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this is a question for all construction business owners, superintendents, project managers and everthing except direct "Skilled Labor". I am a very specialized construction recruiter that predominately works in the permanent placement business. I generally work with salaried employees and managment level individuals. My question to you guys is this..... Is there a value to you to have a temporary source to go out and get "Skilled Craftsmen"? I have been getting a lot of requests from current clients about skilled labor. Apparently the youth of today doesnt want to get out of bed and work. Would you guys have value in a service like this? I promise this is not a sales pitch, but more of a market identification question. thanks in advance.
 

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TRS, There is a great value in this. My question is how do you get these people to hang on a string?
I use LaborFinders in a pinch and get druggies and alcoholics, good only for digging ditches or other basic labor.
In todays market where are you finding a skilled labor pool? Where I am, If your under 90 and can swing a hammer, you can start at $17.00 and get a decent raise in 30 days.
You have a great idea but all of the talent has been tapped. Everybody is trying to get more tradesmen and I don't think that your idea will work.
 

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You should see the program my current employer uses. They bring these kids in (18-25) give them a job and offer to pay for their college if they work for us. Of course they go through 6 months of working first and then the best ones of the group get invited to "Boot Camp". If they make it through "Boot Camp" they get a job and a possible college education if they choose to. Boot Camp consists of getting up at 5am and running 3 miles then going through the day laying stuff out, class time, equipment useage, taking off concrete, forming concrete walls, placing concrete, etc.. for a week.
It's terribly expensive but, like TRS stated, kids these days don't want to work.
 

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I think part of the problem you are going to have is you have already mis-identified the market and the demographic of who makes up skilled labor. The "youth of today doesnt want to get out of bed and work" has nothing to do with who makes up skilled labor. That group you have spoken of pretty much falls into the unskilled labor market. When I think of skilled labor I am thinking about someone who has some experience under his belt, this isn't usually someone who is a youth who is in high school or a bit older working the summer in between college semesters. It is someone who is on the caliber of at the very least someone who could preform the work of a sub.

Are you talking about someone who is skilled enough to use a saw all day without cutting off his fingers or someone you could tell do something that has 20 steps in it without having to outline all 20 steps? Because when you are referring to the youth of today I think of former and not the latter. We don't need a service to provide more of the former but more of the latter and the latter isn't made up of youths of today.

Hence, I think you already have a problem because like I said you have already mis-identified who makes up that pool of labor.
 

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There is all kinds of data available through enr.com, construction.com, builderonline.com, etc..etc. that shows the construction workforce is getting older and older.. well when they get older and older they eventually retire. The data shows that we're losing more people every year that aren't being replaced near as quickly. To help our industry out my employer does all kinds of things to get the youth involved in the construction industry. We've helped setup whole curriculums in schools in Colorado for architecture, cad, construction, industrial arts, etc. We have jobsite visits from local schools. We setup at career fairs.etc.
The youth of today will eventually be the construction workforce of tomorrow. It's up to us right now to overcome 2 hurdles. 1-Educate people that construction people aren't a bunch of beer guzzling knuckleheads out to make a quick buck (although there are some of those that give the rest of us a bad name). 2-We need to get the youth involved and interested in construction and show them the benefits and incentives of construction.
The statement about the youth today not wanting to get out of bed and work - I do agree in a general sense. Not directed towards anyone - just a rant/opinion of mine :)
 

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Hatchet, Amen to the 2 hurdles. We are professionals.

The problem is all sterotypes are based on reality then exagerated. Some of us are beerguzzling knuckle heads... well maybe not us, but people in our industry.

Heck I didn't want to get out of bed and work because why should I? I made enough money on the side doing this and that to feed myself and buy myself new clothes before the old ones got too ratty to wear. I didn't have a job per say but I had money... My parents gave me free food and rent so I didn't need to work. Eventually my father basically threw me from the nest by giving me a hard time until I no longer wanted to live with him. After I moved out hsi attitude changed and I got hit by reality. BOY I thought I knew it all... You all know where this story is going. The youth needs a taste of reality. I am only 26 so I am young enough to remember being a youth.
 

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My story is about the same.. I didn't really feel like getting out there and working either. Until my old man said "Well if you want a new pair of shoes for wrestling this year you better get a job". Been working ever since, college breaks, during college, spring breaks, christmas worked at the saw mill, summers worked in logging. Except for....
After a couple years of college I was home at the folks without a job for 3 weeks. I came home one day (had just gotten a job) and the old man was packing my stuff and putting it on the porch.
So I agree Grumpy - a little dose of reality goes a long ways to motivating people.
 

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My dad said that he would support me until I was 21 and then I was out, no ifs ands or buts. As it turned out my high school went to split schedule when I was 15 which allowed me to work 8 hrs. Ft Laud was booming and I was making good money, sometimes working until 11:30 at night but I was making nearly $500.00 a week after taxes. I shared a single bedroom with 3 brothers (2 bunk beds) and moved out on my own when I was 16 and never went back. I lived in a '62 Buick Invicta wagon and sometimes got motel rooms and saved as much as possible. At 18 I joined the U.S.N. and served for four years on the Enterprise on a SAR team. Exiting the service I concentrated on college and went back into construction to support me, never touching my nest egg which was growing. At this junction I was 22 and had a net worth of nearly $40,000. A lot of money in 1971.
Most kids today lack role models, incentive, parental control and (by product) respect for themselves and others. I followed in my parents footsteps and my son (20) and Daughter (22) are both out on their own and doing well and do not do drugs and are proud of it, as am I.
 

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Wow, what a bunch of silver spooners that hang out here! :cheesygri

I've been working since I was 16 years old (bus boy in a restaurant), younger if you count mowing lawns and odd jobs for neighbors. Bought my own first car and paid my own way through college. If I could have had it another way I would have, but that was just the way it was. You're all just a bunch of trust fund babies. :cheesygri
 

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Silver Spooners? :) My first full-time paying job was when I was 13 (summers). Started on a trail derailment - old man drove me out there and dropped me off said "Talk to the guy in the hardhat" and drove off. After that I went to work fulltime with my old man building houses. I've never worked in a restaurant - too easy :) .. and if working in a saw mill or logging is a silver spooner.. try a rock quarry... haha.
Until 3 years ago I had never had a job where they (or I) actually gave you a vacation.. I honestly didn't know what I was going to do with 2 weeks.
I think Grumpy started around that same age if I'm not mistaken.
haha.. we're way off topic now but this is good stuff :)
 

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Yeah since I am the middle kid I didn't get the attention my father gave to my older brother or my mother gave to my younger brother. I was always that kid that hung around doing goofy things to get attention and starting lots of trouble. :)

I vividly remember my younger brother at the age of 16 being taken on a $400 shopping spree by my mother when I was 19 and I had only 3 pairs of underwear I had to wash very often and it had been many many years since my mother bought me any clothes... and by the way my mother also did his laundry.

I was mowing neighbors lawns since before I entered highschool so I guess you can say I started about the same age as Rich. My old man had me helping around the house tearing down walls and crap since I can remember but I don't count that as working. It's really more like chores.

It's funny really now since I was the one my father told damned near daily that I'd never ammount to anything... but I am not making almost as much as him and he is a veteran senior engineer. I also make more than both my brother combined.

So much for nothing, huh Dad? But thanks for the motivation to prove you wrong. :)
 

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Personally, I would like to hear a lot more details from TRS consulting in regard to his plans. I would be very interested in specifically what types of skilled workers he could provide, at what skill levels, rates and how he is going to find them.
 

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Here! Hear! Mike.
How will he retain them? He would have to offer the same pay and bennies as a contractor and then mark up to make a profit. Who is going to pay that?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
TRS Response to Temp Business

Guys first in reponse to everyones rebuttals, I appreciate them a great deal! I guess before I continue any further I should validate my "Plug Sheet". I was not born with the "Silver Spoon", I was raised by a retired Marine Corps Officer who Dropped dead when I was a junior in highschool. This is when I discovered the animal of construction. Ive been in the trenches in most facets of the business before going to college on a football scholarship where I attained my degree, then going into construction on the other side of the fence..... Management! Im only stating this to attain credibility within the forum, because it seems that this is important. While working in the commercial field from superintendent, to Estimator/Project Manager, I realized how important it was to have good people and how much they were valued both on the labor side as well as management. Ive ran union and non union work on jobs up to 85 million dollars. One day I was approached by a "Head Hunter" who opened up my eyes to the rest of the world in regards to what I have stated above. To make a long story short I was at a point in my career where the change that I wanted to make wasnt actually in the "Field" of construction, but more on the sales side. It took me 3 years to make this decision and in the process I picked up an MBA and a true knowledge of how to run "Any" Business from a profitability perspective. I took the plunge into Executive Recruiting, it has been one hell of a ride, Ive made more money than I could have ever dreamed of making as a "Corporate Puppet" and I have financial and family freedom.

DOWN TO BUSINESS

The temporary skilled trade business is a business that caters to the true pain of construction companies.... Good help.... My business plan on this entity of my business is tailored to the carpenters "helper" , HVAC Helper, plumbers helper... I think you get the picture. Within most construction companies, foremen and skill superintendents are usually pretty stable within there jobs. The problem is finding that "Middle skilled level" individual, that can tell you what a "Hard Sixteenth" is on a tape or possess the aptitude... (not the actual knowledge) of setting up a builders level and running a plumb line on a piece of structural concrete..... guys, this is not hard to teach. If you could find a core of 10 people to train and contractually bind to stay with your program and ad to the skills they already possess... even if there arent any... then your on to something. If your rolling your eyes thinking this could never happen than think back to what built this country..... UNIONS.... There business model is no different, other than the fact that there skilled trades people are very expensive and you also have to pay the union a "Gross" percentage on profitability of your company. My approach is simple, you provide a growth like atmosphere, provide training, pay well, and the business will come. There was a comment about companies not wanting to pay "Extra" for skilled people..... no offense to this person but they have obviously never been on a union or non-union job that was 350k in the hole, that was getting ready to lose its bond because the work wasnt getting done. The solution? 5 mid level skilled professionals that could come in, work 12 hour off shift positions with a foreman from the retained company overseeing the work... this project was back on schedule in nine days, at a cost to the retained company of only$18,180.... and the mark up on that was included.... it was 30% per man at 13.00 per hour, these men had comp, insurance and everything provided through this agency. I signed a P/O for 20k that got me out of a 350K situation..... now... would you pay the "Extra" to have this done? Construction boils down to one thing.... schedules, if you cant meet schedules your not going to make money. These numbers make sense and through my research as a permanent placement recruiter the biggest pain with any construction company is mid level labor.... if they will pay 30% for a guy to shovel dirt they will pay 30% for a mid skilled individual.... trust me on that. There are already firms doing this and one is about to go public after being in business for only 11 years!!!! Thanks for your time guys.. i hope didnt lull you to sleep.
 

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I will add that I suspect your audience here is not what you are thinking it is. Most of the people here are small one man shops or maybe up to a 1/2 dozen at most. There are a few bigger but they are the exception not the rule. Talking about circumstances of multi-million dollar projects is out of the scope here and irrelevant. People here are small businesses, and there is a big difference between a guy with 3 people working for him looking at what you are offering and a firm like a road construction company working on mulit-million dollar contracts looking at what you are offering. I think your concept as you have outlined it fits the later companys who have the scope and pockets but not the small operator. Your example of being $350,000 behind pretty much demonstrates that you are on a different scale.

So unless your concept fits the majority of business owners here and I am wrong, then I think you are wasting your time posting here and need the opinions of people working in much bigger construction firms and million dollar projects. I think we are apples and you are talking oranges.
 

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With all do respect Mike, I have seen postings on this forum where people are using "Labor Ready" and "Labor Finders".... I believe Apples to Apples is relevant in this case. It is the same concept minus the beer breath and track marks...... :eek: Did i just say that!
 

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That is because Labor Ready and Labor Finders supplies unskilled labor which is hardly the same concept. Unskilled labor is just labor that if it shows up on the job is mission achomplished in my book. It is so cheap that spillage isn't an issue. Supplying skilled labor at rates that are high enough to keep them loyal to your service while being cost effective to the small operator is going to be a magic trick on a level that would make Lance Burton jealous.

I still say that you aren't in touch with reality, because right from the start deomostrated that you don't know the difference from skilled and unskilled labor by infering that skilled labor consists of today's youth who don't want to get out of bed. Skilled labor in my experience is made up of guys usually in their mid 20s - 30s. Youths who don't want to get out of bed usually fall into the unskilled labor pool.

Like I said that is just the way I see it based only upon how you are presenting it. Please explain the details in a way that eliminates my misconception. The way you are presenting it now doesn't have any relevance to my business or most of the other users here as I see it. I could be wrong but I haven't seen anybody else piping in to correct me.
 

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I believe that the crux of this problem is what constitutes 'skilled labor'.
I see many projects built using 'skilled labor' that would make my father roll over in his grave.
This is probably one of them.
Investigation into Tranquility construction collapse begins
Two die at work site using less traditional building method

By Gabriel Margasak staff writer
July 24, 2004

HOBE SOUND -- Piece by mangled piece, federal and private inspectors began their wide-open investigation Friday into Thursday's massive townhouse construction collapse that killed two and injured several others at Tranquility in Hobe Sound.
The details can be found at tcpalm.com

I don't consider someone as 'skilled' until they have worked for me for 6 months and many wash out thinking that I demand too much. I do demand a lot but then I charge more and pay better. I would prefer to pay overtime to someone who will do the job my way than outsource. I often jump into the fray myself.

As far as unions building this country, I think that it was people like Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Wright bros., Flagler, Ford, Edison, Bell and Gates whos ideas created vast new markets and labor forces. At one time unions stuck up for the poor working schlep, today they are passe'.
 

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Skilled Labor

Teetorbilt said:
I believe that the crux of this problem is what constitutes 'skilled labor'.
I see many projects built using 'skilled labor' that would make my father roll over in his grave.
This is probably one of them.
Investigation into Tranquility construction collapse begins
Two die at work site using less traditional building method

By Gabriel Margasak staff writer
July 24, 2004

HOBE SOUND -- Piece by mangled piece, federal and private inspectors began their wide-open investigation Friday into Thursday's massive townhouse construction collapse that killed two and injured several others at Tranquility in Hobe Sound.
The details can be found at tcpalm.com

I don't consider someone as 'skilled' until they have worked for me for 6 months and many wash out thinking that I demand too much. I do demand a lot but then I charge more and pay better. I would prefer to pay overtime to someone who will do the job my way than outsource. I often jump into the fray myself.

As far as unions building this country, I think that it was people like Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Wright bros., Flagler, Ford, Edison, Bell and Gates whos ideas created vast new markets and labor forces. At one time unions stuck up for the poor working schlep, today they are passe'.

To Whom It May Concern :

I feel compelled to respond to what you consider "Skilled"
In my opinion,
most any person can be taught at least the basic skills of many tasks.
After that, the first six months of repeatedly performing the task are what I consider to be "Training" with the following six months realistically being considered "Experience" after the initial six months of experience it takes many many hours working at perfecting the skills needed to complete the task in order to equal the "YEARS" required in my "Opinion" of a TRULY "Skilled Worker"
Many tasks in this field (General Construction) are truly defined thru the actual "Craftsmanship" that goes into making the specific phase of the project complete.
When in fact it seems you are speaking of truly labor grade workers, such as
the guys on a site doing the lumber stacking and ditch digging along with other generalized "Gopher" grade work.
The main point I want to make here is This:
I am personally appalled at your definition of "Skilled Labor"
if your definition is as "Quoted" here,
None of "Your Crew" will
"Ever Make It On One of My Jobsites"

Thank You
 
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