It is the unpleasant reality that skilled labor is in short supply, with 300,000¹ Boomers retiring², lack of CTE education³, negative perceptions about blue collar work⁴, college track pressure⁵, and historic economic dips⁶ contributing to the shortage. These factors, combined with a projected industry growth of 14% over the next 10 years⁷, indicate that the challenge to find skilled workers is not going away anytime soon⁸.
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Building Information Modeling (BIM) was originally designed to create architectural 3D renderings of a project before construction began. BIM quickly became an excellent tool for contractors to coordinate equipment interferences or clash detection for better collaboration between trades. In either case, BIM's objective is to create a 3D computerized model of a project to work out construction designs and conflicts prior to incurring construction costs to ensure that budgets, schedules, and quality are maintained once construction is underway.
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Early November 2016 saw the end of one of the most contentious political presidential elections in quite some time. Each candidate had distinctly different plans for the direction they wanted to take this country.
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Every year for the last four years, forecasting experts have mistakenly predicted that the demand for new construction would accelerate. And every year for the last four years, the increase has been more gradual than expected. Now that the election is over, a more drastic industry turnaround is long overdue, and I predict we will experience it in 2017.
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It’s quite shocking when you think about it. Ask any university graduate to describe how they approached three significant life choices: their major, their college, and their career. Ask them to recall, in order, which they chose first, second, and third. They’ll probably tell you that the first thing they chose was the college they wanted to attend. Perhaps they picked a parent’s alma mater or one based upon location.
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The rapid pace of technological change isn’t news to electrical contractors – who can’t go far without encountering such buzzwords as “Industrial Internet of Things” (IIoT) and “digital transformation” – yet its full effect on the industry can be difficult to grasp.
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While the use of independent contractors (IC) can have substantial business advantages given the current economic and political climate, IC relationships have been facing and continue to face increased scrutiny. Both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) believe that up to 30 percent of employers are misclassifying their workers. The Government Accountability Office also estimates that misclassification costs the federal government $2.7 billion dollars a year in unpaid unemployment, FICA, FUTA, and other taxes. With the Obamacare mandate that companies with 50 or more “full-time equivalent workers” offer health plans to employees who work the required number of hours per week or else pay stiff penalties, significant temptation exists to reclassify employees as ICs.
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In running your contracting business there is only one guarantee: You eventually will exit – either voluntarily or involuntarily. The day will come when you will have to say goodbye. Exiting is not an easy process, and the odds are not in your favor. Therefore in order to succeed, the business and the owner must both be prepared to successfully transfer the business.
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