Word on RealStreet!


Have you been considering new architecture, engineering or construction opportunities? Now is the perfect time to make a career move! Projects are in the pipeline and companies are rushing to fill talent gaps before the summer season. Let us know what you're looking for and we can help match you with your ideal job. 

Best wishes from everyone at RealStreet!  

Katy Cook, CSP
Marketing Coordinator

What's Happening at RealStreet?
We're Hiring!
Looking for an opportunity to develop your career with a well-established recruiting and talent management firm?  We are actively seeking a Recruiting Coordinator to support our Tysons Corner office! This position has growth potential and is a great opportunity to gain valuable experience with a leading, national employment organization. Apply today  

Are you a skilled architect, engineer or construction professional who is looking for a rewarding job opportunity? We are currently seeking qualified candidates for the Hurricane Maria Recovery efforts. Positions include: 

Please pass this email along to anyone that you believe would be a good fit for any these vital roles. Thank you!

May Marks the Beginning of a
New Company Benefits Plan Year!
As you know, May marks the beginning of a new benefits plan period at RealStreet. Did you sign up?  Here are some valuable websites to bookmark:



RealStreet wishes you a very 
  • Maribeth C. - 5/10
  • Jacklyn C. - 5/11
  • Magnani M. - 5/11
  • Katy C. - 5/23



RealStreet's offices will be closed Monday, May 28, 2018, in honor of Memorial Day. 

We thank all the brave women and men who have served and sacrificed for our freedoms.

Interesting Industry Information
How Does the Job Market Look?
For another look at the information, check out the BLS' interactive graphs.
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. According to t he  March Jobs Report,  t he US economy saw an increase of 103,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate remained at 4.1%.
While the growth wasn't as substantial in March (103k) as it was in February (313k), the outlook is still positive. After all, it was the 90th consecutive month of growth! Plus, as recently stated in The New York Times, the report wasn't a drastic surprise. "February's job growth was probably inflated by a surge in hiring in construction and the retail sector that reflected unseasonably warm weather in much of the country. Both sectors slumped in March as winter storms blew through the eastern United States."

Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC)  Industry 

The BLS showed a decrease of 15,000 jobs within the construction industry.  A recent Architect Magazine   article, featuring the chart shown to the right, indicated that the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry as a whole sa w a decline.  For example: 
  • Architectural and engineering services declined by 3,600 jobs  
  •  Heavy and civil engineering construction decreased by 3,600 jobs
According to the AIA, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is the leading economic indicator of construction activity, as it "reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and nonresidential construction spending."  A score of 50 is neutral, above 50 is positive and below is negative.  The March ABI of 51 shows an increase in demand for design services.  According to the report, billings remain strong at firms with multifamily residential and commercial / industrial sectors.

The  Dodge Momentum Index tracks and measures the initial reporting of non-residential building projects. With the increase in non-residential construction projects, the Dodge Data & Analytics ' Momentum  Index increased 6.1% in March to 155. C ommercial building saw a decrease of 9.6% and the institutional building an increase of 1.6%. 
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 !

RealStreet has recently filled the following positions!
  • Architect
  • Project Coordinators
  • Writers / Editors
  • Mechanical Inspector
  • Project Manager
IT & Cyber Security
Risks Regarding Social Media & Data Mining
The Facebook - Cambridge Analytica Scandal
What Happened?

Facebook is once again in the spotlight, but not for its new features or advertising opportunities. Instead, it's at the heart of a scandal. According to a recent Washington Post article, " political research firm Cambridge Analytica gained access to 87 million Facebook users' data during the 2016 election season."  According to a Cambridge Analytica whistle-blower, the data mining was done in an attempt to build complete psychological profiles on US voters.  The company utilized a quiz app to not only garner its users' results, but also to scrape any "public" data it could access via its users' Facebook connections. With only 270,000 app users, the vast majority of this information was taken without user permission. 

Mark Zuckerberg,  Facebook founder and chief executive, has since acknowledged  that social media has become a shockingly effective tool for spreading propaganda  and undermining public trust. He also conceded that most of its 2.2 billion users have most likely had their public profile information scraped for at best, monetary, and at worst, malicious purposes at some point. As discussed in a recent article in The Verge, data mining, while often viewed as an underhanded tactic, is a common practice, especially in the marketing industry. The growing concerns are that
  • Companies, such as Facebook, that access or maintain large amounts of personal information on its users are not doing enough to protect these individuals
  • Individuals are not aware of the risks associated with social media, apps and the growing inter-connectivity of technology
  • Deceptive data-gathering has become "normal"
In fact, as mentioned in a recent TIME publication, another questionable data collection practice came to light around this time as well. Facebook acknowledged that it has been collecting call and text history of users who use Messenger of Facebook Lite on Android phones for years. As soon as users agreed to import contacts into the apps, the harvesting of data began. While users could opt-out initially or disable the continuous tracking at a later date, it wasn't obvious to many individuals that they were agreeing to provide Facebook with such extensive access to their personal information.

In the wake of these scandals, Zuckerberg was called to testify before Congressional Committees last month.  Senator Chuck Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee, was quoted in a recent New York Times article, stating that "with all of the data exchanged over Facebook and other platforms, users deserve to know how their information is shared and secured."  Furthermore, the Federal Trade Commission is currently conducting a non-public investigation into Facebook's privacy practices. 

Is This Issue Limited to Facebook?

No, this is much larger issue. For example, a recent ZDNet article highlighted how 48 million personal profiles were leaked by the data mining company, Localblox. According to the firm, it "automatically crawls, discovers, extracts, indexes, maps and augments data in a variety of formats from the web and from exchange networks." It was discovered that this information was stored in a 1.2+ terabyte file on a public but unlisted Amazon S3 storage bucket for a period of a few hours. Without a password, anyone could download the content during that time. Chris Vickery, the director of cyber risk research at UpGuard, found and exposed the leak.

Is This a New Concern?

No, at least not in the broad sense. As the Washington Post publication pointed out, "c ongress held its first hearing on what we consider 'cybersecurity' in 1966, when it examined privacy concerns about newly created government databases of citizens' IRS, Social Security and census information." As shown to the right, the number of hearings has increased over the years, especially in the late 90's. Unfortunately, despite the government's early awareness of the potential risk, it didn't receive the attention needed to keep up with the technology.

Who is at Risk?

Anyone who has a social media account is at risk, however, the risk is greater for those who frequently share personal information about themselves without being prudent about their account privacy settings. 

If you are curious whether your information was shared with Cambridge Analytica, Facebook has added a way for its users to check within its Help Center

What is Facebook Doing to Reduce Risk?

According to a recent WTOP article there are a wide array of opinions on what should or shouldn't be done regarding individual privacy and social media sites. For example, some think: 
  • Facebook should have a paid option, allowing users to pay to keep their information private
  • Data-gathering companies should be required to get consent prior to use, share or sell any personal information
  • Regulations should be passed
Facebook is taking a number of actions to reduce the risk of platform abuse. As stated on the site, "we're investigating all apps on our platform and conducting a full audit of any apps with suspicious activity. If we find developers that misused personally identifiable information, we'll ban them from Facebook." Additional safeguards include: 
  • Making it easier to manage apps
  • Turning off access for unused apps
  • Restricting Facebook Login data
What Can You do to Reduce Your Risk?

Short of going off the grid, it's unlikely to eliminate risk. While disabling all apps and deleting all social media accounts is a viable option, it isn't one that many individuals would consider. After all, how would anyone remember birthdays, show off vacation photos or know who was in a relationship if it wasn't "Facebook official"?

The key to realistically reducing risk, without disconnecting from the world, is being prudent and using common sense. For example, read privacy policies, check privacy settings routinely, understand what is public, know what is shared/connected and refrain from oversharing. 

Featured News Post
How to Measure Your First Quarter Progress
Towards Your Yearly Goals
Many architecture, engineering and construction professionals habitually set career goals at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, they often neglect to review their progression on a regular basis. When progress isn't monitored, deviations and setbacks may occur without the full impact being realized. Then, as the year continues to draw closer to its end, it can become more and more difficult to make any adjustments needed to remain on track.

Ultimately, what you need to review may depend on the goals themselves. While some objectives, such as attaining a new degree, are inherently easier to measure than others, all progress can be monitored. Regardless, a quarterly time frame is an easy way to schedule assessments.

Read the  full article to learn how to get started on your Q1 evaluation of progress towards your 2018 goals!

Financial Advice From Your Future Self 
How to Max Out Your 401(k) in 2018 (Part 1)
Take advantage of the tax breaks and 401(k) match your retirement account provides.

Fully Fund Your Account
A 401(k) plan provides tax breaks, employer contributions, an opportunity for automatic saving and the potential for investment growth. But you also need to avoid 401(k) fees and penalties in order to make the most of your account. Here's how to maximize the value of your 401(k) account in 2018.

Qualify For Tax Breaks
You can defer paying income tax on up to $18500 that you save in a 401(k) plan in 2018, $500 more than in 2017. A worker in the 25 percent tax bracket who saves this amount can reduce his tax bill by $4625. Income tax won't be due on this money until it is withdrawn from the account. Workers who earn less than $31500 in 2018 (63000 for couples) might accidentally qualify for the savers credit, which is worth between 10 and 50 percent of 401(k) contributions up to $2000 for individuals and $4000 for couples.

Make Catch Up Contributions
Employees 50 and older are eligible to save an additional $6000 in a 401(k) plan for 2018, for a total 401(k) contribution of $24,500. A 55-year old employee in the 25 percent tax bracket who maxes out his 401(k) plan could reduce his current tax bill by $6125.

Reset Your Automatic Contributions
The 401(k) contributions limit increased by $500 in 2018, which means workers are eligible to contribute about $41 more per month. Those who want to max out their 401(k) in 2018 need to save about $1,542 per month, or $771 per twice monthly paycheck. Workers age 50 and older can defer paying tax on as much as $2,041 per month.

Get a 401(k) Match
If you can't max out your 401(k), aim to save at least enough to get a 401(k) match. A 401(k) match of 50 cents for every dollar you contribute, up to a particular percentage of pay, is a 50 percent return on your investment. A dollar-for-dollar 401(k) match doubles your money. However, you need to be vested in the 401(k) plan in order to keep your employer's contributions, which might require several years on the job.

Consider a ROTH 401(k)
Traditional 401(k) plans allow you to defer paying income tax on your retirement savings, but some employers additionally provide an after-tax ROTH 401(k) option. You don't have to pay income tax on the investment gains in a ROTH 401(k) account, and withdrawals are typically tax free. A 401(k) match might be provided for ROTH 401(k) contributions, but it will be deposited in a traditional 401(k) so you will have pre and post-tax accounts to draw from in retirement.

The aforementioned content was sourced from U.S. News.
Seasonal Safety
What to Do If Your Tire Blows Out
Imagine this scenario: you're cruising down the highway when suddenly - BOOM - your tire blows out! Panic ensues. Your vehicle starts to slow down, but how do you get to the side of the road safely? Better yet, how do you prevent it from happening in the first place? 

How to Prevent a Blowout
  • Your tires are more likely to blow out if they have a lot of miles on them, so it's always smart to check your tires for wear before a road trip. Also make sure they're not under-inflated. Most blowouts happen when driving on under-inflated tires at high speeds, according to experts. Keep a tire pressure gauge in your vehicle and check your tire pressure once a month. 
  • Failing to rotate your tires can also contribute to a blowout (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). 
  • Blowouts are more likely in the summer and early fall, thanks to the heat and to cars that are overloaded for vacation (Popular Mechanics).
During a Tire Blowout
  • Keep a firm grip on the wheel (AAA)If a front tire blows out your car will pull you to the left or right as the steering wheel begins to vibrate. If a rear tire blows out you'll feel the car wobbling back and forth, according to the (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation).
  • Don't brake. Breaking may cause you to skid and lose control (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation). While you're trying to regain control of the car, maintain your speed if you can. Steer left or right to stay in your lane until you're ready to start to pull over (AAA).
  • Pull over to the side of the road. Look for a gap in the traffic that will allow you to pull over, and gradually release the accelerator as you do. Once you reach 20 miles per hour or under, use the brakes if needed (AAA).
  • Once you're stopped, apply your parking brake and exit the vehicle (AAA).

After a Blowout
  • Turn on your emergency lights. Let other drivers know your car is disabled so they will slow down and drive around you (AAA).
  • Check your spare tire. If you know how to change a tire, go ahead and do it. If you don't, or you'd rather leave it to the pros (every year, some 10,000 people visit the emergency room after suffering injuries while trying to use a jack or hoist according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), call for roadside assistance.
These tips are courtesy of safebee.com.
Keep in Touch!
Feedback Wanted! 
We Value Referrals!
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Thank you!
Who in your network is looking for a new opportunity? 

Check our  open positions to see if any are a match to the job seekers that you know. At RealStreet we value great candidates and when it comes down to it, we know you're the Real Deal! We have a great referral program that compensates you for every qualified referral you provide us.