Building Insight April 2020

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Table of contents

WHO WE ARE The Building Industry Association of Washington is the state’s largest trade association representing thousands of companies in the home building industry. BIAW is dedicated to ensuring and enhancing the vitality of the building industry for the benefit of its members and the housing needs of citizens.

BIAW STAFF Executive Vice President Greg Lane Government Affairs Director Jan Himebaugh General Counsel Jackson Maynard Administrative Services Director Jan Rohila R.O.I.I.® Select Co-Directors Jenn Kavanaugh and Michael Couthran Communications and Public Relations Director Jennifer Spall

B U IL DI NG INSI G H T ED I TO R I A L STA F F Communications and Public Relations Director Jennifer Spall Communications Manager Leah Jaber Writer and Editor Bailee Wicks Layout and Design Brenda Kwieciak

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Central Washington Home Builders Association member Craig Myers (right), owner of Standard Paint and Flooring, donates face masks to a medical supplies drive to benefit health care professionals in the Yakima community.


Nov. ballot: a mixed bag


Pardon my French


Connecting builders with skilled trades professionals in real time

Ballot measures key to voter turnout

Force majeure clauses and COVID-19 provisions

Mobile app replaces word of mouth approach


Tapping into young talent Teen workers—an ideal summer workforce

april 2020


President’s message “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

—Thomas Paine, 1776

These famous words, written in response to panic and confusion during the Revolutionary War, apply to the current COVID-19 crisis. This is a new kind of “war.” It came on quicker than anyone thought possible. Only a few weeks ago, nationally-known housing economists were telling us 2020 was going to be a solid year. Nothing was on the horizon to indicate otherwise.

Sherry Schwab President

Meetings and job schedules were changed and then rescheduled. Reports from other countries and in our state showed the new virus to be an unknown and pervasive enemy. Conditions went from serious to critical, with parents thrown into the role of homeschool teachers and sports lovers endured many losses. Financial portfolios tanked with national and international markets in free fall. The only thing constant is constant change. We were told to curtail social activity, and with the shortage of business, some people have no jobs to report to unless they can work from home. The past month could be a sci-fi story. It’s real. It’s surreal. Another change mandated us to shelter in place and only leave home for essential jobs or necessities of life. This is serious. We ask questions for which no one has a definitive answer. How long will this go on? How can I stay in business, take care of my employees, pay bills? What will the future be like? As tenuous and terrifying as things seem, there are also benefits. People are finding a simpler lifestyle. Parents are teaching their children through e-education and spending more time together. A lot of cookies are being baked while measuring and weighing ingredients. People are getting outdoors and exercising through yard work. The construction industry has always shown strength in adversity. Through communication, we learn and share techniques. Meetings via Zoom enable experienced members to advise newer business owners on best practices of safe job sites and how to stay in business. The three-tier membership is a powerhouse in advocating for members to provide shelter. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is lobbying for a stimulus package for residential housing. BIAW is asking for a delay in the implementation of the state building codes and pressuring the governor that residential construction is an essential service, and our local associations are resources for handling questions and local issues. All three levels are in communication with one another and our members. All three levels are coordinating their efforts. When I spoke about unity as a goal at my installation, I didn’t know how critical staff, builders, associates, and member employees fighting together would be. These are very trying times. Our strength is in ourselves as a unified force working for housing.


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Government Affairs

Nov. ballot: a mixed bag by Jan Himebaugh Government Affairs Director

Session adjourned sine die March 12, which means that March 13 signaled the kick-off to the 2020 election season. It’s bound to be a wild ride with a confluence of unpredictable elements: presidential politics, a potential referendum to overturn a new mandatory graphic sexual education for K-12, COVID-19 (a potential COVID-19-induced recession), lagging Boeing sales, and a multitude of legislative retirements. Ballot measures key to voter turnout All these factors will create a push-pull dynamic for the November ballot. It’s no secret President Trump is not particularly popular with Washington state’s electorate; however, the increasing chances the Democratic nominee is an aging, white, rich guy may not inspire a groundswell turnout. The Legislature passed a requirement for K-12 education to utilize a comprehensive sexual health curriculum; the approved version is a sex-ed curriculum created by Planned Parenthood. The curriculum starts in kindergarten and encourages children to question their gender identity. Local school boards have limited ability to choose a different curriculum, and opting out in the classroom for parents is complicated. This has led to an outcry from parents, children, and school boards—and a 3,000 person rally at the Capitol and inspiring a referendum to overturn the new mandate to be filed. If the referendum qualifies for the November ballot, it could be a key player in voter turnout, particularly in moderate/swing legislative districts. Economic impact of pandemic unknown By now, you would be living under a rock if you have not heard of the COVID-19 pandemic. Washington state is very much ground zero, with retail stores, restaurants, and hotels empty. Washington has the potential to slide into recession. Small businesses will bear the brunt of the hit, and the massive decrease in consumer spending will have an impact on other businesses and state revenues. The full impact on the November or even August primary elections will be seen. Lawmakers retire, campaign season begins Lastly, the only constant in upcoming election cycles, is legislative retirements. At current count, there are anywhere between 14-18 legislators who announced or rumored; they will not seek re-election this year. As always, builder members will support candidates who are pro-builder, regardless of party identity. Homebuilders need legislators to understand high housing prices are the result of a heavy regulatory burden and limited land supply. Until they address those issues, housing affordability will continue to be a struggle for Washingtonians. Endorsements ahead The Washington Affordable Housing Council (WAHC) meets in June during BIAW’s summer board meeting to review and endorse a slate of candidates before the primary in August. When talking with incumbents and candidates—make sure you mention housing affordability and ask them what proactive policies they support that will help you supply Washington with homes. Contributing to your local hba’s political action committee, WAHC, and NAHB’s BUILD-PAC, are ways BIAW members should support industry-friendly and pro-builder candidates. april 2020


Executive Vice President’s message COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across our state and country, taking lives, taxing our health care system, and ravaging our once-strong economy. Just weeks ago, our country was confident and flourishing, anticipating another strong year. In just a few short weeks, however, everything has changed and we now face an unprecedented health and economic crisis most people never imagined. Governor shuts down housing construction

Greg Lane

Executive Vice President

The recent decision by Gov. Inslee to shut down housing construction, refusing to protect it as an “essential” activity, was an unnecessary additional blow to our state’s economy. Inslee is the only governor of a state west of the Mississippi to classify housing construction as non-essential. In Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona—even eastern states like New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Delaware—those governors all protected residential construction as “essential” in their Stay-at-Home orders. But in Washington state, Gov. Inslee chose to shut housing down. The team representing you here at BIAW fought hard to protect residential construction as an essential activity, assuring the governor that our industry has implemented additional procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect employees and the public from contracting the virus, as well as reminding him that housing construction contributes $8.4 billion annually to the state’s economy. And we will continue to advocate aggressively with the governor on your behalf to get you back to work as soon as possible. Washington state is facing a housing supply crisis that will only get worse the longer you are kept off your jobsites. BIAW Requests Delay of Implementing 2018 Building Codes In partnership with the Washington Association of Building Officials (WABO), BIAW has also made a formal request to Gov. Inslee to delay the implementation of the 2018 building codes until Nov. 1, 2020. These codes are due to be implemented July 1, 2020. With every code cycle, BIAW and other organizations offer code update classes to ensure builders and code officials can learn how to comply with the new regulations. These classes are usually held in March, April, May, and June to be ready for the July 1 implementation date. However, due to the restrictions enacted to prevent the spread of COVID-19, BIAW will likely have to cancel most or all of those classes. We are hopeful Gov. Inslee will grant the delay. These are challenging times for everyone in our industry and BIAW is here to support and assist you in any way that we can. We have created a list of resources for you, your employees, and your business on a special COVID-19 page on at the top of We will continue to update these resources and keep members informed. Please stay healthy and safe.


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Strategic Plan

Strategic Priorities Update: Thriving Association Among the five priorities included in the BIAW Strategic Plan, the one that is most difficult to deduce solely from its title is “Thriving Association.” “Government and Legal Affairs,” “Communications,” “Workforce Development,” and “Continuing Education” are somewhat self-explanatory. But what exactly does “Thriving Association” mean and what are we trying to accomplish to achieve it? Three of the specific goals to achieve a thriving association are: 1) Increased member engagement. This means we want more members participating in all of BIAW’s programs, including education classes, government affairs activities, and health insurance and retro programs. 2) More participation at board meetings. This means creating more meaningful discussion and action at board meetings, as well as increasing attendance and participation from directors representing all local associations. 3) Facilitating local association membership growth and retention. How can BIAW better support the efforts of local associations to attract and retain members? The BIAW winter board meeting included many new sessions designed to make progress on these goals:

Members were invited to an open house at the Parkside Building, where they were given a tour of the facility recently purchased by BIAW and the renovations taking place there to become BIAW’s new headquarters. BIAW staff is scheduled to move into the building in early June. The Workforce Development task force, made up of members appointed by each local association, met for the first time during the winter board meeting. BIAW’s Workforce Development task force will conduct monthly conference calls to continue the discussion on how to battle the skilled trades labor shortage our industry faces. BIAW Hill Day invited all members and directors to the Capitol to meet with state lawmakers and advocate for policies that support increasing the housing supply and making home ownership more affordable. Thank you to all members and staff who participated in these well-attended meetings and are working hard to make BIAW a thriving association! For more information on BIAW’s Strategic Plan and summer board meeting, contact BIAW Executive Vice President Greg Lane at (360) 352-7800, ext. 102 or

A New Director Orientation session was scheduled and held on the first day of the board meeting. All directors attending their first BIAW board meeting received an overview of the structure of BIAW, briefings about all of the committee and council meetings that take place, and following that discussion, a meet and greet with the BIAW senior officers, executive committee members, and senior staff. april 2020


Legal Team

Pardon my French by Jackson Maynard General Counsel

The home building industry, like other businesses, has been impacted by the necessary, yet sometimes shocking efforts of federal, state, and local officials to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19. These efforts have gradually slowed the pace of civilian life, especially in Washington state, which has led the country in diagnosed cases and, most tragically, deaths. Nationally, travel from China and Europe has been curtailed, and unnecessary domestic travel discouraged. In Washington state, thus far, schools have released their students for weeks, events canceled, and bars and restaurants ordered closed. As drastic as these steps seem, given the experience of those living in Italy where the death toll in one day surged past 368 and over 2,500 in total (as of press time), even greater restrictions seem to be likely to be imposed in the near future. These measures, while likely saving lives, are sure to have an incredibly disruptive effect on


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businesses of all types, including home construction. Employees who are ill or need to care for sick relatives may not be available to work. Supply chains in countries affected by the virus will be disrupted. Permitting by local or state agencies may be slowed or stopped as agency employees work remotely or are ill. It will be important for businesses to look carefully at contractual language to determine the rights of general contractors, subcontractors, and other employees. Force majeure clause Fortunately, there is a provision that is common in most business (including construction) contracts that is particularly designed for these difficult times: the force majeure clause.

Centuries-old, this provision is literally translated from French as “superior (or overwhelming) force.” It is a common clause in contracts that essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties, such as a war, strike, riot, crime, plague, or an event described by the legal term “act of God,” prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract. In practice, most force majeure clauses do not excuse a party’s non-performance entirely, but only suspend it for the duration of the force majeure. In Washington state, such clauses have been invoked to excuse performance for “economic losses suffered…, including the strike

and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attack as well as the resulting recession, the labor unrest of Seattle dockworkers, the Boeing Company’s layoff of 30,000 workers, the burst of the “dotcom” bubble, and the stock market decline of 2002.” However, that’s not the end of the analysis. In Washington state, courts faced with questions of contract interpretation must still discern the intent of the contracting parties and may

consider evidence extrinsic to the contract itself for that purpose, even when the contract terms are not themselves ambiguous. A party invoking a force majeure clause may still need to prove with evidence that its performance was actually impacted by COVID-19 and that its interpretation of the contract is reasonable given the language and context of the contract and the parties’ conduct. In conclusion, those in the home building industry should carefully

consider force majeure language in their contracts. They should not hesitate to invoke them when necessary to excuse performance for contractual obligations that are directly impacted by the COVID-19 and limit liability. They should also be prepared to prove the claimed impacts were related to COVID-19 and defend their interpretation as reasonable, considering the context of the contracts and the parties’ conduct.

april 2020


Cover Story

COVID-19 & Construction The response to the COVID-19 situation is very fluid and changing daily. BIAW is working hard to provide our members with resources for you, your company, and employees. For the most up to date information, visit

Employer Resources WA Department of Revenue (DOR)

DOR is taking the following measures to provide relief to all COVID-19 impacted businesses during the state of emergency (Feb. 29 through the end of the state of emergency, yet to be determined). These actions address a broad range of taxes and programs. Monthly filers: Request an extension for paying tax returns (even if the request is after the due date) by sending a secure email in your My DOR account or by calling DOR’s customer service at (360) 705-6705, M-F, 8-5 P.M. Quarterly filers: The Quarter 1, 2020 return is now due June 30, 2020. Annual filers: The Annual 2019 return is now due June 15, 2020. n Upon request, DOR will work with taxpayers to adjust payment plan amounts or extend payment dates 30 to 60 days. If payment is extended, additional penalties that would have normally accrued during the extension period will be waived. n Delay scheduling audits of businesses that have gross income of less than $5 million in the past year. n Audits in progress: DOR will work with you to issue the audit or provide an extension of up to 60 days. n DOR has the authority to waive interest through April 17. Check back to see if this date gets extended. n Waive the BLS delinquency fee for renewal through April 17. Check back to see if this date gets extended. n B&O Taxes: l Allow businesses to request a one-time, 24-month penalty waiver if you have not owed a late penalty in the last 24 months. l Allow businesses to request a 30-day extension of B&O taxes without payment or 30+ days with deposit. n DOR requests that businesses still file their returns even if they are unable to pay. For more information visit:

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Small business owners in all states are currently eligible to apply for a long-term, low-interest load due to COVID-19. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. For more information visit:


The IRS has extended the tax filing deadline to July 15. For more information visit: 10

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Cover Story

COVID-19 & Construction

Employee Resources Unemployment Benefits

If you are laid off work as a result of the governor’s Stay-at-Home order issued March 23, you are eligible for unemployment benefits. n When applying for unemployment benefits, select “laid off” as your reason for separating from your employer; choose “company temporarily closed” from the secondary options n This does not apply to employees who are considered essential critical infrastructure workers, (as outlined by the governor)

n As new information emerges, this is subject to change.

n Work search requirements are optional for all claimants until further notice

n You can request standby status for up to 12 weeks

n The one-week waiting period to be eligible for unemployment benefits is waived

To apply for benefits or for more information visit:

WA Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML)

If you or an employee is sick with COVID-19, as with any other illness, a healthcare provider must certify that you are unable to work in order to qualify for PFML. Quarantine (and school closures) are not qualifying events under this program. It is recommended that you use employer-provided paid sick leave if available. For more information visit:

WA Health Benefit Exchange

Insurance experts are available by phone to answer questions and get you enrolled. A special enrollment period is now available through April 8 to qualified individuals who are uninsured. Apple Health enrollment is year-round. For more information visit:

april 2020


Cover Story

COVID-19 & Construction The following is BIAW’s response sent to members regarding the governor’s memo, issued March 25, which clarifies all construction a non-essential activity.

March 25, 2020, 6:05 P.M. To: BIAW Members via Constant Contact (email) Today, March 25 at 6:00 P.M. Gov. Jay Inslee issued official guidance that “construction is not considered an essential activity” in the Stay-at-Home order he announced earlier in the week (Monday, March 23). As a result, all construction—residential and commercial—must shut down. Beginning at midnight, Wednesday, Mar. 25, 2020, no commercial or residential construction is allowed until at least April 8, 2020. The only exception for private residential or commercial construction is to prevent spoliation, avoid damage, cure unsafe conditions, or conduct emergency repairs. The governor has indicated the order could also be extended in which residential and commercial construction would still be unable to continue work. Gov. Inslee is one of only two governors who have issued a statewide “Stay-atHome” order that does not designate housing construction as “essential.” Section 3 (Point d) of the order allows businesses to secure jobsites and equipment following the order taking effect: “For purposes of this Proclamation, minimum basic operations are the minimum activities necessary to maintain the value of the business’ inventory, preserve the condition of the business’ physical plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences, and related functions.” BIAW will keep members updated as this issue evolves.

BIAW is continuing to work with like-minded partners and allies to put pressure on the governor to ease the restrictions on residential construction. If you have questions about the governor’s proclamation, please contact BIAW Government Affairs Director Jan Himebaugh at (425) 577-1518 or 12

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Cover Story

COVID-19 & Construction

Employers a key partner in fight against outbreak by Jennifer Spall

Communications and Public Relations Director

Workplaces and jobsites are a likely place for exposure to COVID-19. This makes employers frontline partners in the effort to contain the outbreak from spreading and thus helping to keep employees, families, and communities safe. Key strategies include social distancing, encouraging sick employees to stay home, promoting frequent hand-washing, and other essential steps. “Employers are going to play a significant role in containing the spread of this disease,” said Anne Soiza, assistant director in charge of the Washington state Department of Labor & Industry’s (L&I) Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), in a statement issued March 13 by L&I. The nature of the outbreak changes daily, and employers need to stay on top of the most current information. BIAW is working around the clock to keep our members informed on the latest updates. Visit to find information on:

How to Protect Yourself What to do if you are sick Jobsite Safety kit WA Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) SBA disaster assistance loans IRS tax credits Family and Medical Leave Act (federal)

By working together, we can get through this crisis. If you have any questions, contact us at

april 2020


R.O.I.I.® Select Safety Services

How to host effective safety meetings by Bob White R.O.I.I. Select Safety Services Director ®

In high-risk industries like construction, toolbox talks can have a positive impact on good safety habits. But let’s face it, oftentimes, personnel tasked with giving safety talks may not have the best experience in public speaking. Presenting employee safety meetings and toolbox talks doesn’t need to be a daunting task, but since it is required by law, let’s make sure your workforce is benefiting from them. Keep it short, keep it on point Reading from a script and taking just enough time to get everyone to sign in will not hold people’s attention or accomplish the purpose. It also translates to employees that the safety of your workforce is not essential or a company priority. Take a few minutes ahead of time to familiarize yourself with the subject and think of a few examples on how it can relate to what is happening on the jobsite. On site toolbox talks do not have to be long and drawn out; be enthusiastic about the subject and stay on the point—that’s what will help hold your workers’ attention. Don’t be afraid to inject a bit of appropriate humor, too.

Safety services is one of the many benefits available to participants of R.O.I.I.® Select. Through effective safety strategies, we can help your company reduce workplace injuries and maximize your potential refund. For more information about R.O.I.I.® Select safety services contact me at (360) 352-7800, ext. 109 or

Keep it simple Present the subject clearly and straightforward, rather than rushing through the material. Giving your listeners information overload is one of the fastest ways to lose their attention. Avoid technical language, use simple phrases, and make sure to take into consideration work experience and education levels. For many workers in the construction industry, English isn’t their native language. Engage and connect Look at your audience and make eye contact. Speak in a loud voice so everyone can hear and feels engaged. Employees tend to get ‘lost in the crowd’ and can hit the cruise control switch and check out. Make sure to include a question and answer period. Asking for feedback shows your workers you value their opinion. A final reminder to keep safety a priority and a thank you for their time goes a long way. Remember, the best accident is the one that doesn’t happen.


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R.O.I.I.® Select Enrollment is now Open

Safety has its rewards by Jenn Kavanaugh and Michael Couthran R.O.I.I.® Select Co-Directors

R.O.I.I.® Select, BIAW’s group retro program, is now accepting applications for the 2020-2021 plan year. Retro is a safety incentive program with a simple goal: eliminate injuries through improvements in safety and preventive strategies. If an employee is injured, help them get better quicker with a successful return to work experience. Companies that do this, can earn a refund. To find out how you can start earning a refund, contact us at (360) 352-7800,,or



MEMBERS RECEIVE A REFUND If the group and participant have a positive claim performance, they receive a refund.




42% 36%


40% 25%




Competitors’ Averages


Competitors’ Averages




Competitors’ Averages



Competitors’ Averages

PERFORMANCE R.O.I.I.® Select’s strict enrollment criteria and innovative approach to workers’ comp ensures maximum group performance.

Participants average a 36% refund of their L&I premiums. REFUND PERCENTAGE

ALL-INCLUSIVE IN-HOUSE SERVICES Participation includes in-house services at no additional cost. Your annual fee is 1.5% of total premiums owed to L&I, or $150, whichever is greater. We do not charge a group administrative fee.

As the oldest and largest construction retro group in the state, R.O.I.I.® Select has returned over $500 million in refunds to participating members since 1982.








Unique return to work strategies set us apart

Closing claims quickly and efficiently Accident prevention is key to lowering costs Reduce injuries and control losses

A plan of action for L&I audits

Relentless pursuit of the best outcome for the group april 2020


Feature story

Connecting builders with skilled trades professionals by Bailee Wicks Writer and Editor

BIAW recently sat down with BIAW member Josh Engelbrecht to discuss his newly launched Toolbelt. A mobile application for smart devices, Toolbelt helps connects builders with subcontractors and other skilled trades professionals in real-time, rather than the often-times tedious and drawnout traditional word of mouth approach.

With the residential construction industry facing its biggest challenge, a skilled trades labor shortage, along comes ToolBelt, a mobile application to help contractors tackle the situation. ToolBelt bridges the shortfalls of the traditional word-ofmouth communication between contractors and subcontractors by connecting them immediately with available subcontractors via the apps’ network. The program, released in August 2019 and created by BIAW and Building Industry Association of Clark County member Josh Engelbrecht and software developer Ross Barbieri, allows contractors to secure skilled labor, increase revenue, and expand your construction network. “In the construction industry, a lot of how contractors and tradespeople connect is word of 16

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mouth,” says Toolbelt CEO Josh Engelbrecht. “The problem this presents to our industry is finding the right people at the right time. Time is usually at a premium. We know there is

a skilled crew available out there, and now there’s a better way to connect them.” ToolBelt does just that. As the only active database in the United States currently with this capability, they expect to expand across the Pacific Northwest and into California by 2021. Presently, ToolBelt is only available in Clark County and the Greater Portland area, but has already connected over 5,000 tradespeople.

“Being a young professional in the industry can be daunting because the most commonly used communication is through a buddy, co-worker, or former boss,” says Engelbrecht. “Building that network takes a long time. ToolBelt targets all ages and different skilled trades to assist in accelerating those connections.” ToolBelt also allows contractors to communicate bilingually by automatically translating projects and messages to Spanish to ensure all parties involved have a seamless experience. A project that generally takes up to three months to staff was able to be completed in a fraction of the time. Using Toolbelt,

“The problem this presents to our industry is finding the right people at the right time. Time is usually at a premium. We know there’s a skilled crew available out there, now we can connect with them.”

—Josh Engelbrecht, CEO, Toolbelt

Engelbrecht organized a crew of 20 subcontractors for a 10-home complex in just a little over a week.

How ToolBelt Can Help You Scout Talent Search for and filter project-ready tradespeople, so you hire the best fit for your job Browse Work Samples Evaluate projects contractors have completed so you can see if they meet your standards Message Connections Connect and communicate quickly with your project crew Build Your Network Secure a deep roster of skilled and vetted talent you can reach when the need arises See Ratings and Reviews See what clients and other contractors have to say about tradespeople to make sure the people you hire represent your company well Recruit on Site Access to your contractor network even when you’re on the go The Toolbelt app is free to download and allows users up to two free projects or connections. If you need to add additional projects/ connections, paid plans are available that fit every budget and business model. “The tier system is $40 to $100 per month depending on the plan, which is less than a gallon of paint or a bundle of shingles,” notes Engelbrecht. For more information go online to

A priority of BIAW’s Strategic Plan is to help fill the skilled trades labor gap. Our industry has faced a shortage of skilled labor for years, and the ToolBelt app is just one way to help contractors connect with subcontractors and job opportunities using an accessible network that’s easy and affordable.

april 2020


Hiring teen workers

Tapping into young talent by Jennifer Spall

Communications and Public Relations Director

The home building industry faces a workforce shortage and it is only getting worse. With many teens and young adults now taking a second look into skilled trade careers, it is important to give them early exposure to our industry. Youth who are under 18 years old can be an asset to the home building industry workforce, bringing enthusiasm and an eagerness to learn. However, like other new and inexperienced workers, these young workers can be injured on the job when they don’t receive adequate safety training and supervision.

conscious employee.

The first step in Washington state to hiring a minor is to apply with the Washington Department of Revenue (DOR) to get a minor work permit endorsement on your business license. Once approved, DOR will issue a new business license with your endorsement. You must post this new business license once you receive it, and renew it with DOR every year.

Prohibited Duties

When other conditions are met such as having the parent or legal guardian complete authorization forms and obtaining proof of the minor’s age, 16-and 17-year-old students in a high school career technical education program are allowed to perform some of the prohibited job tasks while working in a setting arranged through their school. Youth must be trained in occupational safety and health to be allowed to perform these tasks on a very limited basis, and with close and direct supervision. You may wish to consider recruiting young workers who have received this training —you’ll be providing them with valuable work experience and may be rewarded with a safety18

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The Washington state Department of Labor & Industries website offers details on how to hire minors. Visit youth-employment/how-to-hire-minors for more information. For more information on hiring teen workers, contact BIAW Workforce Development Manager Al Audette at (360) 352-7800, ext. 105 or

Prohibited tasks for minors

Under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, a number of jobs are identified as hazardous and are prohibited for youth under 18. Washington state has several additional restrictions that effect the construction industry (see below). For a complete list of prohibited duties, visit youth-employment/prohibited-duties. n Driving a motor vehicle, operating forklifts, cranes, hoists or elevators n Working where there are exposures to hazardous chemicals n Operating power-driven, wood-working machines (including drills, nail guns, and pneumatic tools) n Operating power-driven metal-forming, punching, and shearing materials n Operating power-driven circular saws, band saws, and guillotine shears n Working on excavation, wrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking operations n Working on roofing operations or more than 10 feet above the ground or floor level

Digital technology

Stay connected by Bailee Wicks Writer and Editor

Digital tools and devices help people like you, small business owners, stay connected, be more efficient, and increase productivity, at a fraction of the cost of traditional services. Not only during this historic health crisis, but also going forward, let digital technology help you get better organized, maximize your time, and help manage your finances. The following are just a few examples of digital tech-based tools designed to help you improve your business and stay better connected. Stay healthy and safe during this pandemic by staying connected at home. For more

information about digital tech tools that can help you be more productive, contact Communications Manager Leah Jaber at (360) 352-7800, ext. 110 or

Tech tools to help keep you productive, stay connected Zoom | Pricing: Screen sharing | Conference calling | Meeting recordings | Instant messaging | Integrates with most email accounts for scheduling, appointments, etc. Web X | Pricing: Screen sharing | Conference calling | Meeting recordings | Instant messaging | Integrates with most email accounts for scheduling, appointments, etc. GoToMeeting | Pricing: Screen sharing | Conference calling | Meeting recordings/transcripts | Webinars Microsoft Teams | Pricing: Free with Office 365 Screen sharing | Conference calling | Meeting recordings | Instant messaging | File sharing | Conversation channels | Integrates with Office 365 (Skype, OneDrive, SharePoint) Google Hangout | Pricing: Free for basic products, upgrades: Video meetings | Conference calling | Instant messaging | Integrates with Google products (Gmail, Calendar, Google Docs, etc.) Facebook Messenger | Pricing: free with FaceBook Account Conference calling | Instant messaging | Video chat | Voice messages | Make payments | Send and receive money | Send pictures and videos

april 2020



Building Industry Association of Washington 111 21st Avenue SW | Olympia, WA 98501 (360) 352-7800 | |


BIAW is offering $30,000 in scholarships to high school and college students pursuing a career related to the home building industry.


Applications are available online at and at your local home builders association.


Deadline to apply is May 15.


Contact Certification and Education Manager Hillary Vanatta at (360) 352-7800, ext. 106 or hillaryv@biaw. com.

BIAW EXCELLENCE IN REMODELING BIAW’s Excellence in Remodeling Awards reception, is presented by Phase II General Contractor, is now accepting entries.

A Great Time to Focus Your Vision on


• • • • •

Variety of Program Options Nearly 40 Years of Experience Insurer Rated A-(Excellent) by AM Best Manage Builder Liability Effective Complaint Handling Process Includes Free Mediation • Excellent Marketing Tool

John Felbaum

800.247.1812 ext. 2633

This annual event honors quality craftsmanship projects by members all across the state. Submit your entries ONLINE at EIRAwards. com by April 17. Important Dates Now | Call for entries April 17 | Deadline to submit entries May 15 | Winners announced (via email) June 22 | EIR Awards Reception in conjunction with the BIAW summer board meeting at Skamania Lodge. Questions Contact Brenda Kwieciak at (360) 352-7800, ext. 113 or

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