Posts in Uncategorized

Los Angeles Construction Jobs Lagging Behind

August 15th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Salary

There are lots of rosy statistics which claim that construction workers in California are among the highest paid in the United States. This claim is at best misleading and masks a seismic shift in the compensation for construction workers nationally and in California in particular. In 1973 the national hourly average wage for construction workers was $31.84 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of 2016 the rate had fallen to $25.97 adjusted for inflation.

Benefits and Working Conditions

As contractors seek to cut costs there have been reductions in pay and an increase in corners cut. The California Department of Industrial Relations Through the Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) enforces labor laws. In 2018 it fined contractors over two million dollars for violations. A LETF report lists frequent problems with contractors for:

  1. Not having a contractor’s license, or hiring unlicensed subcontractors
  2. Misclassifying employees as independent contractors.
  3. Not paying workers the wages they are owed
  4. Not allowing rest or meal breaks
  5. Paying a piece rate or other nonhourly rate that does not meet minimum-wage
  6. Not giving pay stubs or not paying payroll tax.
  7. Not providing the equipment, tools or protective clothing that workers need
  8. Lacking a proper safety plan
  9. Poor records of training.
  10. Not having a first-aid kit.
  11. Not having workers’ compensation insurance or not insuring all employees.

The housing crisis in California has brought attention to the need to attract and retain construction works as part of any solution. There is hope on the horizon for improving pay, training, health care and retirement benefits for construction workers. Stay tuned for updates!

Environmental Ideas for Kids

May 28th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

With a large focus on renewable resources, minimizing the carbon footprint and other environmental concerns, we thought it would be interesting to explore ideas that children can research or do projects on. You are never too young to engage in learning to help the planet.

Some project ideas for kids to have fun and learn more about important environmental components:

  • Energy Conservation – kids can learn about energy, why it needs to be conserved and research ways they can conserve more energy.
  • Organic Garden – create your own organic garden with compost.
  • Soil quality – Soil needs certain elements to sustain plant growth. Kids can determine the quality of the soil in their yard.
  • Greenhouse effect – kids can explore how a greenhouse works, with a simple Greenhouse in a jar experiment.
  • Air Quality – learn a simple test to check the air quality around your home.
  • Habitat Model – study how animals and plants adapt. This project is especially beneficial to help kids learn the impact of changes to the environment and to see how plants and animal adapt or how they die off, if they are unable to adapt.
  • Recycling – help kids understand the importance of recycling and let them discover ways to reuse and repurpose items as part of a recycling initiative.
  • Water Purification – kids can learn how to make a water filter from sand.
  • Rainwater Harvesting – kids can learn the importance and value of rainwater harvesting and then implement their own system at school or at home.
  • Pollution – have kids research the causes of pollution and then have them brainstorm solutions to cut pollution.
  • Renewable Energy – have kids define renewable energy and then list all the sources they can think of. They can turn cards of renewable energy sources into a memory game.

There is a lot kids can learn and even invent as they explore these important topics. Science experience are educational and fun. There is no limit to a child’s imagination. Nurture it now – these kids are the future of our planet.

Green Buildings

May 14th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

What are green buildings? Buildings that have been created structurally using processes that are environmentally friend and very resource-efficient. The entire process from design to construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and reconstruction is environmentally responsible, in both parts and labour.

Green buildings are also known as Sustainable.

Green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by:

  • Efficiently using energy, water, and other resources
  • Protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity
  • Reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation

Green building may utilise sustainable materials, minimize the use of pollutants and feature landscaping that may require less watering, allowing for the conservation of water.

There are countless reasons to build green and we are seeing an increase in green buildings as businesses and individuals become more aware of the impact humans are having on the planet. Consumers are actively looking to do business with companies that are environmentally responsible.

History of Green Building

Green building became a movement that people became passionate about, out of necessity. The need for more energy efficient solutions became important due to oil prices increasing in the 1970s.

The movement started with a flurry of research and activity that focused on improving energy efficiency and finding and using renewable resources.

This combined with the environmental movement of the 60s and 70s, led to much experimenting and learning about green building.

It was in the 1990s that the movement became more established. The U.S. saw environmental laws increasing and a demand for more accountability for the carbon footprint.

EPA ProgramsThe EPA has a number of programs and resources to help you learn more about the components of green building.

Top 3 Fastest Growing Careers in Green Construction

February 19th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

As we’ve said in previous blogs, the American construction industry is undergoing a green transformation, promoting a healthy planet and a booming economy. Let’s take a look at some of the highest-demand construction jobs that focus on green energy.

#1: Water Quality Technicians

The lack of clean water supplies for cities, such as Flint, MI, is a hot topic across the country. Because of this, cities & construction companies are looking for water quality technicians who can ensure resource stability for new developments.

With an Associates Degree, water quality technicians are very knowledgeable and receive an average of $60,000 per year for their services. If you have a passion for construction as well as environmental sustainability, this might be the perfect job for you.

#2: Solar Panel Technicians

Solar panels are becoming increasingly affordable and are straight-forward to install as well. This means that companies who want to do their part to save the planet should include them in their construction plans.

Solar panels have been installed at over 7,000 sites across the country, and construction companies need more solar panel technicians if they want to keep up with the demand. Wages differ from state to state, but the average solar panel technician in California takes home a staggering $84,000 per year. Do you have what it takes to become one?

#3: Green Designers and Architects

Companies aren’t just looking for skilled technicians to work at the job site, they’re also looking for green architects and designers to plan and execute these environmental systems. Of all green construction jobs, green designers and architects are probably the most in demand, as sustainable building designs make up the majority of construction projects today.

Designers and architects are paid accordingly, with the average individual making over $70,000 a year. This is a highly technical field, however, and companies expect a bachelors degree or more from potential designer candidates.

CREED LA fights to ensure that developers pay fair wages to all the hard-working construction professionals throughout the industry while simultaneously providing them with quality health care, continued training, and trustworthy retirement plans. To learn more about how our non-profit organization supports those building a better, greener world for us all, contact CREED LA online or at (877) 810-7473.

How Green Engineering Is Reshaping the Construction Industry

February 5th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

The construction industry is going through a profound transformation as the world becomes more aware of the importance of sustainability. Concepts like green engineering are gaining popularity whereas old practices that harm the environment are fading away. The result is the rise of a new generation of buildings that are economically viable, environmentally friendly, and energy-efficient.

What is Green Engineering?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines green engineering as “the design, commercialization, and use of processes and products in a way that reduces pollution, promotes sustainability, and minimizes risk to human health and the environment without sacrificing economic viability and efficiency.”

Green engineering is not a new technology but it is a mindset shift. Not so long ago, construction companies used to build without worrying about CO2 emissions or water management. They would do anything to maximize their profits regardless of the consequences for the environment.

Fortunately, the times are changing.

Environmentally-Friendly Buildings

In this very interesting article, BBC talked to people who are contributing to building a greener future. One of them is Scott Moran, senior director of exhibits and architecture at California Academy of Sciences.

Scott has helped design the building’s green systems over the past 15 years. Some of the features include a living room with nearly 1.7 million plants, insects, and birds; solar panels; hydroelectric power generation; and automatic skylights. “Buildings need to be designed and used in a way to save as much energy and water as possible”, he says.

Buildings like the California Academy of Sciences are expected to become more popular in the near future. According to the International Labor Organization, environmentally-friendly buildings will generate more than 6.5 million jobs by 2030.

If you want to help build a greener future, we can work together!

CREED LA fights to ensure that developers pay fair wages to all the hard-working construction professionals throughout the industry while simultaneously providing them with quality health care, continued training, and trustworthy retirement plans. To learn more about how our non-profit organization supports those building a better, greener world for us all, contact CREED LA online or at (877) 810-7473.

How To Revitalize Communities Without Gentrification

January 12th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Cities are always looking to improve their neighborhoods for the better. But what is better for developers and the upper middle class isn’t always what’s best for the community as a whole. With so much controversy surrounding these changes, the question arises: is it possible to revitalize neighborhoods without gentrification?

What is Gentrification?

To answer this, first we must look at the definition of gentrification itself. Urban studies refer to gentrification as “the process of renovation of a deteriorated area, generally associated with an influx of affluent residents.” As a city builds and improves on a neighborhood with intent to transform it from “low value” to “high value”, wealthier residents move in, the cost of living increases, and this creates a cycle. However, while this change may seem outwardly beneficial (reduced crime rates, quality of living improvements, improved economic status), it can actually displace longtime residents and businesses as the costs of rent, taxes, and mortgages in the area increase.

Is It Possible to Revitalize Without Gentrification?

If one of the main issues with gentrification is that it displaces the current population of a neighborhood in favor of wealthier inhabitants, then one answer is to build a seven step place-based economy. The seven steps include attention to place, ownership, multipliers, collaboration, inclusion, workforce, and system. Economic growth and entities can be designed to benefit the communities and neighborhoods in which change is taking place. Developing and improving the local assets of a neighborhood can ensure that wealth stays local. In many cases, residents of these neighborhoods do want the area to be cleaner and safer, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they want it to be hip or trendy. Sometimes “flipping” a neighborhood isn’t the answer: gradual, sustained, and smaller-scale improvement is.

Any kind of change is going to have an effect on the neighborhood and community. It’s the responsibility of the people making the changes to ensure that the community can thrive and succeed during and after the changes are implemented.

CREED LA fights to ensure that developers pay fair wages to all the hard working construction professionals throughout the industry while simultaneously providing them with quality health care, continued training, and trustworthy retirement plans. To learn more about how our non-profit organization supports those building a better, greener world for us all, contact CREED LA online or at (877) 810-7473.

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