Construction News Tracker Video: Construction Hiring Surge Underway

The construction industry saw 290,000 jobs added to payrolls in 2014, the biggest advance in 9 years; plus more industry news on the January 22, 2015, edition of Construction News Tracker

Industry hiring surge underway...

Michigan posed to bit the bullet on gas tax hike...

And contractors advised to reach out...

That and more on Construction News Tracker brought to you by Caterpillar and produced by

290,000 construction jobs were added to payrolls in 2014., the biggest advance in nine years. With 48,000 new jobs last month alone it helped to lower the unemployment rate to 5.6 percent. Despite the hiring surge we have to keep in mind that just 30 percent of the 2.2 million jobs wiped out during the recession have been recovered. Remaining skeptical, however, is AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson.

The Contractors Business Coach Ron Roberts in a recent article says contractors need to enlarge their circle of trust of others if they wish to succeed in today's climate. Roberts says there are so many areas ranging from equipment maintenance to skills and personalities, finding the right mix of employees is a key requirement to foster close cooperation.

Michigan voters will be asked in May to approve legislation that will generate $1.3 billion for infrastructure and roads in that state. Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed the road bill January 12th. If approved, gasoline and diesel taxes would be identical, and other feeds would be assessed on electric and hybrid vehicles. The entire package of 11 laws would ultimately raise flat per gallon fuel taxes.

Traffic will soon be impacted on a part of the New York State Thruway as cement trucks begin delivering product for the $3.9 billion Tappan Zee Bridge. Floating concrete plants were pulled from the project last month after they malfunctioned causing contractors to revert back to plan b. Rockland, N.Y., is the main area of concern as a 20-foot-high bridge abutment and piers to tie the Hudson River span with the land take shape.

Heavy-duty clothing, massive heaters and plenty of grit is the description of workers on the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. With temperatures approaching 20 below zero at times, the frigid construction site copes as well as it can. Mortenson Construction project boss Dave Mansell says the workers from northern climates can handle the cold better than workers from the south. The company hass massive ground level heaters that burn $5,000 per day in propane, temporary shelters kept at 40 degrees where workers can keep extra clothing and lots of poly sheets to keep out the wind, along with plenty of coffee.

Speaking of coffee, check this out. It's the new Coffeeboxx built for construction sites. It handles K-cup pods, an 84-ounce water tank sealed to keep out dust and debris, crush proof with a 3-fott retractable power cord, hot coffee or water instantly available - who doesn't need that?

National Pavement Expo kicks off in Nashville on the 28th. The paving and pavement maintenance show offers education, equipment demonstrations and networking for paving pros. And the bonus of a Case DV Series roller giveaway should convince you to attend. Register at

Following on its heels is World of Concrete 2015 in Las Vegas. One of the biggest highlights is the producer center, technology for construction, materials handling and other key topics as well as 1,300 exhibitors indoors and out that will give you plenty of opportunity to examine equipment and technologies in one location. is the center of information for the 2015 show February 3-6.

We leave you on this note: now I lay be back to sleep, the speakers dull, the subjects deep. If he should stop before I wake give me a nudge for goodness sake.