We have a severe labor shortage in our industry when it comes to glaziers. I don’t think I am telling anyone anything new here. It feels like every company, big and small, is looking for folks to install. But we also have a severe shortage in another part of our world: project managers. It is mind-blowing to me how many companies are looking for PMs right now. In fact, I would say the need for project managers might be surpassing the need for glaziers, based on the fact that companies are adapting to their field labor shortages by buying installation equipment (everything on the floor at GlassBuild America last year sold out) or pushing more unitized systems or some other approach. People are making things work. On the project management side, it's not that easy and the solutions are not at the forefront. Eventually, this industry has to address these issues, because it’s only getting worse.
- Good news! The Construction Backlog Index from the Associated Builders & Contractors has hit a post-recession high, and it's also tracking almost 4 percent better than this time a year ago. I also believe that the weather-related slow start to 2014 (starts in January were dreadful) will eventually result in a mini-boom thanks to delays and pent-up demand. Staying positive here…
- Speaking of positive, a few weeks ago dynamic glass manufacturer View was featured in a Fox Business Channel report. This was a really nice piece that put not only View and the dynamic glass world in a great light, but our industry as a whole as well. Getting solid traditional media coverage is crucial to our messaging of innovation. Congrats to the team at View on getting this one.
- The celebrity keynote speaker at BEC next month is Ron Jaworski. This week, Jaworski made news when he said heralded quarterback Johnny Manziel would not get picked in the first three rounds of the NFL draft if he was making the choice. The reason this is news is most experts think Manziel may be one of the first few players picked overall. Jaworski is known for making news-making statements, so I am wondering if at BEC he will do the same. I could see him saying, “Low-E Glass is the past; I’m going with something else.” Or, “no aluminum for me; only vinyl for my curtain walls.” And our world would go crazy.
- This week, there was an auction for 168 licenses to run a cab in New York City. The low bid was $650,000, and the high was $965,000. For ONE cab. That just blows my mind. Not being from New York or knowing the city that well, I had no idea that a million-dollar investment in a cab was such a good one. That is craziness!
- Last this week, can someone tell Mother Nature we’ve had enough? What a winter this has been. And supposedly forecasts are calling for a cooler than normal spring and summer. I joked on Twitter that this winter is like what the folks in Minnesota experience every year, and my pal Garret Henson from Viracon noted it’s even a bad one for them, being the fourth coldest on record there. Now when it's even stupid cold in Minnesota, you KNOW it’s a bad winter!
The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.