Recap: Rethinking Labor

5 minute read

Having the right people is critical to success. The business of building is changing, but our workforce hasn’t evolved with the times. In order to accelerate innovation, we need to attract new talent, diversify the workforce and train them for the job to be done.

Many thanks to our panelists:
 Brek Goin, CEO of Hammr and Builders of Insta; Branka Minic, CEO of Building Talent Foundation; Dr. Charner Rodgers, associate professor at the Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science and Management at Tuskegee University; Leger Stecker, Executive Vice President of Operations for The Brewer Companies; and our facilitator, Thomas Rosenfield of HillStaffer.

Watch the Full Recording (1hr, 15min)



Watch this short snippet featuring final thoughts from the panelists (2.5 mins)

Key Takeaways + YOUR Comments During the Discussion 

    • Brian Wolfgang: Charner is spot on with the importance of internships, not only for the benefit of the student, but to build an entry point for students into a company. At Penn State, it isn’t uncommon to have a company come to us in April looking for entry level hires starting in May. Students have already committed at that point.


    • Rodney Hall: Two takeaways from a Clayton Homes tour we took on an Alliance Road Trip, which address Gig vs. Career: The General Manager of Clayton’s plant started part time while in college never thinking he’d stay and build “mobile homes” as a career.  Also, their floor employee turnover dropped in half once they took them through a rotational program, so that they could experience more than their assigned role.


    • Christopher Fox: Van Metre has set-up a Summer Internship Program that is paid for 2 months run by our People Operations Team. You need to be in an after High School Program to apply. We have also partnered with a University that offers credit to the student to participate in this program. 1 day of the week they take courses (worth Credit) and the rest they work and learn. We often hire those that excel and enjoy this program.


  • Other Notes from Attendees:
    • Improving the upcoming labor pool in the trades starts in high school with vocational trade classes. It appears that with school districts cutting budgets, this is one area that has been affected. As we all know, college is not for everyone. There are great career opportunities for skilled workers that are financially rewarding. There are a few mentoring programs by corporations and trade companies that aim to create awareness for future employment.
    • Residential Minor in Construction Administration is a great idea!



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