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San Diego Transcript: Construction professional's New Years' resolutions for 2019

Originally published in the San Diego Transcript

As 2018 comes to a close, many Americans are considering their New Year’s resolutions. More than half of all Americans make one, mainly focused on efforts to pursue healthier or more productive practices. Construction professionals can take advantage and set their own positive goals for 2019. Associated Builders and Contractors of San Diego has several New Year’s resolutions for our members, and they apply to other industries as well.

1. Commit to safety on the job

The construction industry remains among the most dangerous and injury-prone for workers in the U.S. Attention to best safety practices can go a long way in reducing accidents. Accidents cost time, money, wellbeing, and lives. In many cases, a safety lapse or failure by one person causes harm to many others. Making safety a priority is an investment in your co-workers and the community as well. Resolve to stay abreast of current safety practices and regulations. Help keep your colleagues and employees informed about any changes. Refresh your education about behaviors to avoid; take measures to prevent them and don’t take shortcuts. One simple tip: when you’re operating a vehicle, please don’t text and drive. Ever.

2. Commit to training the next generation of skilled craft professionals

The construction industry will see numerous skilled workers retiring over the next decade as the Baby Boomers age out, creating a serious shortage of skilled craft professionals. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook shows five of the 30 occupations with the largest employment increase through 2022 are related to construction, twice the average rate for all industries. Construction leaders need to work together with educators and parents to encourage more high school students to pursue construction industry careers. ABC San Diego’s Apprenticeship Training Trust pledges to do its part. Something to think about: apprenticeship training doesn’t tuition or student loan debt.

3. Commit to maintaining a skilled and trained workforce

Training doesn’t stop once an individual completes an apprenticeship or craft training program. Ongoing training in new technology, techniques, materials, and codes is a vital part of being a qualified construction professional. ABC San Diego’s Continuing Education program offers journeyperson training, management training, all safety certifications, and helps craft professionals meet their continuing education requirements. Visit our Continuing Education calendar and sign up today.

4. Commit to hiring locally to reflect the community’s diversity
A commitment on all levels to retaining and creating jobs in every community by hiring locally is an investment in San Diego’s regional economic health. It is also a commitment to ensuring participation in taxpayer funded construction projects by local small business contractors, many of whom reflect the diversity of the community including women and minority owned businesses, as well as veteran owned businesses. Opening opportunities to these business owners within disadvantaged communities helps their employees establish a career and support their families.
5. Commit to involvement and leadership

Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I will learn.” People grow most by doing. Volunteer involvement has the potential to help people develop knowledge and abilities in unique ways, along with reaping rewards tied directly to career development. You get the opportunity to increase your network of contacts, experience professional growth, build community, develop new skills, and as corny as it might sound, make a difference.

This is true for all professionals in all industries, at all levels, but especially for new professionals. ABCSD’s new Young Professionals group is attracting fresh talent in our industry and it’s exciting to watch them becoming more successful as a community. Our first event of 2019 is a YP mixer on January 17 at Ballast Point Brewery. We encourage anyone interested to attend. You do not have to be an ABCSD member.

On behalf of ABC San Diego and all construction professionals, we hope 2019 will continue to provide growth and prosperity in every industry in San Diego. We look forward to partnering with locally based companies and supporting their efforts to make 2019 successful for all.

Les DenHerder is President and CEO of HPS Mechanical, Inc, and chairman of the Associated Builders and Contractors San Diego board of directors. For more information visit

ABCSD  I  13825 Kirkham Way Poway, CA 92064  I  Tel: 858.513.4700  I  Fax: 858.513.2373  I  I

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