‘Go Build’ Campaign to Launch National Website

Competitors participate in the National Craft Championships at the Associated Builders and Contractors’ Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., in 2015.

By most measures, this is an ideal time to be a construction tradesperson. An analysis of government job data by the Associated General Contractors of America reveals that the industry’s unemployment rate of 4.5% is the lowest in 11 years. Conversely, the average hourly wage for construction—$29.06—is up 2.3% from last year and nearly 10% more than the average non-farm, private-sector job.

Nevertheless, the long-simmering shortage of skilled trade labor continues to plague contractors of all sizes, specialties and locations. The third-quarter Commercial Construction Index, produced by USG Corp. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, found that 60% of contractors are having difficulty finding skilled workers. The current pinch, exacerbated in part by hurricane-driven demand in Texas and the Southeast, will only tighten as projected upward trends in commercial and infrastructure construction clash with a rising tide of baby-boomer retirements.

Although construction professionals, educators and associations have warily eyed these trends for some time, many well-intentioned efforts to recruit young people to replenish the job pool have yielded mixed results.

Now, Go Build America, an industry-driven, image-building program set to launch nationally in December, aims to succeed where those other initiatives have fallen short. Based on state-level programs that have helped to boost enrollment in local technical education programs, Go Build hopes to rebrand and promote the entire construction industry via a multiplatform public-relations campaign. It will maximize the use of video-enhanced social media, a lively and information-packed website, ads, grassroots outreach and other carefully crafted elements. The aim is to convey a clear message to targeted audiences.

“We created our own playbook—an aggressive, comprehensive and sustained effort with a look and feel that engages young people and inspires them to explore careers in the construction trades,” says Ryan Dwyer, Go Build America executive director.

And unlike previous programs, extensive data analytics and metrics will play a key role in helping Go Build’s leadership to gauge the effectiveness of the program’s digital tools and messages. Analytics will allow the program to enhance content or placement as needed, quickly and easily.

Dwyer says the fundamental message about construction careers is “all inclusive.” Because the message is not limited to a specific industry segment, “we’re able to present every type of career path, including how easy it is to get training—from colleges, high schools, contractors and associations—then get a job and advance,” he says.

Go Build America has been endorsed by the U.S. Dept. of Labor and the Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT), a labor-management partnership affiliated with the Iron Workers Union. The industry’s leading associations also are on board, with AGC and Associated Builders and Contractors represented on the program’s board of directors.

AGC spokesman Brian Turmail says Go Build’s “many unique and incredibly helpful features” will complement existing efforts “to reverse decades of disinvestments in career and technical education and a cultural mind-set that no longer places much value in high-paying craft careers like construction.”

ABC President and CEO Mike Bellaman adds, “The more stories, the more content [and] the more social media we can get out about our great industry, the better. Go Build will be a great way to make that message more relevant to high school students.”

An Original Approach

While such plaudits have heralded other industry-wide awareness programs, Go Build boasts something that most of those initiatives lacked: a track record.

The Go Build model got its start in 2010 as a construction workforce development program in Alabama. It was led by Bob Woods, a 40-year veteran of construction services for regional energy provider Southern Co. The effort drew on a broad-based collaboration of trade associations, educators and state government to craft a long-term campaign tailored around Alabama’s specific industry needs and demographics.

Using strategic placement of mass media and social media advertisements, complemented by support from local educators and associations, Go Build Alabama continually conveyed positive messages about construction careers while keeping students and others abreast of training and employment opportunities.

Woods, who now serves as Go Build America’s president and CEO, notes that, while the messages had a significant impact, a shortage of technical education programs in Alabama’s two-year colleges posed an early obstacle to turning students’ interest into action.

“We were missing the education components,” Woods says. “We had to convince the colleges that there was a demand for this kind of training.”

The promised demand has since materialized, leading to the addition of more than 120 credentialed training programs and a 24% increase in course enrollments across Alabama. In addition, more than half of those students credit Go Build Alabama for influencing their pursuit of a career in construction, providing what Woods says is “evidence that the strategy is working.”

As support for Go Build Alabama grew, Woods and his team began planting the seeds of the model in other states. “Alabama was a pilot program that we wanted to expand as far as we could to help the industry,” he explains. Go Build Tennessee, established in 2016 and funded via a portion of state contractor licensing fees, garnered 70 million advertising, website and social media impressions in its first year. A Go Build program for California debuted in May.

Although it’s too soon for Tennessee’s Go Build program to make a big impact in the hiring pool, Tommy Burleson, chairman and CEO of Burleson Construction Co., Johnson City, Tenn., says the program contributed to a strong turnout at a construction job fair this year.

“We had more about 5,000 high school students—many of them women—who wanted to learn more about trade careers,” he says. “It’s allowed us to show schools just how much demand there is for this kind of training and what contractors can do to help.”

“You need constant evolution because the internet moves at the speed of light.”

– Ryan Dwyer, Executive Director, Go Build America

Along with carrying the Go Build message to other states, the program’s leadership has streamlined operations, reduced costs and become more vertically oriented ahead of the national rollout. Dwyer says keeping pace with technology has posed the biggest challenge.

“When we started in 2010, there was no Instagram  and Facebook ads were in their infancy,” Dwyer says. Along with tapping into those outlets, Go Build is refreshing a two-year-old website with components and enhancements that will keep it relevant to the coveted millennial workforce.

Adds Dwyer, “You need constant evolution because the internet moves at the speed of light.”

Adding Tools

Besides addressing the construction industry’s long-term workforce outlook, Go Build America hopes to help contractors with their immediate skilled-labor needs via a database for incumbent workers in search of jobs. Similarly, Go Build member organizations can post immediate job openings and regularly receive résumés from people seeking work across the country.

Dwyer says the feature enhances existing online job boards because, like Go Build America’s messaging strategy, users can narrow their interests and searches to specific skill requirements or geographic areas. “It’s not as cumbersome to use as other job-posting sites, making it the shortest path to securing work,” he adds.

What may ultimately make the difference in Go Build America’s efforts to secure a labor pool for the future is sustained support from its partners at the national, state and local levels. Dwyer says he and Woods have been traveling frequently over the past year to build deeper support for the initiative.

Simply highlighting Go Build’s images and high-tech features is not enough. “We are showing these groups that we’re using money in more effective ways,” Dwyer says. “We’re not spending it on something that may or may not be effective, doesn’t evolve and might not last.”

Woods agrees, adding that, in order for Go Build America to redefine the industry, it must first combat negative perceptions that created the current labor crisis. “The problem didn’t develop over a short time,” Woods says, “and it won’t be solved in a short time.”

Builder confidence hits high in November

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose two points to a level of 70 in Nov. on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This was the highest report since March, and the second highest on record since July 2005, the company said.

“November’s builder confidence reading is close to a post-recession high — a strong indicator that the housing market continues to grow steadily,” said NAHB chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. “However, our members still face supply-side constraints, such as lot and labor shortages and ongoing building material price increases.”

“Demand for housing is increasing at a consistent pace, driven by job and economic growth, rising homeownership rates and limited housing inventory,” said NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz. “With these economic fundamentals in place, we should see continued upward movement of the single-family housing market as we close out 2017.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” According to he company, scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

Two out of the three HMI components registered gains in November. The component gauging current sales conditions rose two points to 77 and the index measuring buyer traffic increased two points to 50. Meanwhile, the index charting sales expectations in the next six months dropped a single point to 77.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast jumped five points to 54 and the South rose one point to 69. Both the West and Midwest remained unchanged at 77 and 63, respectively.

Editor’s Note: The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index is strictly the product of NAHB Economics, and is not seen or influenced by any outside party prior to being released to the public.

LATICRETE President and COO Recieves Cesery Award at Total Solutions Plus

Edward Metcalf, President and Chief Operating Officer of LATICRETE and Brian Castro, President of TCAA and President of DTI of Illinois, Inc.

LATICRETE President and Chief Operating Officer Edward Metcalf was recently named the 2017 recipient of the Carl V. Cesery Award. Presented by Tile Contractors’ Association of America President Brian Castro, Metcalf received the bronze medallion at this year’s Total Solutions Plus Gala Industry Dinner in Washington, DC.

Metcalf is the second member of LATICRETE leadership to be awarded the Cesery Award, following LATICRETE founder Henry M. Rothberg who received the award in 1997.

David Allen Company presents 21st Annual Design School Scholarship

Accompanied by College of
Design Dean Hoversten, Robert Roberson (on right), David Allen
Company’s Chairman, presents the 2017-2018 David Allen Company
Scholarship to Architectural Student Jose Tomas Errazuriz

For the past 21 years David Allen Company has awarded a $5,000 scholarship to a gifted and promising architectural student at the North Carolina State University College of Architecture. The Dean of the college makes the selection to either a graduate or an undergraduate student.

Robert Roberson, Chairman, presented the 2017-2018 award to Jose Tomas Errazuriz, who has been identified by the Design School faculty as a promising leader in architecture.

David Allen Company has a long history of promoting the use of tile, marble, granite, natural stone, and terrazzo through its relationship with and support of architectural and design schools. With offices in Raleigh, NC; Washington, DC; Columbia SC; Birmingham, AL, South Florida, and Charlotte, NC, the company is celebrating its 98th year in 2018.


Everything Dal-Tile does to create its unique corporate culture reflects back out toward customers in the form of exceptional products, a higher level of performance, and outstanding customer service.

“Breakfast with the President” is a recurring event where Dal-Tile’s president invites new team members to join him for breakfast in an intimate, small group gathering at the company’s Dallas headquarters.  The event is just one more example of the unique, close-knit fabric of this industry giant.







‘Breakfast with the President’ is an important part of our corporate culture here at the Dal-Tile division of Mohawk Industries,” said John (J.T.) Turner, Jr., president of Dal-Tile Corporation.  “This regular gathering allows me direct interaction with our new team members, giving me the opportunity to reach out, get to know them personally, and begin sharing the excitement inherent in being part of our Dal-Tile team.”


“At this event, I impart our organization’s legacy, ensure new employees are aligned with our company vision, and, most importantly, welcome them into our community,” said Turner.  “I always stress to our new hires that they are now part of a true community — and the Dal-Tile community is an open, welcoming, and diverse community.”





“I tell them that they will gain so much as part of our close-knit and successful community, but I also set the expectation that they should give back to the community,” said Turner.  “When I say ‘give back’, I mean more than just working hard.  Hard work is a given.  What I am talking about is giving more of themselves, going that extra mile, jumping in and enthusiastically contributing more than the average person does.  Those are the kinds of people that currently make up our Dal-Tile team and those are the kinds of people we want to continue adding to our organization, because people like that will ultimately end up giving the most to our customers.”


The 6th Annual Classic Vehicle Calendar Released by NAC

The company that introduced the flooring industry
to ECB® and crack isolation membrane technology, NAC Products, released their
2018 calendar, “Classic Vehicles from the Flooring Industry” at the Total Solutions Plus
event in Washington DC.

The calendar offers a platform for people in the flooring industry to showcase their classic vehicle and share it with the rest of the industry.

The initial calendar was created to help promote NAC’s 30th anniversary in 2013, but has now evolved into
an industry tradition. Whether it is a car, truck, farm tractor, motorcycle, airplane, or boat, people from all over the world have participated, highlighting a wide variety
of classic vehicles.

The calendar also includes the dates of many industry related tradeshows, like the International Surface Event, NAHB/KBIS and Coverings just to name a few.

Past calendars and the featured vehicles can be found on the NAC website.


Crack isolation, sound control, waterproofing and more; membrane systems that
protect your flooring investment, that’s NAC Products.
For more information about NAC, visit www.NACproducts.com or call 800-633-4622.

“This project has grown each year as more and more people are seeing the
calendar and realize they have a vehicle of their own or know someone in the
industry who does,” said Vice-President Operations Brian Petit. “It’s a really cool way
to shine a light on a hobby that is shared by a lot of people in the industry, while also
bringing greater awareness of the NAC brand .”
The overall design of the calendar has changed each year, however, one of the
design highlights of the calendar includes the use of actual state license plate
images representing the year of the car or a plate that was popular at the time or
resembles how the car is currently tagged. A few anecdotes about the car and the
restoration populate the plate image.


Dan Welch, president and CEO of Welch Tile & Marble in Kent City, Mich., was proudly presented with the 2017 Ring of Honor award by the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), earlier this week.

This prestigious award was presented at the Total Solutions Plus conference held in Washington, D.C. on November 4-7. The Ring of Honor award is a lifetime achievement award for a NTCA Contractor or Associate Member, being given to individuals who have impacted the industry through active participation, devotion and support of the mission and objectives of the organization.

Welch was the first person to be obtain Certified Tile Installer (CTI) certification, and the first person to be certified in the Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT). Over 40 of his employees have obtained certification through the CTI program. He supports the NTCA at the executive level, and in helping to oversee training and education programs Welch was previously honored as Tile Person of the Year in 2013. Welch Tile & Marble is a leading commercial and residential tile and stone installation company with over 50 employees.


LATICRETE Rolls Out New Specialist Sales Structure

Sales structure will provide customers with the highest level of service as LATICRETE sees continued growth

Building on more than 60 years of providing customers with unmatched service, LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, is introducing a new sales structure to strengthen its field sales expertise. With the new structure in place, LATICRETE aims to better understand and fulfill its customers’ needs by deploying a nationwide group of sales specialists to support its five core business channels — Tile and Stone Installation Systems, Concrete Construction Chemicals, SPARTACOTE™ Resinous Flooring Systems, STONETECHⓇ Surface Care and Maintenance and Masonry Veneer Installation Systems. Additionally, LATICRETE will increase its sales managers and directors, as well as decrease the size of each territory being overseen to ensure a more intimate experience at every level.

“Business is booming for LATICRETE. As our company continues to grow, our primary goal is to ensure that all business strategies are aligned for long-term success and efficiency,” said Ron Nash, LATICRETE Vice President of Sales North America. “With a focus on assisting end-users and contractors, as well as creating demand for our distribution partners, the new sales structure is designed to incorporate selling teams that are knowledgeable in their fields and provide expert targeted guidance.”

To support the new sales structure, Marcella Prado will take on the role of National Sales Manager for STONETECH and STONE CARE, and Robert Duke will take on the role of National Sales Manager for Masonry Veneer Installation Systems. In both positions, Prado and Duke will be responsible for managing and building a dedicated team of sales specialists in the United States and Canada. Additional promotions include Chris Collins and Jeremiah Johnson who will become Regional Sales Managers and oversee all business channels of LATICRETE in the newly formed “Front Range” and “Gulf Coast” regions. Brett Spencer will direct all selling efforts in the Western United States as the region’s new Director of Sales.

With approximately 1,600 team members worldwide, LATICRETE operates in 100 countries and continues to build upon the legacy and values founded by Dr. Henry M. Rothberg and Lillian Rosenstock Rothberg to ease the work of the installer, improve the durability of buildings and create lasting customer relationships by manufacturing safe, innovative building materials and treating customers, employees and partners like family. Recently, LATICRETE was named the Best Family Business in Connecticut for 2017 by the Hartford Business Journal.

One LATICRETE Tour coming to Atlanta, November 9










One LATICRETE® Tour is a one day, fun and interactive training program specifically developed for LATICRETE distributors, dealers, installers and other professionals interested in LATICRETE products. Training encompasses classroom instruction and hands-on demonstrations by experienced LATICRETE team members. The tour focuses on: SPARTACOTE™ resinous flooring and decorative coatings and MVIS™ (Masonry Veneer Installation Systems). Date: Novemember 9, 2017 Hours: 9:00am – 12pm for SPARTACOTE or 1:00pm – 3:30pm for MVIS. Lunch will be served at 12:00 for those attending either session.

Location: Sheraton Suites Galleria – ATL 2844 Cobb Parkway SE Atlanta, GA 30339 Space is limited! Register here for product education, food, giveaways & fun!

Neolith Announces Fourth Annual International Design Competition

The new edition of the design competition highlights the works of architects, interior designers, builders, remodelers, students, and fabricators.

TheSize, manufacturer of sintered stone brand Neolith, has announced its fourth annual international design competition. This global competition – with three submission categories open now through November 13, 2017 – highlights creativity and innovation of designs incorporating Neolith surfacing by architects, interior designers, builders, remodelers, students, and fabricators.

For each category, a team of industry judges will focus on the proposal’s originality, presentation creativity, technical complexity, variety of Neolith applications, quality before-and-after images, and the degree of environmental sensitivity in the project. Prizes include an all-inclusive trip to a prominent industry tradeshow valued between $1,770 and $5,900.  Winners will be announced on December 20, 2017.

My Neolith Project – Hospitality Spaces





“My Neolith Project” targets design professionals that have recently developed a major hospitality project incorporating Neolith in multiple applications, such as façades, flooring, cladding, kitchens, bathrooms, furniture, swimming pools and more. To be eligible, the project must have been completed between 2013-2017.


Neolith New Talents – Hotel with Neolith Charm and Soul






This year’s “Neolith New Talents” is targeting architecture and interior design students enrolled in at least one class from 2016-2018. Neolith is challenging participants to design a hotel, and its different spaces, including façade, reception and a complete en suite bathroom. To show the versatility of Neolith sintered stone, the product must be integrated in at least two different applications in each room, such as flooring, cladding, exterior façade, furniture, worktops and more.

With no limit on budget or size, projects must have high-design, without compromising functionality or lifestyle. Versatile materials are key, as well as modular furniture and open-and-multi-purpose-spaces.


Top Fabricator of the Year






The Top Fabricator of the Year category recognizes the most meticulous and labor-intensive projects made by fabricators with Neolith slabs.

Projects will be evaluated as “little great works of art” that are technically complicated and require outstanding knowledge, ingenuity and the skills to produce them. To participate, projects must be completed between 2014-2017.

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