the use of advanced AI can help to prevent costly delays on sites or amongst suppliers, vendors, and others involved in the process.Forbes

One way jobsite supervisors use AI is for what-if scenarios. It can forecast potentials for problems and then devise strategies to manage them.

AI-enabled systems can provide jobsite security for equipment and employees. Facial recognition can spot unsafe behavior among workers and monitor tool theft.

Traditional analytics are entering a new realm of possibilities. Artificial intelligence will drive the next generation of construction industry management.

Can AI Help Our Dwindling Workforce?

The construction industry is facing a workforce shortage and talent crisis. AI can “identify potential leaders, predict attrition rates, or identify employees in danger of leaving,” says a recent McKinsey study. You can make data-driven decisions to drive better human resources management.

Data-Driven Decisions for Construction Industry Successes

Construction Monitor is the leading resource for construction industry leads. But if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. Opportunities, that is.

Make this year the year you tighten your business operations and chase every opportunity. Forge new relationships. Mentor startups and seek guidance from larger, successful organizations.

Use Construction Monitor data for:

  • Current jobs
  • Future projects
  • Historical trends
  • Your competitors’ market shares

Don’t let another week pass without making data-driven decisions to increase profits. Contact Construction Monitor.

5 Ways Contractor Business Owners Can Manage Stop-Work Orders

contractor business

At least this time, you recognize the clues:

  • Business hours of operation are more tightly controlled.
  • Curfews are put back in place.
  • Gatherings of more than 10 people are legally prohibited in some areas.
  • Restaurants’ hours are restricted.
  • Schools return to virtual classes only.

Your city or county is about to enforce a lockdown that will impact your construction contractor business.

Contractor Business Owners Can Prepare

Because safety is a priority, promptly adhering to stop-work requests is important. But if you see it coming, you can “make hay while the sun shines.”

To prepare your contractor business for another pandemic-related work stoppage:

  1. Accelerate timelines – Normally, overtime costs are wasteful. But these are not normal times. Finishing a project ahead of schedule when a shutdown is looming may be better management of time and money.
  2. Be prepared – Keep project progress documentation up-to-the-minute if possible. Take photos to verify completion percentages.
  3. Do what you can – You can get materials delivered now and store them. When work begins again, you won’t be waiting for deliveries. Keep your project alive.
  4. Maintain interactions – Include subcontractors in virtual meetings during the shutdown. When they maintain a connection to your project, they’ll be less likely to seek work elsewhere.
  5. Secure assets – Photograph equipment that will be left onsite and winterize if you’re in a part of the country that has extreme winter weather.

Construction writer Joe Bosquin says you can use downtime to prepare your construction contractor business for the big boom that’s coming. And the anticipated work increase poses yet another challenge for 2021.

Business Leads for Your Construction Contractor Business

A construction industry boom may be forthcoming, but that doesn’t mean you should sit back and wait for it to happen. Now is the best time to begin developing leads for your construction contractor business development.

Use the information available from Construction Monitor data to ensure you’re in a position to get the jobs you want with the profit margin you need.

Contact us today to learn more.

Construction Industry Employers and Coronavirus-Related Sick Leave

Coronavirus-Related Sick Leave

If you were a bit bitter about paid days off for an employee that refused to wear a mask, laughed at social distancing, and traveled during the pandemic (then caught COVID-19), you’re not alone.

Paid coronavirus-related sick leaves were required by the federal government. While other programs (state unemployment, federal PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) were managed by government entities, the pandemic-related sick leaves fell on employers’ shoulders.

How Construction Industry Employers Can Make a Coronavirus Comeback

Through December 30, 2020, construction industry employers paid:

  • Up to two weeks/80 hours paid sick leave at an employee’s regular pay if the employee must quarantine (under government order or medical advice) or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and actively seeking a diagnosis. Employees were entitled to a maximum of $511 per day and $5,110 over the two-week period.
  • Up to two weeks/80 hours – and later, an additional 10 weeks – paid family/medical sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular pay if the employee must take care of someone under a quarantine order or a child whose school/childcare closed because of the pandemic.

The way to recoup these losses is to keep accurate and detailed records. And hang on, because tax relief will be there. Leveraging workforce management tools (yes, that means software programs) makes record-keeping much easier.

Instead of operating in damage-control mode, switch to aggressively seeking more business. Creating new sales channels is one way to recover from 2020. Another way is to actively pursue all leads, says Dexcom:

With so much uncertainty and caution due to the virus, it may seem reasonable to abandon any leads you were working on prior to the pandemic. …continue to nurture them. Put even more energy into capturing these leads.

Business Development Leads for Your Construction Industry Business

Construction Monitor has leads for your company. Your demographics, your locale, your niche. Just ask. Call 800-925-6085 or contact us today and let’s put a business development plan in place for your construction industry business.