Construction Jobs Still Outnumber Applicants

Per the National Association of Homebuilders*, 200,000 unfilled construction jobs exist within the United States. This number is the result of several factors:

  • The housing market crash (this forced skilled workers to find new trades/retrain)
  • Volatility of employment (construction remains a high turnover industry)
  • Younger generations not choosing to work in the trades (public education attempts to put all students on a direct path away from vocational training) &
  • Poor communication about job availability

Overcoming the applicant gap can be seen as a multi-tiered strategy:

  • As the market continues to stabilize, consumer confidence grows, and workers will feel confident to return to their original trade(s)
  • Construction remains a high turnover industry for a variety of reasons but employers can reduce turnover by providing a productive, safe, and comfortable work environment
  • Reaching out to local school districts, vocational training programs, and apprentice opportunities can help ensure access to a well of young talent
  • Utilizing social media to publish job availability. Make sure to also post images and video of what it’s like to work for the company. Millenials are almost as interested in company culture as they are in their pay rate.










Abused Wife, Mother of Four, Escapes Abuse and Builds Own House Using YouTube Videos

“Once I had bought all these supplies and they were all piled up, there was no way out,” Brookins explains. “There wasn’t enough money to pay anyone to put them together. There was no plan B.” – Cara Brookins

An amazing and heartwarming story out of Arkansas. Mother of four, Cara Brookins, was the victim of abuse at the hands of her husband. Initially, she thought she could manage it but, as the abuse grew increasingly violent, she knew her children (aged 17, 15, 11, and 2) deserved a better home life.

Finding her moment and her courage, Cara left her husband and moved her children into a small house. While driving around town and reflecting on the difficulty of raising her four children in that woefully undersized home, Cara passed a tornado ravaged home in desperate need of a professional rebuild: “It was this beautiful dream house and it was sort of wide open. You don’t often get the opportunity to see the interior workings of a house, but looking at these 2x4s and these nails, it just looked so simple. I thought, ‘I could put this wall back up if I really tried. Maybe I should just start from scratch.’”

With only enough money to purchase the necessary building materials and an acre of land, Cara quickly realized what she had just signed herself and her family up for, “Once I had bought all these supplies and they were all piled up, there was no way out. There wasn’t enough money to pay anyone to put them together. There was no plan B.”

The challenge: build a two-story, five bedroom home requiring everything from poured concrete, to wood framing, masonry, and drywall. With the help of her three older children (the youngest of the four only being two years old at the time) construction began. “It was not something that was a great match to us physically, but my kids got up every day and they came out here. I was working all day and they were in school, and we would work into the night sometimes by headlights. It was incredibly intense. There was nobody going to the movies. There were no dates, no hanging out. It was all hands on deck.”


As the house began to take shape, so too did the family. Cara explained that the act of building their home gave this young family a strength and validation that the abuse had nearly taken.

With the house built, and the family secure, Cara now turns her attention toward women across the country in a similar situation to what she once found herself in. To them she offers this advice: “Forget everything you’ve been told about taking baby steps. Everybody says, ‘If you just take a small step every day, it will get better.’ In my experience, though, it doesn’t. You have to make a big leap. It has to be this huge, enormous act. For us, it was building a house. For somebody else, it could be something totally different. But you need to do something big that changes your perception of yourself.”

Cara has written a book about this experience entitled “Rise, How a House Built A Family” which will go on sale January 24th.

Content and full article available at:


RBJ Features US Ceiling Corp.

US Ceiling Featured under Fueling Growth

In a recent article entitled Getting Rolling, the Rochester Business Journal interviewed Melissa Geska (President of US Ceiling Corp.) to discuss the important role that lending has played in the growth of her business. In that interview, Melissa spoke of the critical role that US Ceiling’s banking partner (M & T Bank) has played, “We could not have grown had we not had access to larger amounts of capital…”.

This partnership with M & T Bank has had a direct impact on growth potential, “Whereas most banks without SBA funding put a cap on the dollar value you have access to for capital, by having these project-specific supplemental loans, it allows us to hire more,” Melissa Geska explained.

All told, the article within the Rochester Business Journal highlights the necessary (and critical) role a small-business owner’s relationship with their banking partner ultimately plays in the overall success of that small business.

Midtown Towers – Bergmann Associates

Varied and Highly Visible: The Offices of Bergmann Associates

“When we were awarded this job, the pressure was on to deliver. I’m so glad we had the opportunity to showcase how skilled our workforce is. I’m so proud of their achievements here.” – Melissa Geska, President

With a scope that included metal framing, insulation, drywall, linear metal ceilings, and acoustical ceilings, US Ceiling had a varied and high difficulty job to complete. With a client like Bergmann Associates, the job also carried with it the additional pressure of high visibility.