By Jim Hanna, Executive Director for Construction, Fabrication and Craft Services for Fluor Reflecting on Careers in Construction last month, I’m reminded of a longtime Fluor employee who just celebrated his 50-year anniversary with the company. Imagine what he’s seen in his rich career – the advancements made as a society, as a country and as an industry have been nothing short of amazing. This particular employee began his career in 1964 as a laborer making just $1.05 per hour and worked his way up to his current position as a site superintendent on a major Gulf Coast petrochemical construction project. He is a true example of someone who has a passion to build. This leads me to wonder, what can we do to not only attract workers to our industry, but – as in the case of our recent 50-year service award recipient – convince them to stay? Well, to me, it comes down to three things: work, development and team.
  • Challenging & Rewarding Work: There’s no question that a career in construction provides new challenges each day. Whether you’re performing a complex weld or working with a crew to meet a tight deadline, a career in construction will push you like no other career can. At the same time, as you leave the job site each day – with visual proof of progress – you’ll also be rewarded in ways that few other careers can match.
  • Development Opportunities: Providing employees with opportunities to hone existing skills and learn new ones is crucial to retaining valuable resources in our industry. At Fluor, we leverage NCCER’s robust training and assessment programs, and we continuously evaluate our training approach to make sure it meets our employees’ development needs.
  • Supportive Team Environment: To successfully execute any construction project, it takes a solid team, working together toward a common goal. At Fluor, we refer to this collaborative approach as “One Fluor,” but no matter what you call it, it’s important that employees are in a supportive team environment if we expect them to stay.
Fluor Welder_TX Coal PlantWith that said, let’s revisit the story of our 50-year veteran. What made him stay? Over the years, he’s been continuously challenged working on some of the industry’s biggest, most complex projects. He’s had the opportunity to work his way up and been given the support he needed along the way. Finally, he’s been fortunate to have worked with some of the industry’s most talented, hard-working folks who share his enthusiasm. The combined efforts of contractors and industry organizations like NCCER are advancing the construction industry and making it a more attractive career option. It’s a great time to be in construction, and I look forward to celebrating the service of many more long-term employees in the years ahead.

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NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.