Construction companies can hardly get enough workers to fill vacant positions that continue to arise as the economy expands. This article will help you understand the positions that are in the highest demand and why there is a general rise in demand for construction workers. Read on to discover how you can take advantage of the rising demand for construction workers.
Why Construction Workers Are in High Demand Right Now?
There is a general rise in the demand for construction workers across the country. Unlike other areas where the number of applicants exceeds the slots advertised, construction companies are struggling to fill their vacancies. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, Inc., there was an increase in construction employment in 31 states in July and August. However, even with the increase in the number of workers seeking employment, construction companies did not get enough workforce. Faced with this reality, the construction industry has sought to understand where most employers are unable to get enough workers. Here are some factors that are fueling the high demand for construction workers:
Federal Infrastructure Funding
In November 2021, Congress approved $1 trillion worth of Infrastructure Investment and the Jobs Act. This approval paved the way for the expansion and upgrading of major infrastructures in the country. The funding meant that thousands of road, railroad, bridges, airports, power lines, and sewer projects were up for grabs by construction companies. As the construction season began, companies that had won the construction bids began to search for qualified persons to fill the numerous job opportunities. However, the number of workers available to fill these positions is way below the demand.
An Aging Workforce
About a fifth of construction workers in managerial positions are due for retirement. However, there are hardly enough young workers to replace the aging workforce. The challenges in the construction industry began during the 2008 recession when thousands of workers left the industry and never came back after the stabilization of the industry.
Inadequate Investment in Training
Few construction companies have invested in the training of their workforce. As a result, the construction industry has become less appealing to young professionals who want to grow their careers in the industry. Further, industry players have also failed to offer internships and career guidance to students preparing to select their future careers.
A Construction Boom
The pandemic brought many challenges to most industries. However, it had a silver lining for the construction industry. With most people spending time at their homes due to movement restrictions and lockdowns, they discovered areas that need improvement. As the country opened up, home makeovers and repair jobs were advertised amidst a growing shortage of construction workers.
Construction Jobs Can Be Fruitful
Working in the construction industry can be more fulfilling and fruitful than other jobs. Here are some reasons why you should consider working in the construction industry:
- Construction jobs provide what most people yearn for when they seek employment. The demand for workers makes it easier for you to demand better working conditions and benefits.
- There are numerous growth opportunities in the industry. You can join the industry at entry levels and move up the career ladder with time.
- You have an opportunity to make people appreciate your skills. Constructing facilities, such as schools and hospitals makes you proud of taking part in building the nation.
- The construction industry fosters collaboration meaning team members have coworkers they can count on when needed.
Construction Jobs That are in High Demand
Learning the construction jobs that are in high demand can help you position yourself for future employment if you are a student. If you have already acquired the required skills, you will also learn whether your area of practice is in high demand. Here are some positions that are highly demanded by employers:
Skilled Trades Roles
Roles in the trades are in high demand. Employers can hardly find enough plumbing and sheet metal installers. If you possess the necessary craftsman skills, it will not be difficult to secure a job in this area. You can also train and get employed after qualification. The good thing is that you can start as a construction laborer or help and start earning between $16 – $18 an hour..
Construction companies are also finding it hard to fill their managerial positions. With an aging workforce, young professionals willing to take managerial positions in the construction industry have never had a greater opportunity. Luckily, the workers can move up the ladder and reach their dream position with time. However, aspiring managers must get the required academic qualifications.
While the craftsmen and managerial roles have the highest demand, you will not struggle to get employment regardless of your area of expertise. Whether you are an electrician, equipment operator, accountant, or project manager, there are thousands of jobs being advertised daily.
Are you Looking for Construction Employment? Contact Us
While jobs in the construction industry are in high demand, you may still encounter challenges matching your skills with the right employer. At RK Industries, we can help you match your skills with employers. We help you understand what employers are looking for and what to look for in a good employer. Contact us today to learn more about construction jobs that are in high demand and how to make your skills attractive to employers.
Water issues are a nightmare for property managers, commercial and apartment building owners, and business owners. Whether a fire or potable water line bursts at 2 AM, sanitary lines back up, causing flooding or tenants report foul smells from a broken sanitary line, water and sewer issues are never fun. Property managers and building owners often do not know what is happening underground and their first call is to Denver Water or a fire protection company. Though the water company may be able to diagnose the problem, they typically call in the experts to manage the excavation work – your friends at RK Service!
When should I call an excavation service?
You know you have an issue when the warning signs mentioned above happen at your property. Sensors are often triggered when there are issues in the water and fire pipes in your building’s systems. However, those sensors may not accurately indicate what is happening underground. It is a good idea to contact the water utility company or the fire protection company first to shut down the mains and ensure the protection of the surrounding environment. Next, find an excavation and plumbing service provider to resolve the issue.
How do I choose an excavation and plumbing service provider?
The number one thing to look for when choosing an excavation and plumbing service provider is proper licensing, processes and protocols. Denver is the most difficult city in Colorado to get licensed in excavation services. Service providers must have all the appropriate licenses, especially the Right-of-Way and Supervisors licenses, to correct the damage. When choosing an excavation service, make sure they have the following licenses:
● Right-of-Way license
● Drain Layer and Sewer Line license
● Underground Fire license
● Supervisor licenses, including Tapping License and Water Services license
● Plumbing license
In addition, watch out for excavating companies that don’t pull the appropriate permits. Excavating without the correct permits and licenses is illegal and may result in a drawn-out resolution for the issue. Further, your business will be at risk of a lien if you do not choose an excavation company that is licensed, insured and has taken the time to pull the correct permits.
With dozens of excavation companies in Denver, you need to know how to choose the best one for your project that can complete all aspects of the work. In addition to appropriate licensing, property owners should look for the following:
- Experience – You want an excavation contractor with years of experience, successful projects and references you can contact.
- Insurance – A Denver excavation company must be insured and understand the responsibility for their work and others on the job site.
- Pricing – Find a competitively priced company that will deliver the quality you need when you need the job done. Choosing the lowest price isn’t always the best option. A successful project, free of issues, is always better than discovering problems caused by the lowest-priced contractor available.
- Responsiveness – As a building owner, you want to resolve the issue as quickly as possible for the comfort and safety of your tenants. Find a service provider that offers 24/7 service and a quick response time. The gold standard response time is within a two-hour window, so if the service provider says they’ll send someone out “tomorrow,” call another provider.
Pipes are fixed. Now what?
Make sure your excavation company cleans up after their work. Did you know the property or building owner is fully responsible for the quality of the excavation provided? For example, when streets are not correctly patched after excavating, the city will often redo the streets and bill the property owner directly. The invoices are typically a more considerable dollar amount than what a professional and expert excavation company would charge. It is important to choose an excavation and plumbing service that will fix the problem and restore the property to its original condition. You should expect a superior customer service experience from your provider and have your property looking as good as new, or better, once the work is complete.
If you have a water crisis that requires excavation and plumbing services, RK Service has the knowledge, licensing and expertise to start digging under emergency circumstances. The team can help you navigate the process with our excellent customer support. For information on RK Service and our emergency 24/7 response time, visit rkservice.com.
Construction has always been an essential force behind a growing economy and is vital to a city’s growth and infrastructure. Labor shortages, however, have impacted the industry with many trade-skilled men and women retiring. To combat the issue, construction companies, community colleges, and high school career and technical education programs are partnering to introduce career options in construction and other skilled trade careers to a new generation. Apprenticeships provide an opportunity for construction companies to train and develop their workforce. Apprentices can learn a trade while working under the supervision of a journeyman-level expert, receiving real-world and hands-on developmental opportunities.
Importance of Apprenticeship Programs
With the future of the workforce ever-changing, companies and local governments are looking to apprenticeship programs to provide participants with the opportunity to learn trade skills while continuing to make a paycheck. Apprenticeship programs have long been used in the construction industry, but as the needs of the workforce change, apprenticeship programs are evolving to meet the needs of a variety of industries.
For young people looking for an alternative to traditional college, apprenticeship programs offer the opportunity to learn valuable job skills while earning a living. With the cost of college continuing to rise, apprenticeship programs provide an attractive debt-free option for many students. For those already in the workforce, apprenticeship programs offer a way to learn new skills and advance their career. As companies and governments evaluate the future of the workforce, apprenticeship programs will play an increasingly important role in providing workers with the skills they need to succeed.
Building the Future Workforce in Construction
Apprenticeship programs in the construction industry are seeing an increase in popularity, as more companies and local governments partner with schools and organizations to raise awareness about careers in construction and the trades. High schools, colleges, and trade schools are providing students with alternative pathways outside of the four-year college degree, and apprenticeship programs are seen as a way to provide career stability and growth.
Construction is a high-turnover industry, so outreach and retention methods are crucial to keeping workers employed. By providing education around career stability, students can feel confident going into a field that will provide them with the skills and training needed to get the job done and improve their finances for themselves and their families. Apprenticeship programs provide on-the-job training that can give workers the skills they need to be successful in their careers, and companies that offer these programs often have higher retention rates than those that do not.
Workforce Development at RK
RK has a long history of supporting workforce development in the communities it works in. Partnerships with trade schools and most recently, MSU Denver, have opened doors for students to earn a degree in construction management while also learning the hands-on skills necessary to succeed in the industry. Giving people an opportunity to further their careers without going into high debt is something that RK values. Its dedication to workforce development and its apprenticeship program has proven successful, with individuals graduating and pursuing opportunities within RK, further improving the state of the industry.
Grants for the Construction Industry
RK and its 501 (c)(3) organization, RK Foundation, support community organizations, providing grants to help bridge gaps in trade education. Donations to institutions like MSU Denver and The Master’s Apprentice help improve educational programming in construction, making it an attractive and viable career. It also helps fulfill the demand for workers in the skilled trades.
Visit the Department of Labor’s website to learn more about apprenticeship opportunities in construction and other industries. You can also find information about RK’s commitment to workforce development at rkindustries.com/careers/apprenticeship-program/.
Written by Ileana Morales
Apprenticeship act aims to build construction careers, RED, accessed September 19, 2022
Apprenticeship Week in the Construction Industry, DigiBuild, accessed September 19, 2022
Construction Apprenticeships: Building the Workforce of Tomorrow, ConstructConnect, accessed September 19, 2022
Every year, suicide rates in the United States climb higher and higher. On average, there are 133 suicides per day and according to a study by the CDC, over 47,000 people in the United States died by suicide each year.
If we drill down specifically to the construction industry, the problem is even more pronounced. A recent study in January 2020 found that the rate of suicides in construction is the second highest in the country, at approximately 5,500 suicides each year. For every 100,000 construction workers, over 45 will end up committing suicide. This is compared to the national average of over 14, which means that a person working in construction is 3.5 times more likely to take their own life. In fact, construction workers are more likely to die by suicide than from any other cause of death except accidents on the job.
So why are suicides so prevalent in the construction industry? And what can companies do to provide a safe environment for their employees? Let’s take a closer look at mental health awareness in the construction industry and some of the factors that contribute to the high suicide rate.
Factors that contribute to the high suicide rate in the construction industry
Construction work can be incredibly demanding, both mentally and physically. Long hours, tight deadlines, and exposure to dangerous working conditions can all take a toll on a person’s mental health. What’s more, construction workers are often reluctant to seek help for fear of being seen as weak or unable to handle the job. As a result, mental health issues often go unaddressed until they reach a crisis point.
There are several other factors that contribute to the high suicide rate in the construction industry. For instance, employees who are dissatisfied with their jobs are more likely to experience negative mental health outcomes. Because of the nature of the work, many construction workers feel like they don’t have much control over their lives or their working conditions. This lack of control can lead to feelings of helplessness and despair.
In addition to these workplace-related factors, some personal factors can contribute to an increased risk of suicide. For example, alcohol abuse is common among construction workers and has been linked to suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Other risk factors include a history of depression or other mental illness, physical illness, financial stressors, relationship problems and a family history of mental illness or suicide.
Steps to manage and prevent suicide in the workplace
While the reasons for suicide can be complex, there are steps that companies can take to help manage and prevent suicide in the workplace. First, companies need to learn about the warning signs of suicide. These can include changes in mood, withdrawal from social activities, talking about wanting to die and giving away personal belongings. If an employee shows any of these signs, it’s important to create an open and safe environment where they feel comfortable discussing their problems, while also encouraging them to seek professional help.
It’s also important to provide easy access to resources for employees and to create safety guides for dealing with mental health, including actions to take if someone appears to be in danger of harming themselves. By taking these steps, companies can create a culture of safety and support that can help reduce the incidence of suicide in the construction industry.
Creating a safe work environment
Companies can create a safe environment for employees by promoting open communication about mental health struggles, providing access to resources and professional help when needed, and encouraging employees to lean on each other for support without shame or judgment. By raising awareness and taking measures to prevent suicides, we can save lives in the construction industry.
Investing in employee mental health
RK values its employees and understands the importance of creating a work environment that is safe, physically and mentally. Safety is the number one core value at RK and mental health awareness is a big part of the culture whether you are on a jobsite or in the office. We encourage employees to check in with their teammates to let them know you care about their well-being and provide training to help them better understand when to seek help for themselves or their teammates.
Mental health and suicide prevention resources
For information on our Employee Assistance Program, you can call 1.800.327.1850 or visit guidanceresources.com. This is available 24/7 for confidential support.
Text “Hello” to 741741
988 OR 1.800.273.8255 (English)
1.800.273.8255 (Deaf and Hard of Hearing)
Written by Ileana Morales
PFAS, also known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are thousands of chemicals belonging to a single chemical class. PFAS contaminants are found in drinking water as a result of industrial releases and the use of firefighting foam. However, PFAS may also be used in a wide range of products, from food packaging to stain-resistant furniture, and our exposure comes from multiple sources and routes. PFAS does not break down in the environment and moves through soil to drinking water, which is why many scientists refer to them as “forever chemicals.”
What products contain PFAS?
Everyday products may be made with PFAS compounds, such as:
• Clothing like raincoats, yoga pants, shoes and accessories
• Paper packaging, including microwave popcorn bags and takeout packaging
• Stain-resistant carpets, rugs and furniture
• Non-stick cookware
• Firefighting foams and ski wax
Exposure to PFAS is virtually everywhere, from food, air and water, resulting from manufacturing releases and use of PFAS-containing products. Fortunately, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been taking active steps to update drinking water health advisories to replace those issued in 2016. The updated advisories indicate that some adverse health effects occur with concentrations of PFAS in water near zero and below the EPA’s ability to detect. Essentially, the lower the level of PFAS chemicals, the lower the risk to public health.
In addition, EPA is encouraging states, drinking water utilities, and community leaders that find PFAS in their drinking water to inform residents, undertake additional monitoring to assess the level, scope, and source of contamination, and examine steps to reduce exposure. Individuals concerned about levels of PFAS in their drinking water should consider actions that may reduce exposure, including installing a home or point-of-use filter.
How to reduce PFAS contamination?
Under the State of Colorado’s guidance, over 100 communities are retesting drinking water to create dilution or treatment plans if PFAS levels are high. The EPA’s drinking water guidance for PFAS was formerly no more than 70 parts per trillion. However, in June 2022, the EPA’s guidance for two forms of PFAS, PFOA and PFOS, was cut to 0.004 parts per trillion and 0.02 parts per trillion, respectively.
While the EPA has only proposed guidelines for PFAS levels in drinking water, states across the country are implementing enforceable drinking water standards and pursuing litigation against manufacturers of PFAS chemicals for contaminating water supplies and other natural resources.
With more data being shared with government entities about PFAS contamination and states adopting more policies to protect their residents, restrictions will get more rigorous to help eliminate PFAS chemicals. Local governments, state governments and businesses need to work together to help protect those in their communities by taking proper action now.
PFAS Chemical Treatment and Disposal
RK Water has the knowledge and expertise to guide your business through treatment selection, system sizing and ongoing operation. As water treatments experts, RK Water will:
• Perform initial PFAS sampling and testing through DOD certified laboratories
• Evaluate the characteristics of the PFAS requiring treatment
• Take into account site-specific conditions, sustainability of the treatment methods, and cost-effectiveness of viable treatment options
• Perform CAPEX vs. OPEX evaluation of competing treatment options
• Design and install temporary or long-term equipment, including treatment media
• Operate and maintain equipment and treatment systems, including media changeouts
• Compliance testing and reporting
• Manage disposal of media
The result is the reliable treatment of PFAS contamination to desired treatment goals. RK Water has you covered with in-house technical expertise. As RK Water is not committed to one proprietary product line, you are ensured that you will receive the best treatment options available in the market and client-focused attention throughout the process.
Learn more about RK Water’s PFAS treatment services.
Written by Ileana Morales
EPA Announces New Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFAS Chemicals, $1 Billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding to Strengthen Health Protections, accessed July 29, 2022, Environmental Protection Agency
Get the Facts: PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), accessed July 29, 2022, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families
South Adams County water district is buying Denver’s water to dilute “forever chemicals,” accessed July 29, 2022, The Colorado Sun
Employers in the construction industry have their way of assessing employees to get the right candidate for employment. Equally, employees can evaluate prospective employers before taking a job. Choosing the right employer enhances your job satisfaction and reduces turnover. Here, we examine the qualities of good prospective employers to help you make informed decisions when looking for a job.
There is a general demand for a work-life balance cutting across all industries. Workers are now, more than ever, concerned about getting a perfect integration between work and personal life. Construction workers should consider working for companies that offer flexible working hours or schedules that provide a work-life balance. The potential employer should have innovative approaches to working hours rather than the conventional construction industry working hours.
While the work environment may not meet all your demands, it should allow you to earn a consistent wage and still have time for other activities in your life.
Consistent Payment Frequency
The company you want to work for should have a consistent and preferably a weekly payment plan. When you get a company that pays weekly wages, you join the over 70% of construction workers who prefer a weekly payment frequency. In the weekly payment plan, you receive a paycheck every Thursday or Friday.
This payment frequency allows you to plan your expenditures and savings to meet your short and long-term goals. A weekly payment plan also allows you to receive prompt overtime payments and get the motivation to offer your best.
Other than the consistency of the payments, the potential employer should offer competitive wages. A good starting point is to check the average weekly wage for construction workers in your region. In Colorado, the average weekly pay for construction workers is $617, while in New Mexico and Utah, the average weekly wage is $631. It is better to work for a construction company that pays above the average weekly wage.
Potential for Overtime Opportunities
Besides the weekly wage, a good construction company will provide the opportunity for overtime. Overtime compensates you for hours worked beyond the stipulated working hours. The contract should specify the hourly rates and overtime rates. In most cases, overtime rates are higher than the hourly rates. Understanding the hourly rates allows you to estimate your total weekly wage.
Further, look for a company that pays you during your off days. When you get paid during your off days, you have time with your family and friends without compromising your weekly earnings. Off days also help reduce the risk of burnout and other mental health issues common in the construction industry. Your prospective employer should also provide monetary and non-monetary incentives like bonuses and opportunities for growth.
Tenured and Knowledgeable Trainers
Most construction workers want an employer that will help them improve their skills. When looking for a new employer, you should check their policy on employee training and the knowledge of the trainers. Receiving frequent training helps in;
Frequent training sessions help improve your skills and expand your knowledge in the field. The training opens doors for new opportunities and career advancement. Moreover, the training helps you equip yourself with current standards of operations and technology in the construction industry. Lack of training opportunities increases employees’ risk of obsolescence and redundancy.
Training helps improve your confidence to take more challenging roles and increases the chances of promotion.
Better Job Satisfaction
Training enhances your interpersonal skills, which leads to job satisfaction. Learning how to resolve conflicts, for instance, helps you to improve the relationship between you and your colleagues.
Although most employers do not pay relocation compensation for newly employed workers, you can still get one that pays. Employers who pay relocation allowances to new employees do so to attract talent. If you get an opportunity to work for such a company, you could have a high chance of advancing your career as the employer values your talent.
Good Online Reviews
Through platforms like online directories, Google listings, and social media sites, former and current employees provide reviews about their employers. The online reviews aid in making informed decisions on whether to send a job application or not.
Employee safety is an essential element of the construction industry. When looking for an employer, your safety should be a priority. The prospective employer should provide safe working conditions and install sound measures to mitigate the risks of accidents. Reading your employer’s safety policy offers insight into the general working condition. A safe working environment also reduces the risk of mental health issues like suicide in the construction industry.
Want to Assess a Prospective Employer? Contact Us
RK understands your desire to work for an employer who will give you a work-life balance, safe working environment, competitive wages, and training opportunities. If you are looking for a career with a company that provides all of this and more, consider applying for a job with RK!
Steel is the backbone of innovation and economic growth for most of this country’s infrastructure. Beginning in the 19th century, technological advances started making the production of steel cheaper while also improving the quality of the product, helping fuel the growth of American cities, railroads, bridges, and factories. With technological advances making it stronger and even lighter, steel is necessary to build future infrastructure.
Steel is a common and important building material because of the benefits it adds to a structure. It offers high strength durability, performance, flexibility, reduced weight, configuration adaptability and safety. It is also sustainable and cost-effective.
Benefits of Steel in Construction
Steel has not changed much since the 19th century. The reliability of the product is what makes it essential to construction. Steel is known for its strength, durability and efficiency because it can handle the wear and tear of outdoor environments. In addition, structures made from steel have longevity and require little maintenance. Another benefit of steel is that it does not need excessive space to support a structure, allowing for slender columns and better space usage.
Computer machinery has also made an impact on efficiencies in the steel industry. Prefabricated steel sections can be quickly produced in off-site fabrication shops, providing dimensional accuracy and ensuring that the steel used is the right size and density.
Steel can be shaped, cut and molded to fit different designs, making its versatility vital for all types of construction. In addition, it is one of the most sustainable construction materials due to its ability to be reused and recycled without experiencing any downgrade. Steel reduces the usage of nonrenewable minerals and does not require excessive energy or the use of harmful products. The recycling of automobiles, refrigerators and toasters, to name a few, has allowed steel to increase its overall strength and toughness, providing better resistance to heavy loads. The elements found in these products can include copper, titanium, nickel, chromium and manganese. When combined, it produces alloy steel, resulting in highly resistant properties against corrosion.
Test of Time
Steel can be installed anytime, regardless of the weather, which means projects can remain on schedule. In addition, the prefabrication of steel allows for dimensional accuracy, easy installations and efficiencies in reducing construction waste.
In addition, it is easier to modify steel buildings to accommodate new applications and vertical expansions. Engineers can effortlessly strengthen existing beams or add to existing steel-framed structures. Steel modifications can be done without the need to vacate premises, making steel construction ideal because it reduces costs and allows business to continue as usual.
RK Steel is the heart of many of RK’s construction projects. RK’s foundational knowledge in construction paired with RK Steel’s expertise in fabricating and installing structural steel, custom steel, metal products and miscellaneous metals, results in best-in-class projects.
Written by Ileana Morales
How Steel Can Improve Sustainability in Construction, accessed May 10, 2022, Nearby Engineers
Made in America: The Past, Present, and Future of the Steel Industry, accessed May 10, 2022, Boyd Metals
Pros and Cons of Using Steel in Construction Projects, accessed May 10, 2022, BuilderSpace.com
What is Safety Week?
Construction Safety Week started in 2014 with 40 national and global construction firms from the Construction Industry Safety Initiative (CISI) group and the Incident and Injury Free (IIF) CEO Forum. The goal is to inspire everyone in the industry to be leaders in safety by sticking to the following guidelines:
• Thank workers for supporting safety and recognizing their efforts to be injury-free
• Increase awareness of the importance of being committed to safety, every day
• Encourage everyone to share best practices and to work together to strengthen the industry’s safety culture
• Conduct onsite safety awareness activities to support education
Safety Week aims to strengthen the industry’s safety culture and performance by sharing best practices, tools and resources.
Connected. Supported. Safe.
This year, the Construction Safety Week forum theme is “Connected. Supported. Safe.” Being connected gives workers a collective sense of strength because they are building a stronger, more robust, safer industry together. Supported means fellow colleagues are helping each other stay present and focused on the job, regardless of the role or workplace setting. It means the industry as a whole is equipped with the resources and support they need to work safely every day. Safety is a priority and obligation for all frontline workers. It is a shared responsibility to look after the well-being and safety of everyone on every jobsite, which empowers everyone to do their best work and return home safely every day.
Fall Protection: A Top Priority
The OSHA National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction will also be held during this same week, raising fall hazard awareness across the country to stop fall fatalities and injuries. Falls are the top cause of construction fatalities and account for one-third of on-the-job injury deaths in the industry. Each year in the U.S., more than 200 construction workers are killed, and over 10,000 are seriously injured by falls.
RK and HSE Department Promote Safety Week
RK, under the direction of the HSE Department, is participating in Construction Safety Week by focusing on fall prevention and onsite safety across all business units. The goal of this week is to build up awareness to prevent fall injuries from roofs, ladders and leading edges by
encouraging every RK employee to:
• PLAN ahead to get the job done safely.
• UTILIZE safety resources when planning.
• PROVIDE the right equipment.
• TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely.
Construction Safety Week allows the industry to reengage workers to remember the importance of safety. Each year there is a theme or specific topic, however, safety must be practiced everyday. The Focus Four are four leading hazards in the construction industry: falls, caught in or between, struck by, or electrocution. Being trained and recognizing these hazards can help prevent work-related accidents and possible fatalities.
RK’s number one core value is safety and empowers employees to take responsibility for their safety and for those working alongside them. The company’s number one priority is always ZERO injuries.
RK is proud to be accredited as an OSHA VPP Star Worksite and OSHA VPP Star Mobile Workforce, ranking in the 0.03% of U.S. companies with VPP certification at any level and as the 53rd U.S. company to earn Star Mobile Workforce status.
Written by Ileana Morales
Connected.Supported.Safe., accessed April 28, 2022, Construction Safety Week
Construction Focus Four Training, accessed April 28, 2022, OSHA
National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, accessed April 28, 2022, OSHA
Voluntary Protection Programs, accessed April 28, 2022, OSHA
Why is corporate philanthropy important?
Businesses of all sizes and industries can impact the communities surrounding them by having corporate philanthropy programs. These are investments and activities that a company voluntarily gets involved with to account for its social impact, including financial investments, product donations, in-kind services, and volunteerism.
The impacts that philanthropy offers a company, its employees, and society are invaluable. For local organizations, grants, financial support and volunteer hours can help provide supplies, resources and manpower that otherwise would go unfunded. These benefits can help strengthen the community with more opportunities for residents and boost the local economy.
Employee morale and recruitment efforts can also be bolstered through a company’s philanthropic programs. When a company shows that it cares about the community and emphasizes a sense of giving, employees and job seekers can feel that they are or can be part of something bigger beyond the typical scope of work. People are also passionate about serving others, and some companies even offer employee funds that provide monetary funding to colleagues who are going through unforeseen financial burdens.
How companies can get involved
Consequently, when a company has philanthropic programs and is well established, the local community, clients and potential customers can have a positive perception of the company. This positive image encourages community members to utilize the company’s services over a competitor who is not as involved with the community and helping others.
Examples of how small-to-mid-sized business support their communities:
- Give to local charities: 66%
- Support youth organizations: 48%
- Donate to local first responders: 42%
- Aid local service groups (Rotary Club, Scouts, etc.): 37%
- Donate food or volunteer in soup kitchens: 32%
Regardless of the size of a company, businesses can incorporate giving and philanthropy through several different options.
Community Grants: Surrounding community organizations can apply to a company with a community grant program explaining how the grant would support their mission, or the company itself initiates community grants.
Volunteer time off: Volunteer time off is employer-sponsored paid time off to do volunteer work, allowing employees to take a day away from work to contribute to non-profit efforts.
Matching gifts: Companies with matching gift initiatives match the employee’s dollar amount of funds to eligible charities and non-profits.
RK Industries (RK) is the parent company of seven wholly-owned subsidiaries focused on construction, manufacturing, fabrication and building services. It operates four manufacturing and fabrication facilities in the greater Denver area and has helped construct some of the most prominent buildings shaping the Denver skyline. For close to 60 years, RK has had the privilege of supporting numerous nonprofits and charities that improve the quality of life in the community and the quality of life for its employees. Today, RK continues its proud tradition of philanthropy through the RK Foundation and RK Cares.
Established in 2011, the RK Foundation allocates grant funding and supports employee volunteer hours to local nonprofits and causes that align with our three focus areas: community development, education, and health. The RK Foundation is funded by recycling all of the scrap metal produced at RK’s four shop facilities, construction projects, and service sites. All proceeds are directed to the RK Foundation, supporting community organizations in a unique and sustainable funding model.
Community Development: RK believes in the power of individuals, groups, and businesses working together to strengthen the communities in which its employees and clients live and work. It seeks to support organizations that innovate and generate tangible solutions to issues affecting communities in the Rocky Mountain region.
Education: Quality education systems are the foundation for successful businesses and communities and are a key driver of disrupting so many families’ poverty cycles. We have a strong connection to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and a passion for developing career technical education and pathways for the skilled trades. Our purpose is to invest in various educational pathways that allow a diverse workforce to flourish. We respect and admire 501(c)(3)s that are relentless in their pursuit of delivering better quality solutions.
Health: Healthy stakeholders and communities are a priority and a driving force behind our giving. RK supports health initiatives in the local communities and focuses on employee wellness, physically and mentally. RK places special emphasis on funding mental health awareness, suicide prevention and men’s health initiatives.
RK Cares serves as RK’s philanthropic and corporate citizenship arm, overseeing employee engagement and community outreach efforts. Throughout the year, RK Cares organizes various volunteer opportunities for RK employees, their families, and friends. Volunteer events include packing food at local food banks, mobile blood drives, making blankets, wrapping holiday presents for kids in need, and assembling care packages for deployed military members, to name a few. RK Cares volunteers regularly log around 400 hours during the group volunteer activities on an annual basis.
In 2019, the RK Cares Foundation was formally established to oversee the new employee hardship fund program, the HERO Fund. The HERO Fund empowers our team to help one another reduce the burden when unexpected emergencies occur. It is an emergency relief fund that is a resource for RK employees and their immediate family members when they experience financial hardships such as medical emergencies, the death of a family member, and loss of housing or transportation due to unexpected circumstances. RK employees donate collectively to support co-workers and their families to help each other recover and rebuild.
RK is proud to support its communities and the health and well-being of its employees. It is a company that understands that helping others is part of its business model. Providing support outside its typical project initiatives is a way for RK to give back and be a helping hand through the power of its financial and employee volunteer resources.
Written by Ileana Morales
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What is Corporate Philanthropy?, accessed April 8, 2022, Selflessly
Over the last few years, the construction industry has seen an increase in female employees in the field and the office. Men have typically dominated the industry. However, women are breaking down barriers and finding ways to close the gender gap.
The industry offers many opportunities for women. From working on a jobsite or in a shop, to supervising staff, leading departments, or running their own construction companies, women are essential contributors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the construction industry will add about 400,000 new jobs from 2020-2030, which will allow for growth and advancement for anyone seeking a career in the industry.
Despite the vast opportunities the construction industry offers, many companies worry about the ongoing labor shortage issues. Many people on the field are reaching retirement age, and there’s a deficit of young skilled workers ready to take their place. In addition, construction firms compete with other rising industries like healthcare, technology and engineering for younger workers. Trade-specific apprenticeship programs are finding creative ways to connect younger generations to career paths outside of the four-year college route and helping K-12 schools promote it with programs like welding and infusing STEM with construction education.
Women can take on any role in the construction industry and hold titles like architect, administrator, or project manager. Whether they’re wearing a hard hat or keeping things running behind the scenes, women bring value to the jobsite and the office with fresh perspectives. However, they are underrepresented in trade and executive positions. Statistics show that just under 87% of women working in construction hold office positions, and only about 2.5% of tradespeople are women. Women also only make up about 14% of staff executive and 7% of line executive positions.
Organizations like Transportation & Construction Girl are taking the lead in reaching young women before their last few years in high school to demonstrate the value they can have in the industry. As the construction industry looks for solutions to the growing workforce shortage problem, recruiting women appears to be one of the most viable and necessary to ensure long-term industry progress.
RK takes pride in fostering an environment that encourages men and women alike to learn from one another and strive for excellence in their craft, whether in the shop, a jobsite or in the office. The future is bright for young men and women looking to pursue a career in construction!
Written by Ileana Morales
How Women in Construction are Breaking Barriers in 2021, accessed March 4, 2022, Buildertrend
Women in Construction, accessed March 4, 2022, New England Institute of Technology
Women in Construction: The State of the Industry in 2022, accessed March 4, 2022, BigRentz, Inc.
How to Adapt to the Skilled Labor Shortage in Construction, accessed March 4, 2022, Propeller Aero