Weekly Update: December 14, 2017

   At the Corridor Business Journal award ceremony was (left to right) Aaron McGlynn, Karyl Bohnsack, Art Floss, Andy Martin, Steve Clark, Melissa Schooley, Reagan Boeset and Tim Ruth.

Iowa City HBA and Kirkwood Recognized for Workforce Development

Congrats to The Greater Iowa City Home Builders Association, Kirkwood Community College, Mrs. Boeset and Mr. Clark for the #cbjworkforce Publishers Award at the Corridor Business Journal Workforce Awards ceremony. The award was for preparing youth for the workforce through the CCA Middle School STEM Construction camp. CCA MS students together with area professionals and educators spend five days of hands-on instruction of basic construction skills as well as problem-solving activities. The young campers were given opportunity to connect with the community by creating such items as benches for dugouts and game boards for senior centers. “We can’t think of a better way to strengthen the economy than to boost the confidence and skills of the next generation of workers.” John Lohman, CEO Corridor Business Journal.  Mr. Clark is holding the Award from NAHB received at the Association Management Convention in Denver earlier this year.

Final Draft Notice of Intended Action for Carbon Monoxide Rules

We published proposed changes a few weeks ago and there wasn’t a peep out of anyone – here’s your final chance before it is adopted.  Click here for the final draft of the proposed carbon monoxide rules.  There were changes made at the stakeholder meeting last week and this draft incorporates many of the suggestions and comments that were received.

As noted, this is the initial filing of the rule, which is called a “Notice of Intended Action.”   These should be published in the January 3, 2018 Iowa Administrative Bulletin.  There is a public comment hearing scheduled for January 23, 2018 at 10 a.m., in the public conference room in the Oran Pape building.  This will be the opportunity for any member of the public, including stakeholders, to offer comments about the proposed rulemaking.  While there can be changes to the rules as a result of comments received at the January 23 public comment hearing, often, there are no changes that are required.   The rulemaking process will be completed in time for the rules to be effective as of July 1, 2018.

Go Build America Recruitment Campaign

Construction demand is growing, but the size of the skilled workforce is not keeping pace. For the construction industry, how to recruit more workers – especially young talent – is the question of the day, the year, perhaps the decade.

A workforce development initiative called Go Build America has a solution: Counter the industry’s bad rap among high schoolers and other impressionable career seekers, along with their parents and teachers, with strategic, ongoing PR campaigns.

“We have had decades of kids being told that they shouldn’t go into this industry; there’s no money in it, it’s too dangerous, it’s too dirty,” said Ryan Dwyer, executive director of Go Build America. “That’s why piecemeal campaigns or campaigns that are not aggressive or fully comprehensive don’t work. We are in the business of changing hearts and minds; this is a perception problem that has to be overcome.”

Go Build began as a statewide industry initiative called Go Build Alabama and has made some impressive inroads there. Since its launch in 2010, enrollment in Alabama’s construction-related tech classes has increased 24 percent and applications to apprenticeship programs have risen by 73 percent. Surveys have shown that Go Build influenced more than half of the students now pursuing building careers in the state.

The success of Go Build Alabama inspired Tennessee and California to begin similar programs in the last two years.

Go Build works with a variety of construction associations, workforce development organizations and local departments of education in a state to let young people know about training programs and job opportunities. It reaches audiences through websites, videos, advertisements, collateral materials and grassroots efforts.

On December 11, Go Build America will officially launch a new website, gobuildamerica.com, featuring a database of every construction technology program in the United States. Paying partners will have access to all the marketing and education materials that have been developed. To encourage current workers to stay within the industry and build on their skills, Go Build America will allow companies to post job listings on the site at no cost.

Aggressive mass media and social media campaigns are integral to Go Build, according to Dwyer. The group has helped states develop localized messages and images designed to resonate with their target audience.

“The way that young people interact and engage with information today is totally different than it was five or 10 years ago or even a year ago,” said Dwyer. “Go Build has a comprehensive, multi-platform approach.”

2017 Construction Costs & Lot Prices

According to a recent NAHB survey of home builders, construction costs account for 55.6% of the final sales price of the average new home, and 21.5% of the total sales price is attributed to the cost of the lot.

Rising materials prices and limited labor have been primary concerns for builders throughout 2017, and those issues are expected to continue into next year as well.

However, as NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz noted recently in Eye on Housing, recent figures for starts and sales are indicating continued growth is ahead.

“Single-family starts (877,000) are at a post-recession high, and sales of new single-family homes sales rose 6% [in October], recording its strongest reading in a decade,” Dietz said. “Moreover, a rising share of new home sales is coming from homes that have not yet begun construction, pointing to additional gains for construction in the near term.”

For more details about the survey and a breakdown of the average sales price, go to housingeconomics.com.

Member Advantage Discounts

Your 3-in-1 membership includes an exclusive program from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) called Member Advantage. This offers you ways to reduce expenses, increase efficiency, and maximize profits through discounts on products and services with leading, national companies. To learn more about these discounts and how to access the savings go to NAHB Member Discounts. Click here for an overview of all discounts.

   We had a great time at the Iowa City HBA holiday party last week.  Nearly 160 people were there and most participated in a wine and whiskey fundraiser combined with a silent auction.  Nearly $10k has been raised for a scholarship fund which will be matched by a member family for a total of $20k that will be used for students entering the building trades.

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