Wednesday, May 2 2018
Thrasher: Tariffs Shouldn’t Derail $83.7 Billion Chinese Investment in West Virginia
West Virginia Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher said President Donald Trump’s 25 percent tariff on steel should not derail China Energy’s plan to build $83.7 billion worth of ethane crackers, power plants and related shale natural gas infrastructure.
In November, Thrasher joined Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping in Beijing to sign the memorandum of understanding for the Asian firm to invest in West Virginia’s Marcellus and Utica shale field. Tuesday, Thrasher gave an update on the endeavor while speaking to attendees at the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association conference at Oglebay Park.
“We don’t think those tariffs are going to impact the situation,”  said Thrasher.  “We feel like it’s a fundamentally, really good, win-win situation for both China Energy and our country.”
Upon the China Energy announcement last year, John Deskins, director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at West Virginia University, said the dollar figure is enormous. He said the state’s annual gross domestic product, the total value of all goods and services produced, is about $75 billion. Read More...
Push toward college degrees limits skilled trade workers

Despite softening financial returns on a typical college education, American high school graduates are continually being swayed to pursue four-year degrees in favor of training that could grant them work in some highly-paid, skilled construction trades, according to  The Hechinger Report . Construction training may offer a better chance of success than four-year degrees, the report found. Seventy-percent of construction companies nationwide are having trouble finding qualified workers,  according to the Associated General Contractors of America  — meaning skilled jobs are available. Yet 30% of students at public universities and 20% at private colleges still haven't earned a bachelor's degree six years after high school graduation, according to stats from the  National Student Clearinghouse . In addition, tuition and certification fees for career training programs are typically significantly less than the cost of college, which usually leaves students with hefty loans to repay after graduation. Read More...
More Tenants Coming To The Highlands in Ohio County
National Restaurant Chain and Retailer Among Tenants, Strip Mall Also In the Works

The Ohio County Development Authority moved Tuesday night to begin the process of bringing at least three additional retail businesses to The Highlands.
County Administrator Greg Stewart asked members for permission to  “facilitate the paperwork”  with a national retailer to locate within a 55,000-square-foot building to be built between Cabela’s and Best Buy. It is the policy of the authority to not reveal the names of potential tenants at The Highlands, but to allow the companies to make their own announcements.
The construction of a 6,800-square-foot strip mall also is in the works for The Highlands, said Stewart. This would be near the Quaker Steak and Lube restaurant.
Stewart said at least two potential tenants,  “and hopefully a third”  have committed to the development.
The board also approved a 25-year lease with a  “national restaurant chain”  that will locate on a space in front of Kohl’s. Stewart did not reveal the names of the potential tenants. Read More...
Seven Questions to Ask Before Retiring
Perhaps the greatest challenge for someone approaching retirement is making reliable assumptions about the future. Because a person’s quality of life in retirement will be determined by the quality of his or her long-term financial plan, it is imperative to make prudent and conservative investment choices now. Even a slight miscalculation could cause a plan to fall short of expectations. 
To build the best foundation for retirement, consider these seven questions and answers.
Construction executives sometimes overestimate their future income potential or believe, at the very least, that their income will steadily increase throughout their careers. Unfortunately, the construction industry is frequently unpredictable, and many underlying circumstances can cause income to remain fixed, or even worse, decrease.
It’s best to base a retirement plan on current earnings or a very conservative estimated growth rate. Don’t forget to maximize the potential for asset accumulation by taking full advantage of any available retirement plans such as a company 401(k) or a supplemental executive retirement plan (SERP). Read More...
How to recruit talented workers away from competitors
Contractors provide insights for luring away capable field and office staff from local construction firms.

When the construction labor market is as tight as it is, contractors often mine any available pool of qualified workers, including that of the already employed.
"It's the most challenging labor market I've seen in 20 years," said R.J. Morris, director of talent acquisition and management at McCarthy Building Cos.
Well-qualified potential candidates aren't likely to be job hunting if they're satisfied where they are, so making meaningful connections with potential candidates who are employed can be difficult. "The best people out there aren't looking for jobs," said Brian Binke, president and CEO of executive recruiting firm The Birmingham Group. "Chances are [their current employers] are taking good care of them." Read More...
May 7-11, 2018  
The 2018 National Safety Stand Down is next week. This is a voluntary event that encourages employers to have a conversation with their workers about fall hazards and prevention. The week-long event is sponsored by  OSHA , the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and CPWR (The Center for Construction Research and Training). 

Companies are encouraged to hold a Safety Stand-Down by having a toolbox talk or another safety activity such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job specific hazards. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-down that works best for their workplace anytime during the week. Visit  OSHA 's website  for resource materials for employers and employees, including posters. Share your story on social media using the hashtag,  #StandDown4Safety.
Service Spotlight
May 10, 2018  
1 to 2:30 p.m. EST
Price: FREE

Three of OSHA’s top ten ‘serious’ violations (#1, #3, #7) are related to falls. Every day nearly 2,000 people are injured while using a ladder, and as many as 100 of them will suffer a long-term disability. Today, one person will die in a ladder-related accident. Fall-related accidents account for huge expenses to organizations, as well as long term effects for family, friends, co-workers, HR & legal departments and the C-suite. Reducing the number of ladder-related injuries is becoming top priority for the nation’s foremost companies, and Little Giant Ladders’ National Safety Director, Dave Francis, is leading the charge. 

Participants of this webinar will identify key safety and legal issues facing organizations, expand their knowledge and professional skills to prevent fines and fatalities, engage a discourse concerning emerging issues of fall prevention and the profession. As the nation’s ladder safety expert, Dave Francis’ experience, reputation, and charismatic personality will keep your audience engaged and interested.