Tag Archive for 'workforce'

CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020

The Construction Industry Came Together in a Big Way at CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE 2020The show demonstrated that the U.S. equipment industry remains optimistic despite concerns about COVID-19.

Every three years CONEXPO-CON/AGG brings contractors, dealers, distributors, service providers, engineers, producers and construction media together. No other show connects attendees from every major construction sector to experience the unveiling of new technologies and products, share knowledge, network with industry peers and buy equipment.

The weeks before the show were filled with phone calls, text messages and emails all asking the same question, “Are you going to CONEXPO?”

I went and was not alone, by any means. Registrations for the show totaled over 130,000. At the conclusion of the show, cancellations from international attendees totaled less than 1 percent. 

Exhibitors across the show, from the Festival Grounds to North Hall to Bronze Lot to South Hall, expressed enthusiasm for the tremendous engagement they received from contractors and producers looking to purchase equipment. 

“We refer to CONEXPO-CON/AGG as the ‘heavy metal’ show, but it’s more than that. It’s also small equipment, education and technology. And that was reflected in every way this week,” said Mary Erholtz, Vice President of Marketing at Superior Industries and CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 Show Chairperson. “Giant machines, incredible exhibits, fantastic education and huge expectations. Organizers of CONEXPO-CON/AGG have a legacy of building and innovating on previous shows, and the 2020 gathering extends that record of success.

“This has been one of the best editions of CONEXPO-CON/AGG – ever,” continued Erholtz.

Exhibitors across the show, from the Festival Grounds to North Hall to Bronze Lot to South Hall, expressed enthusiasm for the tremendous engagement they received from contractors and producers looking to purchase equipment. 

According to IFPE Show Chairperson David Price, Global Marketing Manager of HydraForce Inc., 

“The crowd was much better than expected under the circumstances and most importantly, the right buyers were on the show floor. We were very pleased with the strong showing from the 300-plus exhibitors at IFPE 2020, and we are looking forward to the 2023 show.”

Mike Ballweber, President, Doosan Bobcat echoed those sentiments, “Tuesday for us was record breaking in terms of leads and attendance at our booth, which is how we measure how successful the show is for us. We had more people to our booth on the first day than all of the 2017 show. This is a one-every-three-years show, and our dealers and customers were really excited to be here.” 

With growing concerns about COVID-19, show management worked closely with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and the Southern Nevada Health District to make sure exhibitors, vendors and attendees were provided with heightened cleaning services and hand sanitizers to help reduce the spread of germs and enable show participation to stay healthy onsite at the show. 

“We have been pleased with the success of the overall show and attendance in our booth,” said Ingo Schiller, President and CEO of Tadano America Corporation. “The management team at CONEXPO-CON/AGG has been monitoring the situation and they made a very difficult decision to close the show a day early. We appreciate their leadership and we look forward to CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023.” 

Key metrics reflect overall quality of CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE 2020 attendees: 

At the same time, the technological change revolutionizing these industries was pervasive across the shows’ record 2.7 million-plus net square feet of exhibits featuring 2300-plus exhibitors from the leading U.S. and global manufacturers, from multinational giants to small firms with specialized products.

Other highlights included: 

  • Partnership with women in construction groups to highlight the growing role women play in the industry, including the unveiling of the world’s largest 3-D printed statute of a human to honor the growing role women play in the construction industry. 
  • Workforce solutions area in the Festival Lot that showcased industry recruitment best practices. 
  • The Tech Experience returned for a second year and focused on modern mobility, sustainability and smart cities. 
  • The first-ever Fluid Power Hour for the co-located IFPE show., which featured an opportunity for engineers to network with their peers on the show floor. 

This was my 12th CONEXPO as a construction magazine editor and have to say it was every bit as exciting as the first one, I attended at McCormick Place and the Chicago Arena. The thing about this show  is that is really does put on display the importance of the role construction plays in global civilization; without construction …

The next CONEXPO-CON/AGG will be held March 14-18, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information on CONEXPO-CON/AGG, visit https://www.conexpoconagg.com.

A version of this article appeared in the April 2020 issues of the ACP Magazines:

California Builder & Engineer, Construction, Construction Digest, Construction News, Constructioneer, Dixie Contractor, Michigan Contractor & Builder, Midwest Contractor, New England Construction, Pacific Builder & Engineer, Rocky Mountain Construction, Texas Contractor, Western Builder

Why Recruit Veterans

Beyond Workforce Development, Workforce Solutions

by Julie Davis,

Association of Equipment Manufacturers Director of Work Force Development.

Are you tired yet of pulling from the same employment pool? If the answer is yes, then you are ready to explore the new world of veteran recruitment. If you think that you’ve tried it, it doesn’t work for you or there is no one to recruit in your area, then you simply aren’t up to date. 

Why recruit Veterans?

Many companies find veterans to be more productive employees with lower turnover rates when compared to their nonveteran counterparts. Additionally, their past military background can give veterans distinctive capabilities and perspectives that can add insight and diversity to your team’s problem solving. Employers can also qualify for up to $10,000 in federal tax credits per veteran. 

There are multiple state and federal organizations that exist to connect employers with veterans. Many of them work with veterans before they leave active duty to ensure they have skills that can plug immediately into the workforce. Furthermore, just because you may not have a military base located near you is no longer a reason to exclude veterans from your search. Organizations looking to place veterans into employment include working to get veterans back to their home states if that is what they are looking for. Taking a few extra steps could mean providing a veteran the opportunity to truly come home.

Veteran Retainment

Approximately 40 percent of veterans leave their first job out of the military within a year of being hired. The transition can be challenging but there is some common sense, yet very real ways that you can position your company to retain your veterans. 

First, define what your motivation is to hire veterans. Then identify what skills, attitudes and experience would benefit your organization the most. (If you are not sure, simply find your best current employee in that position and identify their skills, attitudes and experiences.) 

Decide what a successful veteran hiring program for your organization looks like. Are you looking for just one or is this going to become a regular program? 

Identify the service branches, ranks and occupational specialties you might like to target. Don’t know? That’s okay because there’s multiple ways to connect. You could reach out to your state or local Veteran’ office and talk with someone or here are some great website you can connect with:

Understand the basics
https://content.iospress.com/articles/work/wor01987
(A brief introduction to military workplace culture)  
https://www.va.gov/VETSINWORKPLACE/docs/em_termsLingo.asp 
(Common Terms) 

Difference between the branches 
https://www.va.gov/VETSINWORKPLACE/mil_structure.asp

Difference between officer and enlisted ranks 
https://www.va.gov/VETSINWORKPLACE/docs/em_rank.asp

Civilian to Military Occupation Translator
https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/civilian-to-military-translator.aspx?frd=true

While building your veteran’s program, don’t forget to tap into your secret weapon – any veterans you are currently employing. Get their thoughts about skills and areas of service that might be a good fit. Don’t forget to ask them what about working for your organization might appeal to a veteran. After all, they have stayed with you! 

There are multiple employment organizations that will connect you with veterans. A few of my favorite include:

Hero’s MAKE America (Provides 10 weeks accelerated skills training for manufacturing)http://www.themanufacturinginstitute.org/Initiatives/Military-and-Veterans/Heroes-MAKE-America/Heroes-MAKE-America.aspx 

Hire a Hero
https://www.hireheroesusa.org/hire-a-veteran/ 

Bradley-Morris, Inc. (Specifically for Skilled Technicians)
https://www.bradley-morris.com/military-recruiting-firms/field-service-technician/

Orian Talent
https://www.oriontalent.com/military-job-seekers/enlisted-technicians/

Lastly, don’t forget that to retain your veteran, you may want to consider having some supports in place to make their transition smooth. Connect them to existing veterans in your workplace, let them know about opportunities for professional growth and advancement, and consider engaging current veterans in creating the program to ensure its effectiveness. 

Veterans who are coming out of service where they have worked with heavy equipment may be a perfect fit for the construction, agriculture, mining, utility or forestry industry sectors. Don’t let taking a few extra steps keep you from your next best hire.

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. Helps to Develop Industry Workforce with Youth Outreach

AEM Reports on 3 Keys to Closing the Construction Skills Gap

3 Keys to Close the Construction Skills Gap

In the U.S., and globally, skilled jobs are the hardest to fill, according to Manpower Group.

That’s no surprise to construction companies. However, if it’s difficult now, what can contractors expect to deal with a decade from now?

Companies unwilling or unable to effectively attract, engage and retain their workforce will pay the consequences in the not-so-distant future (a future that can include going out of business).

“The onus is on companies now to actively engage employees,” says Ethan Martin, consultant and executive coach at Integrated Leadership Systems. “If employees don’t like it somewhere, they’ll just leave.”

Martin shared action steps for contractors through the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ (AEM) CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365 initiative (http://www.conexpoconagg.com/subscribe/).

1. Make an Attitude Adjustment

Successfully tackling workforce engagement necessitates a shift in both attitude and strategy for many construction companies.

“Employees are changing, the world and the market is changing. (Companies) have to be willing to face that reality, and it’s not for better or for worse, it’s just different,” says Martin.

Co-workers talking at construction site with bulldozer behind them

Successful workforce engagement activities are interconnected with other organizational aspects.

“As long as workforce engagement is viewed as something separate, it becomes the uninteresting piece, or something like a task or a responsibility, rather than just being incorporated into what’s being done,” says Martin.

2. Tomorrow Is Too Late: Commit the Time and Resources Now

Companies often cite a lack of time and resources as a reason why they fall short in employee engagement efforts.

Measurable progress takes time, and the majority of workforce engagement efforts do not yield results for years.

Martin relays that one organization he works with recently began reaching out to high school students and collaborating with local career centers; company leaders understand they won’t see the fruits of their hard work for at least two to four years.

“However, this company is doing this now, so when the lack of skilled labor is even more of an issue in the future, it will have built up its reputation as the go-to employer in the area,” Martin notes.

Cost concerns serve as another common reason for not engaging employees consistently and effectively. However, contractors must recognize employee investment as being critical to organizational success.

“Too many companies fear investment in current employees or future employees, even to the point where they actually end up losing them,” says Martin. “The investment, as it turns out, would have cost them less than replacing the employee.”

3. Hire for Character First

Much is made about attracting the workforce of tomorrow. Construction companies looking to engage with young people need to explain better the value of a career in the skilled trades.

Convey the significance of the work they’re doing, why it matters. “It puts the focus back on the mission, and millennials want to make a difference,” says Martin.

If there is one piece of advice Martin would give a construction contractor when looking to hire a young worker is hire for character.

“The way we find and train people, you can teach anyone to do anything if he or she has good character,” says Martin. “And if the good-character employee actually moves on at some point, you won’t be left in the lurch because the person won’t just up and leave in the middle of a big project.”

A female construction worker stands behind a builder’s level on a building site .Behind her a co-worker walks across the development .

The construction industry will continue to evolve, and the needs of contractors will change with it. As a result, it is critical for organizations to be able to connect with the workforce of tomorrow, inspire them to strongly consider a career as a skilled worker and, perhaps most importantly, develop them into qualified employees.

Learn more about industry trends and technologies through AEM’sCONEXPO-CON/AGG 365 initiative (https://www.conexpoconagg.com/subscribe/).