Since we are coming off Labor Day weekend I thought it was appropriate to talk about…labor! More specifically, the continuing battle to fill jobs in our industry. And actually the search for workers expands to an entire construction segment. We are surely not alone. What can we do other than talk and complain about it? One thing that is happening, but thanks to our bizarre political climate right now, I am not sure it will be pulled through, is a move in Congress for a few acts that can bring additional training and push to segments like ours. One is the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act and another Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity for Careers Act, or the Four Cs for Careers Act, and both have potential to at least create programs that could get more people into our systems. In addition, the Perkins Act, which was created to support the needs of industries like construction, is on the table for when Congress returns this fall. Not a lock for major success obviously, but a start. And we have to start somewhere.
Meanwhile, as I was preparing this, I came across a quote that I think makes sense with regards to how we get and then KEEP our employees:
“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” – Richard Branson
This plays to culture and many companies in our industry really do this right, but it is something that is always evolving. You always have to be on top of the situation. Hopefully between the acts above, more education and training, and companies embracing a positive culture, we can at least tread water and then gain on the employee needs. But a long road ahead for sure….
- Another angle of employee/industry concern: health insurance costs. It’s going to keep getting uglier. This story from USA Today turned my stomach (but no way will I go to a doctor for that; can’t afford it!) Anyway, as most of you know, the rates will keep going up and up some more. This is a massive issue that somehow now seems completely off the radar really. I will note many companies are doing as much creatively as they can to combat the rate increases. As a brief example, I was very impressed when I heard/saw that my friends at Binswanger Glass had introduced some proactive measures to support better health for all in the efforts to keep rates under control. I am sure many others are doing that too. Because in this day and age, you have to.
Ok enough of the bad news… moving on to our world.
- I love innovative products. And innovative usages of products. I’ve written about many here like BIPV, dynamics, digital printing, Childgard glass, privacy and so on. The latest innovation I learned about at the recent GANA event is via the gang at Viracon: Glass that can protect the interior from cyber-spies. Basically someone with the right equipment can position outside an office building and attach to the Wi-Fi inside and with nefarious intentions do serious harm. So it was cool to see a product developed and advanced (as I know there’s been similar in the past) that can combat that. Props to Ron McCann and the team there on this one. Good stuff.
- Just a heads up, the latest version of LEED--LEED v4--is now ready to be the only version of LEED accepted in the marketplace. Many still use the LEED 2009 and that has been allowed as LEED v4 has been rolled out. But come October, that option won’t be there. If you are not up to speed on new LEED and are active in getting requests for info or submittals for it, you may want to brush up on your research.
- Last this week, this was just the last Sunday until February without NFL Football. So that season now begins. I am much more of a college guy now thanks to my absolute dislike for Roger Goodell. But I still follow a bit and I know many of you need my prediction for the Super Bowl. This year I am going with Cam Newton and the Panthers to win it all over my pal James Wright’s Cincinnati Bengals.
Max Perilstein 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.