Springfield, MO

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The Builders' Association

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by Stephen Baker

The construction industry in the Midwest is experiencing a construction boom in both commercial and residential buildings.

For the past five years, the growth in construction has been steady and is projected to continue for the next two to three years.

As a result of this boom, opportunities for individuals wanting careers in construction have never been better.

The industry is experiencing some labor shortage; however, this shortage has been minimized because of the working relationships that we have with our schools.

The area vocational schools throughout the state have been providing a vital pool of young people willing and able to work in construction.

There will always be a place in construction for well-trained people. In the year 2000, having a skill and training beyond the 12th grade will become more the norm.

Education and training is the key to building futures in the work force of 2000.

At The Builders' Association, we understand the value that education and training have for our members and our industry. Our activities reflect this understanding with specific programs to help.

The skill level of the work force directly affects the ability to produce quality work on time and within budget. Field and supervisory employees' construction knowledge and training can easily make the difference between making a profit and suffering a loss.

The following key components of the Association's Education and Training Program are available through our Kansas City, Jefferson City and Springfield offices.

During 1998, more than 2,000 persons will receive instruction in the basic trades through those offices.

Perhaps the cornerstone of our management training program is the Supervisory Training Program, or STP, which comprises 10 separate units plus the STP foreman course.

Included are courses on leadership and motivation, oral and written communication, contract documents, cost awareness and production control, planning and scheduling, accident prevention and loss control, project management, construction law and productivity improvement.

In addition, the association has developed a wide variety of other education and training opportunities each year for management and support personnel, covering such topics as blueprint reading, estimating, pricing for profits and fringe-benefit reporting.

Timely seminars are also held on specific subjects, such as compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and contractors' stormwater management requirements under the Clean Water Act.

In the new millennium, work force 2000 will require new skills be learned.

To ensure sucess, construction technology is forever changing. Adaptability through education and training is essential to building futures in the construction industry.

I urge all contractors to take full advantage of the education and training opportunities available to them. Your management, supervisory and field personnel are your work force 2000. They are your future.

(Stephen W. Baker is manager of The Builders' Association.)

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