Word on RealStreet!

 

 

Spring is time of growth. For many, this particular changing of the season is an exciting time of year. After all, the warming weather and longer days often lend to more pleasant work environments, an increase in networking events and a surge in new projects, career development opportunities and available jobs!  

Considering a career change? We are ready to help you connect with your ideal architecture, engineering or construction opportunity. Let us help you have your most successful Spring yet!

Best wishes from everyone at RealStreet! 

Sincerely,
  
Katy Cook, CSP
Marketing Coordinator

 

What's New at RealStreet?
March Madness!
Feeling lucky? Participate in RealStreet's March Madness bracket contest for a chance to win 3 awesome prizes! 

The RealStreet March Madness Bracket: 
  • URL: http://realstreet.mayhem.cbssports.com
  • Group password: realstreet
  • The bracket will become available on Sunday, March 12, 2017
  • Bracket Submission Deadline: 11:00 a.m. EST on Thursday, March 16, 2017
  • Prizes: tune in next week to find out!
Prize specifics and additional contest details will be provided early next week. Keep an eye on your inbox (or on our social media pages) to get in on the action!

CELEBRATIONS!
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RealStreet wishes you a very 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
  • Sandy H. - 03/09
  • Lawrence W. - 03/16
  • My Q D. - 03/18
  • Chenee B. -  03/24




 
Daylight Savings Time: 
Sunday, March 12, 2017 

Give your alarm clock snooze button a break on March 13th. Just set your clocks (one hour forward) before you go to bed on the 12th and get one extra hour of sleep! Enjoy the longer days ahead!
 


Interesting Industry Information
How Does the Job Market Look?
The U.S. Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a "M onthly Jobs Report"  soon after the beginning of each month. Each report describes the previous month's employment situation, based on data such as the number of jobs that were added to the economy and the unemployment rate. The US economy added 227,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4.8%. For more information, check out the BLS' interactive graphs.

The results are promising. In fact, a recent Builder article - reviewing the ADP & Moody's Analytics monthly employment report - quoted Moody's Analytics C hief Economist Mark Zandi  saying  "2017 got off to a strong start in the job market." Furthermore, "job growth is solid across most industries and company sizes."

According to a recent AGC of America article, Construction employment totaled 6,809,000 in January, 2.6% increase over 2016. While the data and results are promising, they do not show the full demand for employees. According to Ken Simonson, the AGA's chief economist, "employment gains would be even larger if there were enough workers with the right skills available to hire."

Is the Construction Industry Going Green?
Is it true that it's not easy being green? In the AEC industry, it would seem as though that is becoming less and less the case.  As mentioned in a recent Construction Junkie article , the US Green Building Council (USGBC) predicted that green buildings will make up 1/3 of all of construction projects by the year 2018. 

What is green building? According to the  USGBC, "it is generally accepted as the planning, design, construction, and operations of buildings with several central, foremost considerations: energy use, water use, indoor environmental quality, material section and the building's effects on its site."  The USGBC also highlights many  benefits of green building, such as:   
As shown in the aforementioned  Construction Junkie article, some of the eye-catching green products from 2016 included: 
  • Living walls (that cover scaffolding)
  • Recycled plastic roads
  • Solar roadways
  • Bricks that grow like plants
There are a number of sustainable construction product and building design options, and more are being developed each day. It will be interesting to see where we are this time next year!

Cyber Security: 
Controlled Unclassified Information 
in the AEC Community
The federal government has updated the requirements regarding the handling of sensitive and controlled data. This program, known as  Executive Order 13556  Controlled Unclassified Information  (CUI), will impact businesses throughout the United States, including those in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) communities. 

As stated on the Key Elements of the CUI Program page of the National Archives and Records Administration website, CUI  "establishes a program for managing all unclassified information in the Executive branch that requires safeguarding or dissemination controls pursuant to and consistent with applicable law, regulations, and government-wide policies." Information can be classified as basic or specified.  Basic information must follow National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidelines.  Within the federal-focused AEC community, there are three "specified" categories:
  • DOD's Controlled Technical Information 
  • GSA's Critical Infrastructure 
  • Homeland Security's Critical Infrastructure - Protected Critical Infrastructure Information 
According to the publication:  Controlled Unclassified Information - Will it Blindside the A/E/C Community? written by Anne C. Juran, PE., LEED AP BD+C, CxA, M.SAME and published in the January - February 2017 issue of The Military Engineer , "the requirements could be significant in time and cost, depending on how your firm's current cyber systems are assembled." Now is the time to take a closer look at internal systems and procedures to avoid any compliance issues once the rules become effective. 

How to avoid getting blindsided: 
  • Make sure your fee proposals and contracts clearly designate CUI requirements and make sure your subcontracts include the same requirements.
  • Make sure any information that you are provided is consistent with the CUI requirements, or lack thereof, identified in your contract.
  • Do not accept information (such as CDs) with markings that differ from your contract or that use legacy markings.
  • Watch for adjustments over the next year to agency procedures, such as DoD Manual 5200.01, Navy FC 1-300-09N, and GSA PBS P-100.
  • Evaluate your systems / facility for compliance with the CUI Basic controls that are identified in NIST Special Publication 800-171.
  • Educate your staff on the upcoming changes.
  • Look for how changes to the FAR and DFARS will be received throughout 2017.
The NIST  Special Publication 800-171 laid the ground work for CUI by establishing minimum safeguarding requirements. Moving forward, it will be important for businesses to know both NIST controls and CUI requirements. Begin learning more with the following resources: 
 HOT JOBS!
How many job seekers do you know? Would they be a good fit for one of these positions? 

 To see all of our open positions, check out the  RealStreet Job Board !

 RECENT PLACEMENTS
RealStreet has recently filled the following positions!
  • Project Coordinators / Administrative Assistants
  • Document Control Technician
  • Project Officer
Featured News Post
How to Become a Leader in the Workplace
and Take Your Career to the Next Level
Now that you have held the same job for awhile, you are ready to move up the ladder. You enjoy a challenge, you know you would make a great team leader, and the pay increase would be a welcome addition to your household budget. However, assuming a leadership position typically involves gaining a significant amount of responsibility. To take the next step, you need to show your boss and colleagues that you can handle the additional obligations that come with a leadership role.

Use the advice in the article to transform yourself from individual contributor to dynamic team leader.


Preparing for Retirement
Are you Putting Money in your 401K Today?
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Are you getting prepared for retirement? Joining your company's retirement plan can be one of the best tools available to help you build your financial future. Some of the benefits to participating include the potential for lower taxes and tapping into the power of compound savings. 

View this video to find out more.

Employees: remember that RealStreet matches employee 401K contributions 1:1 up to 7%! 
Driving Tip
What to Do If Your Brakes Go Out
Noticing your brakes have failed while driving can be a shocking experience. While you hope it never happens to you, prepare yourself for such a situation by familiarizing yourself with some tips to help you stop as safely as possible.
 
1. Don't Panic

A clear head can be your ally behind the wheel, especially when things go awry. If your brakes fail, it's typically in your best interest to remain calm and attempt to get your car safely off the road.

2. Give the Brakes Another Shot

Unless you're behind the wheel of a classic car, your vehicle likely has a dual braking system, which controls your front and rear brakes independently. As a result, both halves of the system would have to fail for your car to totally lose all braking power. Still, reducing your car's braking ability in half can be enough to make it feel unsafe, but there may still be some stopping power. Try applying strong, consistent pressure to the brake pedal to see if you can slow the car down.

3. Take Steps to Reduce Your Speed

If your main braking system isn't working, one option is to very carefully employ the emergency brake, according to Tech-Cor Research. The emergency braking system is separate from the main, hydraulic brake system, and it can help stop the vehicle - although it will likely take you longer to this way than it would with the traditional brake pedal.

Another way to slow your car down, according to Autoblog, is by keeping your foot off the accelerator and downshifting so that the engine can help slow the car down. If you have a manual transmission, work your way down through the gears to slow the car down. If you have an automatic transmission, taking your foot off the accelerator should cause your car to shift to lower gears as it slows down.

However, in newer cars with automatic transmissions that allow you to also drive them manually, you may want to use the paddle shifters (if available), which are levers on the steering wheels of cars with this feature, or put your transmission in manual mode and downshift to the lowest gear. Check your car owner's manual for information on using your automatic car in manual mode.

4. Work Your Way Out of Traffic

After you've slowed the car down, it's critical that you get your car off the road to minimize the chances of getting hit. If you're on the highway or a larger road, you'll need to concentrate on getting your car safely into the right lane so that you can get it off the road. Don't forget to use your turn signals, and pay attention to surrounding traffic. Cautiously make your way into the slow lane and turn on your hazard lights when you get there. Remember to steer around any possible hazards, and if needed, use your car's lights and horn to alert other motorists.

Move from the right lane  onto the shoulder (or, ideally, somewhere safe off the road, such as a parking lot), then shift into neutral. Use your emergency, or parking, brake to slow the car down, but be prepared to release it if the car starts to skid. If the emergency brake doesn't work, you'll need to keep your eyes peeled for other ways to stop. PBS.org suggests that you try rubbing your wheels against the curb to scrub off speed or drive onto a soft shoulder.

5. Don't Turn the Car Off Until You've Stopped

While shutting your car off might seem like it would help slow it down, it's best to keep the engine running until you've reached a complete stop, says Josh Max, auto correspondent for the New York Daily News. Turning the ignition off will likely also shut down your power steering, which makes the vehicle more difficult to turn, and it could also cause the steering wheel to lock into place. So, you may want to get your vehicle stopped and off the road before turning it off.

6. Signal for Help

You may need some assistance once your car is safely off the road. Make it obvious by raising your hood and keeping your hazard lights on. If you have reflective triangles or road flares, you can also put them behind your car to make yourself more visible. Do your best to stay out of oncoming traffic, and avoid standing next to (or behind) your car if you can. You can also use your cellphone to call for roadside assistance.

7. Be Safe

Even it seems like the brakes are operating normally again, you may want to have them inspected by a professional before you try to drive it again. Have your vehicle towed to a dealer or mechanic, so they can inspect your car and provide the necessary repairs. Keep in mind that you can also prevent problems before they start by having your car's brake pads inspected regularly.

Knowing what to do if your brakes go out could help prevent injuries and damage to your vehicle.

The aforementioned tips are from Allstate.
 
Just for Fun...

Last month's puzzle:  Click to enlarge.
Think you know the answer? Check the solution!
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