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On the Shoulders of Giants

BY JEANIE J. CLAPP, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, CONSTRUCTOR MAGAZINE

“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Having a physics student for a son, I hear this phrase, coined by Sir Isaac Newton, every now and again.

The famed mathematician coined this phrase, recognizing that his accomplishments were only made possible by building on the achievements or work done previously by others. In other words, he didn’t start from scratch. He picked up where others left off and went on to perform groundbreaking scientific discoveries, thanks in part to those who preceded him.

Similarly, I hope, in this workforce development issue, you’ll find some great takeaways — ideas, tactics, and best practices — from others in the industry who have made great strides in recruitment and retention, which will allow you to stand on their shoulders and continue building on their great work.

Our cover story, “Coaching Up the Next Generation,” demonstrates the critical roles AGC members and chapters are playing in the industry’s workforce development efforts, including, but not limited to, youth apprenticeship programs and grant initiatives, both of which provide young people with the opportunity of an easier pathway to construction as a career.

CEO Steve Sandherr’s column on page 11 provides details on AGC’s inaugural National Construction Industry Workforce Summit, scheduled for October 13 in St. Louis. This event will be a gathering place for construction professionals and educators alike to address the challenges facing the industry today and develop new and innovative ideas to combat them.

Construction is Essential,” on page 12, discusses the digital recruitment campaign AGC launched earlier this year and details how the pilot program highlights the essential work of the industry — especially during the pandemic — and modernizes outreach efforts in the workforce development area.

Once you’re done reading this issue cover to cover, visit www.constructormagazine.com, where we continue the workforce development conversation in “With Opportunity Comes Hope,” a story about a nonprofit dedicated to training low-income people for rewarding careers in the construction industry.

The efforts made by AGC of America, its members and chapters are there for you to build upon. Whether you’re a CEO, a superintendent, a craft worker or any other team player in construction, you can participate in the industry’s workforce development efforts, by initiating a program at your firm, mentoring a co-worker or simply talking up your rewarding career to others.

Until next time, may you continue to stand on the shoulders of giants and in turn develop shoulders for others to stand on.

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