The challenge of finding labor is now the biggest it has ever been, and is not getting easier. As the economy starts to come back and companies of all types are returning to “normal” business, there is a shortage of willing people to work. In the last two weeks I have had more conversations on labor needs than anything else I cover. And it’s not just us. I live in a small town and on a short 5-minute drive to the supermarket I saw at least 6 businesses with major signage pushing that they are hiring now, great wages (some listed the range) along with other perks. And then the store I went to itself had flyers throughout promoting the ability to “pick your shift” and the values of work at that establishment.
We are a tough spot as an industry now. We are not glamorous to those who look at us from the outside, and we handle heavy, and sometimes dangerous, materials. We need to do a better job showing how awesome our products are once done and installed. And we need to embrace technology and automation more at every level. This is a mighty challenge that was made worse by the pandemic and the various programs that came out of it—meant for good—but unfortunately being so intensely utilized that it’s a better alternative for some than working. We have to keep working on ways to do better, and attract more and better to our world.
Momentum Index Sees Major Rise
OK, now to some good news. The Dodge Momentum Index posted its best report since 2018! That is exciting. Obviously, we are battling each and every day, and some areas have grown softer than we all want, but the metrics are looking like we’ll have a fighting chance as the year progresses. The best news on the latest report here was education and recreation facilities were positive gainers. We need more of that!
What’s Driving Specification 2.0?
In case you missed it last week, another brilliant blog by David Vermeulen of TGP. This was a follow up to his fantastic piece on getting in the specs and he expands more into the process here. I do love everything David writes, so I am biased, but this is tremendous stuff.
Chris Dolan Celebrates 30 Years at Guardian Glass
Congrats to my friend Chris Dolan of Guardian Glass. I saw that he just celebrated 30 years at the company. Which is amazing, given that he looks like he’s 35. (He does not age. At all.) Anyway, what a run and what an incredible influence Chris has had on our industry. Obviously, I hope he keeps going and giving to our world because his approach has always not only been good for his company but for the industry at large.
Net Zero Glass Project
Speaking of Guardian Glass… last week I linked to a great piece with a bunch of Net Zero jobs, and one of those projects were claimed by the team at Guardian Glass. The John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building at Bristol Community College in Fall River, Mass. was one that Guardian Glass manufactured the glass on which was fabricated by Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope and installed by Middlesex Glass Company. The architect was Sasaki Associates. It was noted to me that this facility was able to achieve net zero energy in a project type that typically does not achieve this level of performance. This is a community college science building containing teaching labs with specialized ventilation needs. Very cool. Here’s the link again; this is the fourth one down in the list.
From the Fabricator Podcast Returns
Last this week… the From the Fabricator podcast returns next week with four awesome guests that run the gamut of our world. From leading architectural aluminum, to glazing and unitized, to the growing certification process, and then to young folks making a difference at a huge legacy company. So much to cover, and great people too. Can’t wait, and hope you take the time to check it out. If you have not caught a previous episode, YouTube versions are here and audio ones are here. Thank you!