July/August 2013

Where's my crew? - Readying your business for the impending labor shortage
It’s estimated that, by 2016, about 50% more workers will be needed in the U.S. than are on the job or otherwise available today. But there are a variety of ways contractors can prepare now to attract and retain tomorrow’s best construction workers. This article looks at benchmarking and at creating job opportunities that meet the needs of the millennial generation. A sidebar discusses the recent extension of the Work Opportunity tax credit.
Have you considered lean construction lately?
The term “lean construction” was coined back in the early 1990s to describe an adaptation of certain manufacturing principles to building. In today’s technology-driven world of making everything as efficient as possible, the concept is worth considering (or reconsidering). This article explains how lean construction is designed to improve total project performance by emphasizing teamwork from concept through delivery.

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Why now is a good time to review your estate plan

Whether a company is family-owned or not, it’s important to plan for how the wealth one has accumulated to be passed to heirs — if not ownership of the business itself. Now that the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2013 (ATRA) has finally brought some certainty to estate planning, it’s a good time for contractors to review their estate plans. This article discusses how estate tax changes affect construction company owners.

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Construction Success Story — HVAC contractor cools down employee burnout
This issue’s “Construction Success Story” looks at the case of a contractor whose workforce had dwindled during the recession. He worried that this was causing employee burnout but, with the economy still uncertain, he didn’t want to add staff just yet. His advisor showed how increased collaboration and communication, along with additional training opportunities for employees, could improve profitability and employee morale.

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