In our May NextGen Construction session, our NextGenR’s heard from Erik Lindstrom with Gilbane, Dave Schwartz with Innovative Construction Solutions, Bryce Unger with CG Schmidt and Scott Drees with Altius Building Company. Our panelist answered a number of questions regarding what they are seeing in their industry as well as provide insight on what has helped them be successful.
While the era of COVID-19 has brought challenges to the construction industry it hasn’t come to a halt.
- Some projects have been put on hold, but projects like schools are taking advantage of this time with no students, to move projects along.
- Material procurement challenges are a common theme. In the past this was more international, now it is a national challenge as well.
- Multi-family is a mixed bag. Money is cheap, but banks are more stringent than before.
- Many shut-downs were related to state implications.
Changes have been made in the industry:
- Huge increase in PPE, hand washing stations, enforced social distancing etc.
- Increase in virtual meetings vs onsite visits. Obtaining that buy in had its challenges.
- Implementing virtual inspections in some municipalities. Each municipality has its own set of regulations which can be difficult.
- Job site check-in protocols, including temperature checks and risk assessments for people on the job has proven effective.
Changes will create new design elements and ideas:
- Curbside pickup doors, separate in/out doors may be our future. Increased demand for drive through options.
- Negative air pressure a possibility for senior living or at-risk populations.
Who makes the best mentor?
- Learning from those who are the best at what they do, whether it be a project manager or superintendent. It doesn’t have to be someone at the “top”.
- Look to people who beat the odds. They may have a story of what they’ve overcome.
- Talk to someone about your career path, industry trends and always someone who can help provide you an opportunity to grow.
- Finding someone who exemplifies what you envision as success.
Character traits that have helped our panelists be successful:
- Flexibility, resilience, sense of humor, ability to invest in people, tenacity, wanting to make an impact, the ability to listen.
Words of advice:
- Listen & learn. There is always something new to learn.
- Life is a DIY project, cater it to your needs and desires.
- Figure out what the takeaway is from every situation. You may not realize it at the moment but later in life it may make sense.
- Take chances and make opportunities.