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Volume 13, Issue 3 May | June 2017

from collapse to open to traffic in

six weeks


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w w w. t h e g e o r g i a c o n t r a c t o r . c o m Editor-in-Chief: Roland Petersen-Frey Managing Editor: Daniel Simmons | (770) 521-8877 Art Director: Pamela Petersen-Frey | (770) 521-8877

The Georgia Contractor is published bi-monthly on a calendar year basis. It is a magazine designed around the construction industry associations and their members. It is supported by associations and their members. Executive, editorial, circulation, and advertising offices: 1154 Lower Birmingham Road, Canton, Georgia 30115 • Phone: (770) 521-8877 E-mail: Send address changes to your association and/or to A4 Inc. Opinions expressed by the authors are not necessarily those of any of the associations or publisher nor do they accept responsibility for errors of content or omissions and, as a matter of policy, neither do they endorse products or advertisements appearing herein. Parts of this magazine may be reproduced with the written consent of the publisher.

May | June 2017

On the Cover: From Collapse to Open to Traffic in Six Weeks. The Atlanta I-85 bridge is now open! The reconstruction was finished in an impressive six weeks—one month ahead of the original, estimated completion date. Construction crews re-opened the Northbound lanes on May 12th, and the Southbound lanes on May 13th. Congratulations to contractor C.W. Matthews and the Georgia Department of Transportation on such a successful project!v





16 22 The Apprentice

36 How to Stand Out in Your Professional Life

24 Living the Dream 8

From Collapse to Open to Traffic in Six Weeks

15 Georgia Highway Contractors Association Launches Campaign to Inspire Careers in Road Construction

16 Building Boom 2017 CEFGA CareerExpo and SkillsUSA State Championships 4

38 Predict-Ability 27 The Top 10 Mistakes We Make in the Job Search and How to Prevent Them

30 Strategies to Maintaining a Legal Workforce as Concerns about Increased Immigration Worksite Enforcement Rise

How Partnering Scorecards Can Dictate a Project’s Success

40 IEC’s 2017 Power Show Attracts Over 600 Attendees in New Cobb County Venue

42 New Electrical Careers 32 Engineering Your Career

Began at the IEC 2017 Power Show Georgia Contractor




40 43 IEC Atlanta/Georgia Chapters Bring New Workforce Development Coordinator Onboard

44 Construction Management as a Career Choice ~ Building Our Nation’s Future

46 Drones: Opportunities Gaining Altitude

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rebuilding i-85 Bridges over piedmont road


OPEN TO TRAFFIC in SIX WEEKS By russell r. McMurry Russell R. McMurry is commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation. He is a cum laude graduate of Georgia Southern University and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Georgia.


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Have you ever had a bad day? When the I-85 northbound bridge over Piedmont Road collapsed due to a ďŹ re during the evening rush hour on Thursday, March 30, the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) certainly faced a crisis. It was immediately evident that the closure of this major interstate, which normally carries some 243,000 vehicles daily into and out of Atlanta, would have a major impact on local and regional travel.

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From the start, the DOT was laserfocused on how to quickly and safely replace this critical infrastructure. Georgia DOT employees, sister agencies, contractors, suppliers and federal, state and local partners were all driven by a common goal— to be a part of the solution to rebuild and re-open I-85 safely and quickly. I am very grateful that there were no fatalities or injuries resulting from the collapse or the rebuild. I applaud the men and women of the Atlanta Police Department, Georgia State Patrol and GDOT H.E.R.O.’s for their bravery and quick thinking— first in stopping traffic from driving through the black smoke on the interstate, and then turning traffic around in anticipation of the subsequent collapse. I also salute the crews of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, who fought the blaze. The first responders did an amazing job in preventing casualties.

Many moving parts

Before the fire was out, we immediately began critical communications, set up our operations center at the Transportation Management Center

and mobilized key personnel to address the collapse. Our first mission was for the safety of motorists so we immediately began making decisions on detours and traffic operations and we worked with our partners to determine alternative routes for drivers and to identify commuter options such as MARTA, GRTA Xpress and Gwinnett County Transit. As soon as we could enter the site, bridge inspection teams determined that, in addition to the northbound collapsed span, two additional northbound spans and three southbound spans would also need replacement—a total of 350 feet in each direction. Our Bridge Design office immediately pulled the original plans to review the structure and determine what it would take to rebuild it. What they found was not as easy as just dusting off the old plans and saying “rebuild this.” The existing columns were badly damaged, but were structurally sound enough to be incorporated into an oversized column retrofit. This did however mean that delicate removal of delaminated portions of the column concrete would be necessary to prevent additional damage while creat-

ing what is now a solid core to these retrofitted elements. The original beams were Modified Type V PSC beams, which are no longer utilized, so each beam was redesigned using an AASHTO Bulb-Tee section meeting current practice. In addition, as luck would have it, two spans were trapezoidal in shape which meant every beam was a unique length.

All hands on deck

From collapse, to demolition, to debris removal, to construction, to traffic flowing in six weeks is an amazing achievement! D.H. Griffin Wrecking Company, Inc. crews had to first demolish the old bridge sections, while DOT simultaneously developed the design and C.W. Matthews Contracting Company prepared to build the replacement. Things moved quickly. Just after midnight on Monday, final construction plans were completed. GDOT Bridge Design provided design calculations and details as they had them to C.W. Matthews who in turn got them to Standard Concrete for beam fabrication. The decision to procure the beams this early in the process, essentially at risk, greatly

thomas concrete plays a major role in the i-85 Bridge rebuild Thomas Concrete met with Georgia D.O.T. officials and C.W. Matthews as soon as the Structural Drawings for the I-85 Bridge Rebuild were issued. The three parties worked closely to determine the most efficient strategies to accelerate the project schedule while producing the highest quality results. While the drawings only required three standard D.O.T. concrete mixtures with the addition of macro synthetic fiber reinforcement in some locations, discussions led to mixture modifications and improvements. These modifications led to mixtures that facilitated proper filling and consolidation in heavily reinforced elements, reduced required time of in-place curing in accordance with the ACI Building Code, accelerating the required compressive strength at 28-days to less than 24 hours and a major reduction of the shrinkage potential of the concrete to reducing cracking potential and resulting maintenance of the structure over the long term. With the oversight of Georgia D.O.T. staff Thomas Concrete produced Lab trial Batches of the modified concrete mixtures to verify conformance with requirements prior to project delivery. There were no delays in the flow of information and data from Thomas Concrete to C.W. Matthews to the D.O.T. and back through the approval process for the modified concrete mixtures. Thomas Concrete succeeded in the logistical challenge of obtaining and maintaining inventory of all of the specialty materials required ahead of the placement schedules to prevent any chance of project delay. Thomas Concrete Production and technical staff remained available and involved 24/7 through the entire project. Thomas Concrete Technical/Quality staff tested concrete properties along with Georgia D.O.T. staff throughout all of the placements to provide the redundancy needed to verify the quality, safety and performance of the concrete when in place.v 10

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We appreciate the unyielding determination of all involved and want to especially thank these Georgia DOT contractors and suppliers who understood the urgency and worked with us to rebuild I-85 quickly and safely: c.w. Matthews contracting company D.H. Griffin wrecking company inc. southway crane and rigging standard concrete products inc. thomas concrete anasteel and supply company peek pavement Markings


compressed the schedule while also demonstrating true commitment to the rebuild. Utilizing high early strength cement (TPIII) throughout the concrete placed for the rebuild meant designing a mix that was both workable enough for deck construction and high performing to facilitate rapidly coming up through the caps. Within a week, Georgia DOT committed to reopening the roadway by June 15, which represented a completion date inclusive of increased production rates, significant concurrency and typical spring time weather losses. Just over two weeks into the rebuild effort, all bridge columns were retrofitted with the substructure completed the following week. The actual opening was a month earlier than the original commitment— northbound lanes opened on Friday, May 12 and southbound opened the next evening. Several critical factors contributed to the quick turnaround. The Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency allowed us to employ

Federal Aid Highway Emergency Relief guidelines that allow for a negotiated contract when it is critical to quickly restore essential travel. The FHWA’s streamlined emergency relief process did not require lengthy federal review; the replacement was in a footprint consistent with what was previously there. The approval by USDOT of the Emergency Relief quick release funding exceeded all expectations with an initial commitment of $10 million in emergency funds the day after the collapse! Georgia DOT chose C.W. Matthews Contracting Company, based in Marietta, to lead the rebuilding effort. The company, chosen based on its availability of resources and experience, had provided a similar response to a tanker fire that damaged I-285 over SR 400 in 2001. The contract was negotiated and then executed on April 7. At the encouragement of Governor Deal and approval by the FHWA, we incentivized an early completion of the work. A tiered incentive was deployed that was very aggressive but

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attainable. The ďŹ rst incentive date was to beat the Memorial Day weekend that would provide $1.5M, before May 21 would result in a $2.0M incentive, and an additional $200,000 per day for each day before May 21 up to a maximum of

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$3.1M. C.W. Matthews received the full $3.1 million incentive for meeting the early completion objectives. Contractor incentives plus time eďŹƒciencies like 24/7 on-site work, the use of high early strength concrete and some prefabricated com-

ponents like steel diaphragms, the use of concurrent rather than sequential processes, removal of hauling restrictions so beams could be hauled at any hour and ongoing materials and construction inspections all contributed to the accelerated


ence in reducing congestion. We are grateful to Gov. Deal, Sec. Elaine Chao of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security, Georgia Department of Public Safety, Atlanta Police Department, City of Atlanta, GRTA, MARTA and so many other agencies and individuals for their support and collaboration. I am proud of the efforts of the employees of the Georgia Department of Transportation and C.W. Matthews. Above all, thank you to the people we serve—the citizens of Georgia— for your understanding, patience and resilience. v

BY THE NUMBERS timeline. Schedule management, which is a large part of every project, was a constant activity. As questions arose they were answered quickly, generally well within the shift they were asked. One other important factor—there was only one rained out day in six weeks! That’s not to say it didn’t rain, rather that short of lightning strikes and work that simply could not occur in standing water, like bridge deck pours, work proceeded.

Public safety & lessons learned

While some members of the public expressed concerns about the safety of bridges rebuilt in six weeks, we reminded them that GDOT logged more than 4,000 man hours of onsite inspections, with four or more inspectors on-site at a time to sample and test the concrete before it was poured, inspect construction for conformity with the plans and specifications, and examine the pre-fabricated materials and inspect them again for size and spacing on-site. This is probably the most inspected, most scrutinized construction project Georgia DOT has ever under14

taken, with our inspectors on site around the clock. We did our due diligence each day and every step of the way. Quality did not take a back seat to speed! Georgia DOT has learned a number of lessons from the I-85 rebuild that may benefit our future roadway projects. We have used incentives previously to accelerate work and will continue to consider incentives and other innovative approaches such as A+B bidding. The public expectation of timely completion has certainly been raised!

Can-do outlook

Gov. Deal has said that the challenges presented by the I-85 closure demonstrate Georgia’s can-do attitude. I agree. This is exhibited not only by GDOT employees, contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers and partners, but also by the public. The community’s response was extraordinary—Georgians rose to the challenge, working together to overcome the situation as painlessly as possible. I urge drivers to continue using public transit and commute options when possible. These make a differ-

• TIME 24/7 on-site work An estimated 54,000 hours of manpower from start to finish

• CONSTRUCTION 700 feet of bridge reconstructed 13 support columns reconstructed 4 support caps 61 beams designed, fabricated, transported and installed

• MATERIAL 13 million pounds of debris removed 505,296 pounds of steel used 2,103 cubic yards of concrete poured

• COSTS Total $16.6 million, including Demolition: $1.6 million Construction: $11.9 million Contractor incentives for early completion: $3.1 million While Georgia continues to tally the indirect costs associated with the closure of I-85, GDOT estimates approximately $27 million in motorist savings by opening the corridor ahead of original projections.

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Georgia Highway Contractors Association Launches Campaign to Inspire Careers in Road Construction The Georgia Highway Contractors Association (GHCA) today announced the launch of a campaign designed to generate awareness about road construction careers in Georgia. Dubbed, Fast Lane to Jobs, the campaign seeks to educate prospective workers about the many benefits of a career in highway construction and connect them with contractors that are actively hiring in the state.

“The passage of the $1 billion transportation funding bill by the Georgia Legislature in 2015 has increased the need for highway construction workers in our state,” said David Moellering, executive director of GHCA. “Across the state, our members have job openings that need to be filled. The Fast Lane to Jobs campaign is focused on educating potential workers about the many types of jobs available in the highway construction industry and helping our members fill their openings with qualified workers.” The centerpiece of the campaign is a robust and engaging Web site, In addition to educational information about a range of road construction jobs, the site includes average salaries, typical career paths and an interactive map showing which highway contractors are hiring in various regions around the state. The Web site also features a number of videos and testimonials with actual highway construction workers. Another key goal of the campaign is to raise awareness among women about the many career possibilities in road construction. There is also a Spanish version of the site. Along with digital marketing tacMay | June 2017

tics, GHCA is working to promote the Web site through various jobs-related

state agencies, the technical college system, high school career counselors and nonprofits in the state that promote construction-related careers. The highway construction industry is one of the few not requiring a high school diploma, college degree or previous work experience. While the work can be difficult, the average pay is high and there are many opportunities for advancement. v

about the Georgia Highway contractors association The Georgia Highway Contractors Association (GHCA), founded in 1937, is a statewide, nonprofit association of approximately 200 member companies that help build the transportation infrastructure in Georgia. Members include contractors, engineers, consultants and suppliers of equipment materials, products and services necessary for the construction and maintenance of public highways, streets, sewers, bridges, airports, grading, paving and other related work. GHCA advocates on behalf of its members for infrastructure development and a safe and balanced transportation system that sustains and promotes economic growth.


Building Boom 2017 CEFGA CareerExpo and SkillsUSA State Championships Sets New Attendance Record, Helps Students and Industry Leaders Build Relationships By Allen Allnoch If anyone doubts the value of a career in the construction industry, a few minutes listening to Kayleen McCabe should convince them otherwise.

“These are not just jobs to fill a space in between something else. This is something you can do full-time and be proud of it,” McCabe said at the CEFGA VIP and SkillsUSA Champions’ Breakfast on March 24. The DIY Network personality— she hosts the popular “Rescue Renovation”—has an infectious enthusiasm for construction. “We are artists,” McCabe continued. “I’ve seen projects that my plumbers and electricians have done, and I always feel bad covering up the drywall, because I’m thinking, ‘They worked really hard to make this look great.’ That kind of craftsmanship is really something to be proud of.” McCabe was one of many passionate advocates for construction during the CEFGA CareerExpo and SkillsUSA State Championships. The March 23-24 event drew a record 7,544 total attendees to the Georgia International Convention Center—an 8 % increase over last year—including 5,204 students, 936 influencers (parents, teachers, counselors, etc.) and 1,404 industry volunteers and guests. With an aging workforce and a growing economy, Georgia’s construction industry is brimming with career opportunities for young people these days. According to the Associated General Contractors, Georgia has the fastest-growing construction sector in the South, with more than 12,000 jobs added in the past year and similar numbers expected in the immediate years ahead. “I just had a young lady come by 16

who’s interested in electrical work,” said Tony Varamo, Workforce Development Manager for Metro Power Electrical Contractors. “She’s getting both her high school diploma and an associate’s degree in instrumentation at the same time. I think students are starting to understand that the trades need people, and they’re really starting to get interested in our business.” Varamo, who also serves as Chair of the CEFGA Board of Directors, was stationed at the World of Electrical, one of 14 “Worlds” offering students a look at the possibilities of a career in construction. These exhibit areas enabled visitors to learn about disciplines such as construction management, masonry, plumbing, energy and more; chat with company representatives; and have some hands-on

fun with various interactive displays. All around the sprawling expo floor, exposure was the buzzword among industry personnel. “The biggest thing for me is I want to expose the tile industry to them, to let them it is a relevant trade and that they can make a sustainable living in it,” said Rod Owen of C.C. Owen Tile Company. “We have to show young people there are options in this industry—that it’s not just a summer job, that it’s not a dead-end street.” Outside the convention center, the popular World of Heavy Equipment drew a steady flow of students eager to try their hand at the controls of earthmoving vehicles. Supervising the operation was Regina Shelnutt, Chief Operating Officer for Anderson

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Grading & Pipeline in Monroe. “We want students to know that in our industry, we’re not just ditch diggers, that they can have a career path,” Shelnutt said. “We let them know that not every kid is made to go to college, and that there is a need today for skilled operators and skilled laborers.” In a similar vein, Mary Long talked up the energy industry. “Our ultimate goal is career awareness, “ said Long, Oglethorpe Power’s Community Relations Coordinator. “We have a huge percentage of people who are retiring in the next five years and we don’t have enough people with the knowledge to fill those positions. “Most [students] don’t know about the energy industry unless their parents are in it,” Long continued. “They just turn on the lights and it’s there. Really being able to explain what we do to them is eye-opening.” Drywall is another career path that, according to Anning-Johnson’s Edwin Parra, is often overlooked. “It’s crazy,” Parra said, “because [drywall has] more people on a large site than any other industry out there. So I think the biggest benefit of this event is bringing awareness of the industry to our students.” At the booth of Century Fire Protection, a first-time exhibitor at the 2017 CareerExpo, Human Resources Director Randi Risman explained her company’s work to curious students. “We talk about how [fire protection] saves lives and saves businesses, and the responsibility involved,” Risman said. “I think it’s a good way to try to make connections with some of these young folks who are coming in. For the high schoolers, juniors and seniors especially, it may be a good pipeline for us down the road.” While companies seek to raise awareness of their respective industries, the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) advocates for the skilled trades as a whole. 18

“We work all year to highlight the areas that you are focused on at this event,” GDEcD Deputy Commissioner Ben Hames said at the SkillsUSA Champions’ Breakfast. Hames announced the availability of $1,000 scholarships and $500 grants from Trade Five, a newly rebranded public-private partnership between the GDEcD’s Workforce division and leading Georgia businesses. Trade Five focuses on enhancing the state’s talent pipeline in high-demand industries by educating Georgia’s future workforce on promising careers in construction and related fields. Much of that talent pool is on display at the state SkillsUSA competitions that take place concurrently with the CareerExpo on the second day of the event. Carlos Jones Jr., teaches construction at Camden County High School and has been bringing standout students to SkillsUSA for years. “I have it seen it grow and I look forward to it growing more,” Jones said. “I think with the support of industry, we’re going to see that. The key component is keeping industry involved and letting them see that these kids are the cream of the crop—that this is who you want to hire and put on your job site.” Indeed, SkillsUSA has connected numerous competitors with future employers over the years. Joshua Willis, for example, represented AllisonSmith Co. at the 2017 CareerExpo;

he’s been working for the company since impressing managers with his work at the 2011 competition. “We always have someone here judging to see what the kids can do,” said Allison-Smith Project Manager and Vice-President Michael Mikko. “Joshua didn’t win the competition, but we knew he was a good candidate, and he’s been a good success story for us.” Still, even if a SkillsUSA judge or a CareerExpo representative doesn’t walk away with a new hire, relationships are being built and ideas are taking root. “I tell the people I bring in to help me, ‘Come here with the expectation that all you want to do is plant a seed,’” said Owen, who is involved on both the CareerExpo and SkillsUSA sides of the event. “So when a student leaves here, maybe two or three years later they remember that tile expo and want to know more [about a career].” Parra, who chaired the Drywall Contest, agreed that the benefits, while not always immediate, are real nonetheless. “Even if we only get a small percentage of recruits,” Parra said, “it’s still worthwhile to come here because of the impact it will have for our industry and our community.” And with increasing numbers of organizations and students realizing that, clearly the CEFGA CareerExpo and SkillsUSA State Championships is a win-win prospect for all involved. v Georgia Contractor

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Georgia Contractor

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The Apprentice

Smart, Well-Spoken, and Selfless, Luis Martinez is a Rising Star in the Electrical Industry


By Allen Allnoch

pend a few minutes in conversation with Luis Martinez and you quickly realize this young man is mature far beyond his age. Luis, an apprentice with MetroPower Electrical Contractors, is thoughtful, articulate and driven by a sense of ambition that seeks the best for the people around him. The 21-year-old is an ideal ambassador for MetroPower, a role he embraced in representing the company at the 2017 CEFGA CareerExpo and SkillsUSA State Championships. Not only did he help host his company’s exhibit on the convention center floor, he participated in a SkillsUSA Champions Panel before 1,000-plus attendees at the CEFGA VIP and SkillsUSA Champions’ Breakfast. Introducing Luis at the breakfast, CEFGA President and CEO Scott Shelar said, “I love this quote. He says, ‘Since MetroPower is an employeeowned company, I see no reason why I couldn’t become the CEO of this company one day. I want to change lives and leave a lasting impression on the construction industry while encouraging others to do the same.’” Luis took construction classes at Johnson High School in Gainesville. Of the four areas he explored—plumbing, electrical, carpentry and masonry—he was most attracted to electrical. His selfless nature led him to get involved with a Habitat for Humanity program called Habitat High, which serves as an accredited course for high school juniors and seniors in the Hall County and Gainesville City School systems. The program connected him with


his future employer when Tony Varamo, Workforce Development Manager for MetroPower, spoke to Habitat High students one day. “Luis took an interest in what I said, and I hired him when he was 17 years old,” Varamo recalls. “He worked part-time for us, and the day he turned 18, I made him an apprentice, and now he’s in his third year with the Independent Electrical Contractors.” Luis’s initial work included jobs on Gwinnett County school sites. The past two years he’s ventured further from home, working at Grady Memorial Hospital in downtown Atlanta. He’s also worked on a retirement home project, an experience that made a lasting impact on him. “We were installing lights throughout the whole building,” he recalls. “I was being complimented by some of the residents, like, ‘Thank you for doing such good work,’ and, ‘We love the new look.’ That really made me feel good about the work I was doing. I felt like I was making a difference in their lives.” Luis will complete his apprenticeship in

Luis Martinez

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2018. With his positive attitude, intelligence and work ethic, he’ll surely have plenty of options for his career development. “I enjoy electrical work, but I also want to do something entrepreneurial, to start my own business,” he says. “If that dream doesn’t work out, I’ll always have this to fall back on. Electrical skills will always be needed. I would recommend high schoolers, especially if they don’t know what they want to do yet, to learn some kind of construction skill. It’s good to have those hands-on skills that no one else has.” That kind of others-focused thinking is a big reason why Luis is such an effective spokesman for his company and his industry. “He’s very outgoing, very diligent, and pays attention to detail,” Varamo says. “He can really get close to the students and develop those relationships because he just came out of high school three years ago. I try to get him out there as much as possible.” v May | June 2017


Living the Dream

Joshua Willis Stuck with His Childhood Ambition; Now He’s Excelling as an Electrical Supervisor

M By Allen Allnoch

any young boys dream of growing up to become professional athletes. Joshua Willis always wanted to be an electrician. He’s not sure why, but he says, “I wanted to do electrical work ever since I was four years old. I used to like to play with wires. I would tear apart remote control cars, pull the wires out, strip them with the gap in my teeth, then try to rewire them in reverse. I had no family history in electrical or construction. The closest thing anyone in my family did to construction was driving a truck at a granite quarry.” Now 26, Joshua is living his dream as a supervisor for Smyrna-based Allison-Smith Company. He recently represented the company at the 2017 CEFGA CareerExpo and SkillsUSA State Championships—a fitting role since he’s a former SkillsUSA competitor himself. After graduating from Elberton High School, Joshua moved to Decatur to live with an older brother and attend

the kids can do and try to recruit from the kids here, and Joshua was one that we picked up. We knew he was a good candidate, and he’s been a good success story for us. “Just being able to get to this level and compete shows “I thank God that I was able to not only achieve a lot,” Mikko adds. “You don’t have to win to succeed in a career. If you can just get to this my goals but also to be an example to others. level, it puts you in front of a lot of people, That’s really the best part about it.” and who knows what opportunity you’ll come across.” Dekalb Technical College. He transferred to Atlanta Technical College a year later and qualified for the SkillsUSA Mikko appreciates Joshua’s enthusiasm for the work. State Championships in 2011. He didn’t win, but one of “Joshua is very passionate about what he does,” he says. his judges, Allison-Smith’s Matt Moore, was impressed with “He’s very thankful for how he got here, and he’s embraced his work. the job and excelled in it. He’s always looking for the next “He gave me a business card and I’ve been working level. Fresh out of being turned out as a journeyman, he with Allison-Smith ever since,” Joshua says. “I always was wanting to run work, and he’s doing that for us now. wanted to do electrical work, but I didn’t know where it He’s been a great person to have work with us and grow would take me. This trade has treated me very well.” with us, and we hope he’s here for a lot longer.” Indeed it has. Joshua was able to purchase a house at Joshua says he certainly plans to stick around. After all, age 22, become a journeyman electrician at 24 and become he’s working his dream job, something not many twentya supervisor at 25. He manages crews of five or more on somethings can say. mostly commercial sites. “Everything I wanted to do in electrical, I’ve done it,” “I’ve been part of SkillsUSA for the past seven or eight he says. “Of course, there’s a lot more to do. But it’s just years, and we had other people here before that,” says Allibeen a great ride. I thank God that I was able to not only son-Smith Project Manager and Vice President Michael achieve my goals but also to be an example to others. That’s Mikko. “We always have someone here judging to see what really the best part about it.” v 24

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Georgia Contractor

The Top 10 Mistakes We Make in the Job Search and How to Prevent Them


By Eileen Levitt, SPHR, SHRM- SCP

any years ago (13 actually), my husband was laid off from his corporate job. His search was interesting and also provided me a unique look at the other side of the recruiting equation. Of course every job search isn’t identical. My husband is a CPA, with CFO and controller experience. He actually did a great initial job in making headway but after a few months he had yet to find a job and was getting quite frustrated. During this process, I noticed that he made (as do a number of others) a lot of mistakes in his quest for the perfect job. So it got me thinking. What are the top 10 mistakes people make when they are looking for a job? So here they are: 1. Beating around the bush and being shy 2. Not asking for referrals 3. Being disorganized 4. Failing to meet with everyone 5. Are you listening? 6. Following up 7. Returning the favor 8. Being wary 9. Being nice 10. Repeating

A. Make sure you have a script that quickly communicates the highlights of your career. B. Choose your words wisely. I see way too many job seekers try to brush their unemployment off with ‘nicer’ and quite frankly way too passive sounding phrases like ‘between assignments.’ You need to make sure that you are clear in your words. While between assignments may seem obvious, it really isn’t. When in networking circles

and you are asked what you do, simply state, “I am unemployed and looking for an opportunity in… do you know anyone hiring in that area?”

Tell Everyone You Know – Don’t Be Shy!

When my husband was first laid off, he called everyone he knew, told them he lost his job and was seeking a new opportunity. A couple of pointers here: May | June 2017


C. Ask if that person is willing to meet with you. A phone call is often forgotten, while an in-person meeting is more likely to be remembered.

they are looking for, what they are struggling with, etc. People like people who are interested in them. Also, knowing this information will help you with step 7 (returning the favor).

D. Don’t take up too much of that person’s time. Be sensitive. Don’t push for a meeting when it is rejected and don’t call the person every week.


Ask for Referrals

Many people you come into contact with may not know of open positions. However, they may know people who know people. Ask him/her if they know anyone who gets around in business circles. And then call those people. Be Organized

Keep track of whom you were referred to and what they told you. Also, keep track of where you applied and why. Many times I will call applicants who have applied for positions and will ask them, “What prompted you to apply for this position?” Too many times I hear, “I don’t know, I don’t remember applying, I apply to everything, why not.” Companies want people who are focused, but more importantly actually want to work there. Even if you do apply for every job you see, a company likes to feel that they are special.

What is one of the biggest mistakes job seekers make when meeting with people or when they are being interviewed? Not answering the question that has been asked. Many times, we have something we want to say but the person on the other side may not be interested. They are interested in what they are asking you. Therefore, the key is to focus on the questions being asked and whether you are indeed answering them. Follow Up

Many applicants forget to follow up. My husband actually followed up each meeting with a personal hand written thank you note. It is a nice touch and again a way for you to be remembered. Return the Favor:

Remember those people who gave you

time out of their schedule to help you. Aside from it being the nice thing to do, you will be remembered more by those you help. Therefore, as you meet new people, you may meet someone who would be beneficial for someone you have already met. I highly recommend that you return the favor of giving their time by introducing that person to someone else who may be of benefit to them. For example, in the process of talking with a VC (venture capital partner), my husband discovered that the firm was looking to invest in a particular type of company. My husband also knew a company in the appropriate industry that was looking for funding. Voilà, he connected the VC to that company, and the rest is history. Many times while searching, he discovered jobs that weren’t fits for him, but they were for other job seekers that he had met in his networking process and thus connected them together as well. The world is small and returning the favor to others will not only help you later on but will also make you feel better about yourself.

Meet with Everyone

This is the busy part. You are more likely to be remembered when you actually meet with a person. Therefore, my advice is to schedule as many coffees, breakfasts, lunches, etc with as many people as possible. When you meet with those people, tell them what you have done and what type of job you are looking for. Ask them if they know anyone who might know anyone. Take down those names and numbers and then follow up with those new contacts. In addition, be sure to find out about what that person does and what type of business 28

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Be Wary

Headhunters can be helpful and a great resource. However, some are not. If a headhunter tells you to do something that you don’t agree with, don’t do it. If a headhunter tells you to say something that you don’t agree with, don’t say it. Remember that a headhunter works for the person who pays them, which should not be you. For example, my husband was connected with a headhunter that had a great opportunity. She scheduled an interview with my husband before the actual client interview. At this meeting, the headhunter told my husband what questions would be asked and how he should answer them. When my husband asked my opinion, I told him what I tell everyone—be yourself, answer how you would normally answer. You want to be hired for who you are. If not, you will be miserable in the job (if you get it). The list of things she told him to do go on and on. Keep focused on the long game. Yes, you want to be hired but you want to be hired by a company that knows you for you because once you get the job you won’t have a coach to help you answer the day to day questions. Be Nice

Job hunting is frustrating. Get used to it. You see that perfect job, you apply and you never hear from that company. You call and they don’t call you back. So you call again and again and again until you finally leave them that message, the one that will guarantee that you will never be considered for a job at that company. The one that is left in a somewhat nasty tone and says, “I have called you three times, I am perfect for that job, why haven’t you called me?” Should they have called you? Maybe. But the reality is that companies are overwhelmed with jobseekers who all think they are perfect. And if it is you and they just haven’t had a chance to call you back yet, that May | June 2017

message is sure to kill your chances of being hired. Repeat and Persevere

Don’t give up until you find something. My husband didn’t give up until he found something – which did eventually happen. v For the past 20 years, Eileen Levitt has run a human resources consulting firm in Columbia, Maryland, focused on providing an outsourced HR function for small to midsized companies. She can be reached at : 29

Strategies to Maintaining a Legal Workforce

as Concerns about Increased Immigration Worksite Enforcement Rise


aintaining the appropriate immigration paperwork is taking on greater importance under the Trump administration. This administration’s view on immigration enforcement is driven by the concepts of “America First,” protection of American workers and American jobs, and weeding out fraud and abuse in the immigration system. Worksite enforcement is a necessary tool for the administration to ensure that employers are complying with the immigration laws and accomplishing above stated priorities. The expectation is that worksite enforcement related to company’s compliance with the requirements of the Employment Eligibility Verification form, commonly known as the Form I-9, will increase. For certain industries—construction, retail, hospitality—this could lead to workforce issues. At its core, the Form I-9 is intended to document a new hire’s identity and work authorization, which is demonstrated both by the new hire’s statements in Section 1 of the Form I-9 and the documentation they present for Section 2 completion. There are both civil and criminal penalties that can attach for noncompliance with the Form I-9 requirements. Construction businesses should take steps to prepare for the potential for a worksite enforcement action by agents from the Department of Homeland Security, specifically Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). These steps include: 1) Have a written plan of action in the event ICE agents appear at your worksite, including who the agents Ms. Miller can be reached at


By Montserrat Miller, Partner | Arnall Golden Gregory LLP.



should be referred to on-site, identification of a specific private location for the initial meeting with ICE agents, and an internal communication plan regarding who must be notified of the visit by ICE agents and should receive the Notice of Inspection (NOI) that the agents will have provided your organization with. Once a NOI is received a company only has three days to respond and provide the requested Forms I-9 and any additional documents requested. In some instances ICE may serve an administrative subpoena along with the NOI. Confirm you have a Form I-9 for each current employee on your payroll. Employers are not required to maintain a Form I-9 for independent contractors. However, employers must complete the Form I-9 for any new employee within three business days of hire. This requirement has been around since 1986. Determine whether you are required to participate in E-Verify, the electronic employment eligibility verification program administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which complements the Form I-9. It is a state law requirement in Georgia that private employers with 11+ employees register with USCIS and participate in E-Verify. (See Ga. Code Ann., § 36-60-6)

Proper completion of the Form I-9 is especially important in the construction industry given today’s environment and certain workforce realities. An employer’s good faith comGeorgia Contractor

authorized to work, implement a ‘tickler system’ to notify you when an employee’s temporary work authorization expires. Prior to expiration, an employer needs to re-verify an employee’s work authorization using Section 3 of the Form I-9. Temporary work authorization includes those employees working with an Employment Authorization Document (a “work permit”), or those employees in H-1B or H-2B status. As a general rule, permanent resident cards (aka “green cards”) do not need to be re-verified because one’s status as a lawful permanent resident essentially does not ‘expire.’

pliance with Form I-9 requirements can establish an affirmative defense to allegations of knowingly hiring unauthorized workers. Proper completion of the Form I-9 is also critical given the fact that paperwork violations related to the form have doubled in the past year. Employers can be hit with multiple penalties as a result of an ICE worksite enforcement investigation. First, paperwork violations which can occur if an employer does not complete, does not timely complete or does not properly complete the Form I-9. Second, civil violations for hiring or continuing to employ unauthorized workers. Third, criminal penalties for pattern or practice violations where an

Construction businesses should take steps to prepare for the potential for a worksite enforcement action by agents from the Department of Homeland Security, specifically Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). employer engages in a pattern or practice of hiring or continuing to employ unauthorized workers knowing they are doing so. And fourth, civil penalties for discrimination-related violations which would be brought not by the Department of Homeland Security, but by the Department of Justice. The Form I-9 packs a lot of punch, especially when you consider that penalties for not having a Form I-9 on file or failing to complete it within the allotted time requirement can range from $216 to $2,156 per form, double what they were last year. With this in mind, the following are some steps that construction industry association members can take to protect themselves and their business. • To protect your company from claims of continuing to employ someone knowing they are not May | June 2017

Conduct an internal audit of your Forms I-9 to identify trends or patterns by those completing the form on behalf of the company. Audits also afford employers the opportunity to make certain corrections to the forms and prevent further incorrect or inappropriate behavior.

Work with outside immigration counsel and have familiarity with them so that you can immediately call them with served with a NOI. My clients typically call me immediately after having been served with a NOI and/or administrative subpoena (best case scenario) or once they have received a Notice of Intent to Fine (NIF) and are seeking to reduce the amount of the civil penalties.

A final note about the Form I-9. All employers should be using the current version of the Form I9. How does an employer know whether they are using the “current version” of the Form I-9? The bottom left hand corner of the Form I-9 should have the following date listed – 11/14/2016 N. The “N” means that prior versions of the Form I-9 cannot be used. Another note is that a revised Form I-9 is expected to be released by USCIS in July of this year, and that version will be the only acceptable version as of September 2017. The point being, it is important to track which version of the Form I-9 you are using on USCIS’s Web site at v

• Photocopy the

document(s) presented by the employee for Section 2 purposes. Although this is not required by law, it is a best practice. It also allows Georgia-based employers to meet the E-Verify requirement that employers participating in the program photocopy certain documents presented for Section 2 purposes of the Form I-9 including the U.S. passport, passport card, green card or the work permit. Finally, because Georgia mandates use of E-Verify for private employers, a company’s business license is tied to participation (See Ga. Code Ann. § 36-606(d)).

Form I-9 can be purged three (3) years after date of hire, or one year after termination, whichever is later.

Maintain the Forms I-9 for current and terminated employees separately. For terminated employees, purge the Forms I-9 after the required retention period to limit liability. The retention clock starts upon termination of an employee and the rule is that a


Engineering Your Career By Matt Barcus | President | Precision Executive Search ver the course of my career as a civil engineering search consultant, I have placed hundreds of engineering professionals with consulting engineering firms, governmental agencies, and private industry. My success is contingent upon me reaching out to hundreds of civil engineers each month and discussing their careers (past, present, and future), uncovering what motivates them, and often coaching them through the interview and salary negotiation process. I have also had the opportunity to work with a strong stable of clients over the past two decades. As a result of the thousands of conversations I have had over the years, I would like to share with you seven key factors that will help steer your career down the path of success:

pursue a career in consulting, a PhD is actually often frowned. Pursuit of an MBA can provide value longer term as you look to advance your career into a leadership role, but I would save that for a future date. If you are contemplating MBA vs. MS, take the MS route initially.

So you wrapped up your Bachelor’s Degree and are now pondering the pursuit of an advanced degree. I believe holding an advanced degree in your profession can prove to be beneficial, as it provides a more in depth understanding of your profession, in turn making your skill set more desirable. Many people prefer to pursue their Masters Degree immediately following their Bachelor’s degree while they are still in ‘school’ mode, and before ‘life’ gets in the way. An alternative would be to work for an employer who would be willing to pay, or at least partially fund your pursuit of an advanced degree, saving you some coin. Should you be interested in choosing a career path that is heavily focused in research, or working in Higher Education, a PhD would be beneficial. Should your desires be to

When graduating with an engineering degree, the end goal for most is to get their Professional Engineers (PE) license in their area of specialization. Most states require four years of experience in working under the direction of a licensed PE. Do not make the mistake of postponing this professional landmark. From time to time I speak to folks who have been in the market for 8+ years that have not yet sat for their PE. Typical reasoning includes: employer did not encourage or promote it; life got in the way; too busy working/not enough time to study...DO NOT FALL INTO THESE TRAPS. Receiving your PE license should be considered a major career milestone; failing to do so will ultimately limit your options beginning mid-career and you will eventually hit the proverbial ‘glass ceiling.’

3. Fueling the Fire


1. To What Degree?


Matt Barcus

2. A License to Success

It goes without saying that as an engineer, you MUST have the technical expertise and experience to advance your career. But without passion for what you do, you will fall flat on your face. A career in engineering offers many different paths to success, but you need to have a full understanding of what fuels your fire. Do you prefer a role where you are a desk jockey and working in an office environment, or do you thrive in a role that will get you out in the field? Do large scale, mega projects excite you, or do you prefer a higher volume of smaller, quick turn over projects? Would you rather climb the technical career ladder where you become the in-house expert and are a technical resource for an entire organization, or do you see yourself pursuing an executive level leadership role focused on business development or operations? All valid questions to ask yourself, and once answered you can sculpt the successful career path that excites you. 4. What's Your Type?

A career in engineering offers a diverse array of opportunities when considering the type of entity you want to work for. Knowing your personality and understanding what environment best suits that personality will greatly impact where you take your career. Understanding the pro’s and con’s of working for big firms vs. small firms; consulting vs. government vs. in house / institutional; publicly traded vs. privately owned; prime vs. DBE; design vs. construction. This may take some time to figure out, as often times perception is indeed not reality. Gather as much information as possible from your network, but you may not fully Georgia Contractor

gain the clarity you need until you experience a specific type of organization yourself. 5. Resistance Training

I’m going in two different directions here, so bare with me. First, resist the temptation to make frequent career moves, because in the end, employers will begin to resist hiring you. You may be able to get away with it early on in your career, but if you build a track record of switching jobs every 13 years it will indeed catch up to you. Why you ask? Organizations spend countless amounts of money and time training and developing employees, so if they see a track record of frequent career moves, they will be hesitant to hire you despite your ability to actually do the job. Additionally, companies are looking to grow. They want to know that the employees they hire will be a part of that growth. Of course the employer needs to provide that opportunity and hold up their end of the bargain, but if you have a habit of getting bored, or trying something new, or jumping ship for a couple grand more in salary, that will catch up and bite you in the rear in the long term. I believe that making some strategic career moves over the course of a 40+ year career is vital. It allows for advancement opportunities, it allows for a change of pace if you are stuck in a rut, it minimizes exposure to salary compression, and it allows for exposure to some new and exciting projects, ideas and people. But my advice is to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN with your current employer. Work hard, be innovative, don’t be afraid to fail, and communicate effectively with those who surround you. When you have done your best and are no longer able to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN, then you should consider greener pastures My second point will make sense If you’ve ever been to the gym, as you likely understand the concept of resistance training. In order for muscles to grow, you need to challenge them by May | June 2017

lifting more weight where as the last few reps become a struggle, but you are still able to complete them (even with a little bit of help). The same concept applies to your career growth. If you work hard, set stretch goals, challenge yourself, and work for a good company, you will progress your way up the weight rack, and your employer will be there to spot you. If you find that you are lifting with proper form but that you have plateaued despite all of your efforts, then it may be time to ‘change gyms.’ 6. Associate Yourself

Whichever direction you choose to take your engineering career, remaining actively involved in local, regional, and national professional associations relevant to your area of expertise is critical. Critical in the fact that it will allow opportunities to publish and present papers and projects which will designate you as a thought leader in your profession, and will increase your marketability. You will greatly expand your professional network allowing for plenty of opportunities to learn from your peers, many doors will open for you over the course of your career. 7. Relationships Matter

Do good by people. Simple advice.

The engineering business can be brutal at times—long hours, demanding clients, needy employees, public pressure, losing proposals, the list goes on, BUT...there is indeed a tremendous amount of upside and many, many, many men and women lead extremely rewarding and successful careers in engineering. These folks lead successful careers not only because they are strong leaders who work hard, are creative, and make good decisions, but also because they do good by the people they work with. Despite what one may think, engineering is very much a people business. One may be able to design an amazing bridge, or swiftly and successfully navigate the permitting process, but failure to raise up those beneath you, failure to get to really get to know clients and build strong relationships, failure to consider the ideas and input of others, failure to recognize vendors or subconsultants that deliver or exceed on what they promised will lead your career straight to a dead end. Once you’ve hit that dead end it can be very hard to recover, as word travels quickly. So be sure to take good care of those who surround you professionally, and they will be sure to take good care of you.v





Middle-Skilled Jobs, The Forgotten Heart of the Workforce

M “69% of HR executives say their inability to attract and retain middle-skills talent frequently affects their firm’s performance.

Ó Pew Research Center estimates that every day for the next 17 years, 10,000 baby boomers will reach retirement age.

There isn’t enough of the population entering the workforce to replace the number of baby boomers who have left and continue to leave each day. Article by Marissa Gbenro


iddle-skilled jobs are defined by Harvard Business School as occupations that require more education and training than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree. These jobs account for the largest portion of America’s labor market. It’s no surprise the demand for talent such as pipefitters, electricians, plumbers, and carpenters continues to remain strong. Unfortunately, employers consistently struggle to find individuals to fill these positions. According to Harvard Business School, “69% of HR executives say their inability to attract and retain middle-skills talent frequently affects their firm’s performance.” Interestingly enough, many of the technician jobs that go unfilled every day are well-paying positions that call for the completion of courses that typically last less than a year or that have paid apprenticeships. For people in these careers, it means spending less on education expenses and beginning a well-paying profession sooner. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters is $24.74. Some may find the shortage of middle-skilled workers curious, considering the income is on par with the median household income, these careers require less than a four-year degree, and the jobs are in high demand. A variety of factors have contributed to the shortage of labor in the United States. Likely the biggest one is aging baby boomers retiring out of the workforce in large numbers. Pew Research Center estimates that every day for the next 17 years, 10,000 baby boomers will reach retirement age. There isn’t enough of the population entering the workforce to replace the number of baby boomers who have left and continue to leave each day. Recently, our very own BI analyst, Josh Hammar, discussed the labor shortage and how it has affected manufacturing firms and their strategy for recruiting and retaining skilled labor. Without skilled workers to fill jobs, companies are unable to complete projects on time and positions are staying vacant longer. This has caused businesses to begin hiring candidates without ideal skills and hope to train them on the job. At PeopleReady, we make it our mission to recruit the best skilled labor for our customers. Our goal is to help ease the strain caused by the labor shortage.

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May | June 2017


How to Stand Out in Your Professional Life The Boundless Value of Persistence and Perseverance

By Dave Martin s the old man stood steadily before the university graduates, they quieted with respectful attention. His years of experience forging a commercial dynasty elicited admiration in business minds from Wall Street to the classroom. He had decades of hands-on wisdom and keen leadership skills honed by the emotionless bottom line of profit statements and the necessity of converting untrained rookies into dynamic producers. The man had seen it all, had been through the fire of business competition and regulation, and he had emerged with one of the leading financial empires of the era and with the well-known respect of his shareholders and employees.



His opening statement to the graduates drew the total focus of the crowd.

“I have one question for you today. Do you want to stand out? As you leave this university and enter the workforce, do you want to distinguish yourself from your competitors? In the business world, you will be evaluated by a different set of standards. You will be viewed through the dispassionate lens of the impact you render. So, what you are about to hear is the most important information you have been given during all your years of education. Two qualities are required of both the exceptional leader and the outstanding employee to distinguish themselves from the hundreds of

thousands of others in their field. Number one: you must possess integrity. Number two: you must own the traits of persistence and perseverance. To put it simply, you must do what you say you will do, and you must have a consistent, productive work ethic.� This advice is applicable not only for those starting their careers, but it is also relevant to anyone who wants to set himself apart from his competition and his peers. No longer will your education alone be the differentiator. Your contemporaries are equally educated. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, in 2016 over 3.2 million students graduated with a college degree. Of that number, almost 1.2 million received master’s or Georgia Contractor

doctorate degrees. There is no substitute for education, but just being educated will not provide significant differentiation. No longer will your creativity set you apart; the artist and inventor will starve without a working business model. To stand out, the formula is simple: integrity plus hard-working tenacity. Half of this blueprint for success is based on who you are—your integrity. The other half is based on what you do—learning the importance of and mastering the practices of persistence and perseverance. It is vital to understand the difference between these two characteristics and then to see how they act fully in tandem. Once that understanding is reached, it is critical to put these traits into practice daily. The sage Siri will tell you the definition of persistence is the fact of continuing in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. Persistence is ‘keeping on keeping on.’ Persistence is making calls over and over. Persistence is directing your team again and again until excellence becomes ingrained. Persistence is working your plan even when you don’t see immediate results. Persistence is consistent effort, maintained daily. Calvin Coolidge said, “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” Persistence is not giving up, or giving in, or giving way. Persistence is not grabbing something new just because it is shiny. Although processes and systems should be continually evaluated for improvements and for effectiveness, persistence is not reorganizing your structures every three months May | June 2017

when you see someone else’s success and think you should emulate them. Persistence is not expecting to hit millionaire status immediately. To covet wealth without persistent effort is to have a ‘hope to win the lottery’ mentality. But lottery winners don’t have a stellar track record of keeping their wealth. According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, about 70% of people who win a lottery or get a big windfall end up broke in a few years. There is an apparent correlation between the qualities that build wealth and the ability to maintain it. One of those vital qualities is persistence. Perseverance is doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Perseverance is continued persistence. Think of it like this. Persistence is the athlete, working out each morning in the gym. He continues to get up, get to the gym, and work his routine, even when he is tired, even when his friends are still sleeping, even when his schedule is interrupted. Perseverance is the lifestyle of working out week after week, month after month, year after year. Persistent running water erodes rock; persevering in that erosion pattern creates canyons. In short, persistence speaks to continuing in a course of action even against opposition, and perseverance connotes longevity in that persistence. Together, these are the twin building blocks of success. Do you have these traits of persistence and perseverance in your professional life? In some areas you most likely do. What specific discipline have you consistently performed week after week, month after month, year after year? Perhaps you make a point to turn in your reports a day early. Perhaps you participate in a new employee mentorship program. Perhaps you’ve taken on the responsibility of planning company teambuilding exercises. You are persistent in this activity and your longevity has created perseverance. When you are persistent, you

push through adversity, you stick with the project until it’s complete, and you don’t look for the easy way out. The persistent professional will persevere and will live out the familiar quote, “Don’t stop when you’re tired; stop when you’re done.” Do you want to stand out? The formula is simple, and the rewards are boundless. v

aBoUt tHe aUtHor Dave Martin, Your Success Coach, is a world-renowned speaker and the international best-selling author of 12 Traits of the Greats and Another Shot. For over 25 years, Dave has been a mentor, inspirational speaker, coach, and business leader. Using these experiences, Dave shares timeless truths, wrapped in humor and delivered with passion, teaching people how to pursue and possess a life of success. For more information on Dave, please visit


Predict-Ability How Partnering Scorecards Can Dictate a Project’s Success By Sue Dyer


ow would you like to be able to predict the level of success (or failure) of your projects? Well, it seems that it is closer than you might think. Studies show that by using a monthly Partnering Scorecard, you can in fact have a great handle on what is actually happening on your project; and the scores turn out to be a great predictor of what is going to happen! So, you and your team have time to make course corrections before they become inevitable. How would you like to be able to predict the future for each of your projects?

It seems the scores that the team provides accurately and truly depict what is going on within the project. A recent study on the efficacy of partnership when constructing the Woodrow Wilson Bridge found that what the team members scored and said on the partnering scorecard was in fact what was going on (strong correlation) at that given time on the project. So, the collective wisdom of the team came forth in a clear snap-shot of the project’s status. In the International Partnering Institute’s Study of 13 different projects that used a monthly partnering 38

scorecard over a two-year period, 12 of the 13 projects’ scores improved over the life of the project. Overall, project scores improved by as much as 1.13 points (28%) over the life of the project. The average improvement was ½ a point (+0.54 = 14%). Predict-Ability does take commitment. You must use the construction scorecard as a tool. Just like every tool, the better you are at using the tool, the better your results. Here are some tips for getting the most from your partnering scorecard.

1) Having senior management re-

Tip #1: Make the Partnering Scorecard a Requirement 1) The project scorecard must be a

Tip #2: Create an Atmosphere of Trust 1) Your partnering effort is de-

requirement and the team must feel that it is valued and valuable for them to take the time to share their scores and comments. It is the leader that can and must make this happen. If you take the scorecard seriously, so too will your team members. If you ignore it and don’t use it, they will do the same.

1) Putting the requirement into

your project documents will help ensure everyone knows you are serious.

mind everyone that you want 100% participation in this month’s scorecard—and convey that it is an important part of your project’s success—will get people to complete the scorecard.

1) Monitoring and acknowledging

those who are completing the scorecard will reinforce its value. Monitoring who is not completing the scorecard will help ensure they will complete it next time.

signed to develop a culture of trust and collaboration. This fosters the open, honest atmosphere that will allow your scorecard to reflect the good, the bad and the ugly that occurs on your project. The truth will set you free—free to work on what is needed to succeed.

1) Trust happens when you grow

certainty that you will be fair and resolve issues before they grow into problems or disputes. To have the most meaningful partnering and scorecard program Georgia Contractor

takes commitment. Your actions show your commitment. 1) Trust can be built over time, but

it is highly predictable that your expectations define your relationships. So, check yourself to make sure you are not defensive, protective or hostile toward your teammates. You will define the atmosphere and it will heavily influence your results.

Tip #3: Understand the Tool 1) The partnering scorecard is a

snapshot in time of what is occurring on your project and allows you to measure your teamwork effectiveness and the ability to achieve your project’s goals.

1) Orienting your team members

on the partnering scorecard and its importance can go a long way to overcoming barriers to its use.

Tip #4: Evaluate Your Results 1) Your scorecard will be emailed to

everyone on your project team each month—but you have to evaluate what the scores mean. This can easily be done during a regular weekly project meeting.

1) Look at any scores where you

have a “1” or “2” as these indi-

May | June 2017

cate negative momentum. These are where the team is feeling frustrated or issues are emerging. Focusing on these areas will help a great deal. 1) Look at your scores in the “3’s”.

These are OK, and with a little focus might be able to achieve a “4” or better. This will grow your positive momentum dramatically!

Tip #5: Make Course Corrections 1) Resolving issues where the team

is stuck or they are creating frustration is your top priority and needs to happen before the next scorecard if possible. You can use your partnering session for this and get the help of your professional neutral partnering facilitator.

1) Elevating issues up your dispute

ladder is needed and should not be put off because you want to hold on to the decision. Get a decision and move on.

1) Set deadlines and keep them.

This will create trust and grow your predictability. It is not the issues that predict your success or failure; it is how the team deals with the issues. Correct your course so the team stays together

and gains positive momentum! Woody Allen said “We are all interested in the future, because that is where we are all going to spend our lives.” Think about using a Partnering Scorecard to allow you to predict how you and your project team will be spending your time. Will it be celebrating the building of great things? Or, fighting over project disputes because things didn’t turn out as hoped? v aBoUt tHe aUtHor Sue Dyer is President of OrgMetrics LLC, the author of Partner Your Project, and a recognized thought leader on collaboration in construction. Sue just launched Partnering FIT™, a training program using new virtual training technology that allows her to include 30 years of lessons-learned and make them available to you and your teams any time, any place, 24/7. For more information about Sue Dyer, please visit


IEC’S 2017 POWER SHOW Attracts Over 600 Attendees in New Cobb County Venue On May 2nd IEC Atlanta Georgia chapter filled the walls of its new venue at the Cobb County Civic Center with its 2017 Power Show! Executive director, Niel dawson had some great expectations for the 2017 Power Show and by all accounts they were met! This Power Show was the biggest yet, filled with products and services that make the electrical industry thrive! From 2pm to 7pm over 50 vendors showcased top services and products, and contractors networked in a venue bursting with over 600 attendees, participating in multiple activities. The main event is the power show’s annual wire-off competition that commenced with 7 competitors competing for the title of Apprentice of the Year. A new twist was added; the ‘productivity challenge!’ AOY contestants competing against time while fellow electrical workers, friends, family, and maybe their boss, looked on. High performance during high pressure! IEC trained apprentices are the best, so they handled it! IEC also implemented its first electrical job-fair onsite during the power show. Let’s say some contractors left with new employees, and applicants left with an exciting future in the electrical industry! Yes people were hired during IEC’s 2017 Power Show. Those already employed kept up their training with the free CEU classes provided. Skills were tested and more competition continued with IEC partner member, IDEAL Industries, as challengers worked to qualify to compete in IDEAL’s National competition for a chance to win $30,000! Also new onsite, was the IEC bar, which added that extra casual atmosphere to network and meet with you fellow worker and contractor that you might not have seen in years. The traditional IEC power show staples were there, deliciously grilled brisket, chicken and pork by talented IEC contractors, and ongoing prizes given throughout the event! This was the best electrical show in town! Competitions, job-fairs, continuing education, food, prizes, a fully stocked bar and the opportunity to connect and network with peers in the industry, was delivered at the IEC Atlanta Georgia Power Show! IEC appreciates all the exhibitors that participated and the contractors and students who volunteered their time to make this event happen. To see photos from this event go to We can’t wait to see what next year brings. IEC is a trade association for merit shop electrical contractors and offers a wide array of training programs for apprentices and experienced electricians. In addition to the electrical apprenticeship training program, IEC provides personnel referral including loan/borrow programs, and provides a broad range of informational resources for electrical contractors in Atlanta and Georgia. For more information about IEC and its programs, contact Niel Dawson, Executive Director at 770-242-9277 or v 40

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May | June 2017




he IEC Power Show added a new element to an already amazing event. On May 2nd at the 2017 Power Show, IEC held its first onsite job fair during the power show, orchestrated by IEC’s Workforce Developer, Delast Muhammad. IEC contractors from Penco, RBG and Andrew Electric were available to interview candidates on sites. The job fair was held from 2pm to 4pm with close to 30 applicants eager to enter the electrical field. During the job fair, 88% of the candidates interviewed with all employers. The wait was not long, and there were four candidates hired on the spot within five minutes. 17 additional applicants were pre-hired with their employment contingent on their drug test and background screening. The interviewing contractors enjoyed this process and referred to it as ‘mind blowing.’ One of the top issues contractors are faced with is finding quality, skilled workers. IEC steps out to explore ways to find and help prepare the electrical workforce and this is just one of many benefits of being


delast Muhammad

part of the IEC Atlanta/Georgia chapter. In the coming month there will be an IEC Electrical Career Fair on Thursday, June 15th from 10am to 2pm. For more details on upcoming workforce development events, go to IEC’s Web site at, or contact Delast Muhammad at IEC is a trade association for merit shop electrical contractors and offers a wide array of training pro-

grams for apprentices and experienced electricians. In addition to the electrical apprenticeship training program, IEC provides personnel referral including loan/borrow programs, and provides a broad range of informational resources for electrical contractors in Atlanta and Georgia. For more information about IEC and its programs, contact Niel Dawson, Executive Director at (770) 242-9277 or v

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Atlanta/Georgia welcomes Delast Muhammad as its new Workforce Development Coordinator! This is a key position for IEC as it responds to one of IEC member’s most important needs, workforce. Delast Muhammad is a native of Las Vegas, Nevada, and has lived in Atlanta for 10 years. She comes to IEC with seven years of workforce development experience from Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC). Delast possess a tremendous passion for community and putting people to work. She is a member of Global Community Network, and a Global Apprenticeship and Habitat for Humanity volunteer, which displays an authentic desire to go out and about to help. That authentic desire will prove beneficial for the task of connecting IEC contractors with workers ready to create a path in the electrical field. Delast is eager to get out in the community on behalf of and with IEC Contractors interested joining her as she builds community bridges that all lead to IEC workforce development!

delast Muhammad IEC looks forward to working with Delast and carving out a skilled future workforce! Are you ready to get your workforce in tune for 2017? Contact Delast Muhammad at IEC is a trade association for merit shop electrical contractors and offers a wide array of training programs for apprentices and experienced electricians. In addition to the electri-

cal apprenticeship training program, IEC provides personnel referral including loan/borrow programs, and provides a broad range of informational resources for electrical contractors in Atlanta and Georgia. For more information about IEC and its programs, contact Niel Dawson, Executive Director at (770) 242-9277 or v

ATTRACTING NEW GENERATIONS TO THE CONSTRUCTION INdUSTRy Removing the stereotypical thoughts of the electrical field pertaining to the extremes of weather, long hours of standing, dusty clothes and possible injuries, IEC has taken recruitment to new heights by focusing on the positive future a career as an electrician can bring. In the past couple months, IEC Workforce Development Representative, Delast Muhammad has visited over 40 organizations including Youth Service Providers, YMCA’s, Middle Schools, High Schools, Department of Labor, County Departments, Local Workforce Boards, and others; participating in career training , solar events, hiring fairs, and lunch and learns while seeking ideas to attract future generations to electrical construction industries. Delast engaged in discussions with high school students, teachers, other job seekers, and individuals who shared their career interests and provided feedback on what aids them in making career choices. Expectedly, the results were a combination of social influences such as Instagram, Snap Chat, YouTube, Tumblr, and Pinterest, where they are exposed to fashion and technological careers. Additionally, peers, guardians such as teachers, counselors and parents; all have major influences on future decisions, and not to forget participants perception of ‘higher paying’ careers. v May | June 2017


Construction Management as a Career Choice: Building Our Nation’s Future By Bruce D’Agostino | President & CEO | CMAA

The Washington Monument, the U.S. Capitol Dome, the World Trade Center, a 46-project military facility, a highly secure super-computing facility, a 6.4-kilometer subway line and station, a federal courthouse, and an NFL Team’s Training Camp Facility. These are just some of the projects that have been completed recently. All were finished successfully—on time, on budget, and with excellent quality and safety records—largely because their owners relied on professional Construction Managers to lead their teams to project completion. As a student, when we think about construction, we know there are two parties involved: the architects who design it, or the contractors who build it. But who pulls it all together, working with all teams to ensure project success? It’s the Construction Manager (or Project Manager), a construction consultant skilled in leading teams, with expertise to include managing budgets, schedules, safety, risk, and quality control efforts. Airports, highways, schools, bridges, hospitals, top secret government facilities, sports arenas: these projects are being built all over the world, all the time. And the demand for qualified professional Construction Managers is growing quickly, as construction projects become more complex and needs become more pressing. Professional Construction Managers play a vital role in helping the community and our nation meet future needs for critical infrastructure of all types. They lead diverse teams of professionals and see the results of 44

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team efforts in the form of structures that will stand and perform for many years or decades to come. Construction management is one of the most exciting, challenging, and rewarding professions.

Construction Managers can: Define and translate project needs for the project to be built. • Develop a project budget and schedule. • Select a project architect, other design professionals (if needed), and the contractor. • Oversee the development of project documents that potential contractors and others will need in order to bid on the work. • Review bids and bidder qualifications. • Control disbursements of funds as construction progresses. • Coordinate and supervise the work of all contractors and subcontractors to ensure compliance with specifications. • Facilitate communication among all team members. • Respond to changing owner •

Project Example:

Project: World Trade Center, New York, NY Construction Manager/Program Manager: STV, New York, NY Client: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Photo Credit: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

One World Trade Center includes nearly 3.6 million sf of space on 104 floors. A 408-foot broadcast antenna brings its height to a symbolic 1,776 feet, making it the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. Its safety systems exceed code requirements and it is also the most environmentally sustainable project of its size in the world. May | June 2017

• •

needs by implementing change orders to the project scope of work. Avoid delays, disputes, accidents, and cost overruns. Coordinate the commissioning process, the final delivery of a completed project with every element accomplished and in alignment with project specifications.

mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and building sciences and technology. Numerous colleges and universities offer a master’s degree program in construction management or construction technology. Master’s degree recipients, especially those with work experience in construction, typically become Construction Managers for government entities, consulting firms, construction companies, or private developers. A number of two-year colleges offer construction management or construction technology programs, and many individuals also attend

Construction Managers need specific academic preparation, as well as construction knowledge. A well-qualified construction management professional will have strong mathematics, physical science, construction technology, engineering, business manAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, agement, and leadership the median pay for CMs is $87,400 with a training on his or her college bachelor’s degree. transcript. He or she will also be training and educational programs an adept computer user, with handssponsored by industry associations. on experience and knowledge in a variety of applications from basic spreadsheets to complete project man- Pulling it all together If you are fascinated with seeing how agement information systems. infrastructure is built, have the mindTo become a Construction Manset of a leader, and want to contribute ager, a person must understand contracts and business practices as well as to our nation’s infrastructure, professional construction management construction materials and methods. You’ll need good oral and written might be the career choice for you. communication skills, and you must Consider building our future as you be able to handle several things at build your own. For additional inforonce in a fast-paced environment. mation on construction management Leadership skills, which include the as a career choice, visit www.cmaanet. ability to delegate and manage conorg or flict are all valuable traits a Construction Manager must possess as well. Many colleges and universities across the country currently offer four-year degree programs in construction management, civil engineering, construction technology, or architecture. Graduates of these programs may be hired as assistants to project managers, field engineers, schedulers, or cost estimators. Often, they opt for a career in professional construction management after gaining substantial project experience or obtaining a degree in a related degree program. Other undergraduate programs that could lead to a career in profession construction management include 45


Opportunities Gaining Altitude As uses arise for unmanned aerial vehicles, engineers will be turning their data into value.


By Steve Santovasi

f you’re looking for a growth industry, it might be difficult to find a higher-flying sector than unmanned aerial vehicles. Just look at the numbers: The FAA expects total hobbyist and commercial UAS sales to hit 7 million in 2020, up from more than 2.7 million today. And it’ll be up to engineers and designers to not only figure out ways to use the technology, but also come up with effective and efficient ways to turn the data they collect into valuable and actionable business improvements. Already, there are two areas very much on the radar for success when it comes to drones: engineering and design, and operations and maintenance. Enriching Engineering and Design

Engineers looking to design a project want the best and most reliable information possible, and they want it yesterday. The sooner they can compile the knowledge they need, the sooner they can deliver solutions their clients demand. Using UAS speeds things up, all while significantly reducing safety 46

This image of a liquid natural gas (LNG) plant is the product of data captured by a drone over two days.Above is the 3-D image, which can be ‘flown through’ on computer. The green balloons at the top represent spots where the drone took photos; each photo is time-stamped and viewable with a single click.

risks and extensively expanding data collection. It’s easy to see why such jobs could be valued in the years ahead:

Schedule. Without UAS, planners usually dispatch ground crews to collect topographical data and chart site conditions before Georgia Contractor

Fortifying Operations and Maintenance

launching design and construction. These activities can last for a week or two, and analyzing the information collected can take even longer. Bring in a drone, and such work can be completed in as little as 10 minutes. For project managers and the people they work for, time is money. •

Scope. Crews working on the ground regularly uncover solid information, but their range can be limited. A UAS outfitted with proper equipment can collect and time-stamp data for developing topographic maps, point clouds and other useful documents and files. These datasets can be used to pinpoint all visible aspects of a project site—trees, parking spaces, buildings, manhole covers and more—to inform designers about exactly what they’ll be encountering on a project. And that allows them to make proper adjustments as the project evolves. Detail. Picture it: Photos and Mo-

saic imagery from a UAS is particularly high-definition, with resolution of 1.5 inches per pixel. Data gathered by a drone can be used to create a point cloud with

100 million points. Pull it all together, and pinpointing data allows engineers to create exacting designs. •

Value. Using UAS to deploy highdefinition photography, thermal imaging and other processes, which in turn is used to generate point clouds, 3-D meshes and much, much more, allows a team to work fast and with more power. Compared to traditional methods, a UAS team can collect 10 times as much information and at 60% of the cost. Safety. Instead of having crews

climb poles, be lifted in buck trucks or hang outside helicopters to take photos of a transmission line tower, what if a utility needed only to send up a drone to take high-definition photos? The team stays on the ground, putting nothing more than a machine in harm’s way.

And drones aren’t only around for the beginning of a project. The systems themselves—and, especially, the data they generate—are poised to continue providing benefits well in to the future. Engineers will be among those professionals making the most of these valuable assets. Here are a few of the benefits of deploying drones for operations and maintenance, or O&M: • Efficiency. High-resolution photos and videos, thermal images and other products from particular sensors employed for a specific job allow for accelerated project timelines. And uses for such data likely will increase as their storage becomes more prevalent. Engineers will be the ones who use such data to develop new sets of solutions. •

Documentation. Drone-captured

data is time-stamped, georeferenced and otherwise marked to make the files as useful as possible. Such data then can be mapped, stored, compared and projected. The numbers illustrate an informational picture of unprecedented clarity—again, arming engineers with assets that previously have been unavailable. Such raw materials can feed and empower the imagination of professional problem-solvers.

Getting Off the Ground

What do 100 million data points captured during a 10-minute drone flight add up to? A point cloud, allowing a user to zoom in, fly through and otherwise express detailed reference information. (This is a point cloud of the building at 9450 Ward Parkway. Note that this is not a photo, but an image built using data gathered by a drone.) May | June 2017

As UAS use continues to gain traction among utilities, municipalities and others, those same users will be counting on engineers to help make the most of their investments. v ABOUT THE AUTHOR Steve Santovasi manages the Geospatial Services Department at Burns & McDonnell. 47

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