Jun 13 2010
One of the most pleasurable parts of being an adviser to contractors is visiting with the field workers. Not only do they tell it like it is, they are ground zero for the industry. They’re in it for both a living and a lifestyle.
I had an interesting conversation with a field guy the other day. My gym decided it was time for a “freshen up”. New paint, TVs, ceiling tiles, lights, etc. The gym would be closed for 9 days while the work took place starting at 10:00 PM on a Friday night. Naturally, the contractors were allowed to start prepping Friday morning.
As I walked into the locker room, I ran right into the scaffold a drywaller was working on. He looked familiar and sure enough we had met a couple of years earlier on a large prison project. I asked him how things were going for his company – an outstanding union drywall sub that is well run.
He proceeded to tell me that when we last saw each other the company was keeping 225 field guys busy. Last fall (2009) they were down to the 18 senior foremen. Those 18 guys were the only field workers at the company. He felt fortunate to have remained fully employed the entire way. The company had since crept back up to about 25 field guys. Remember this is a very well run company, that enjoys a great reputation among GCs, that can perform both new construction and tenant renovation. Their work load had slipped 90%!
This is not a doom and gloom blog. Things are turning around. Just thought you might appreciate reading about the depth of destruction this recession has had on our industry. Even the best run companies took a huge hit and the impact was felt nowhere harder than on the front line.
Hope your world is considerably brighter than this company’s.
Ron & Guy