While October celebrates both Global Diversity Awareness Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month, leaders in the construction industry are reflecting on their efforts to implement DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) programs.
2023 project delivery due dates have Commercial Real Estate (CRE) developers bleakly scouring for solutions to the high costs of doing business in this landscape of inflation. A recent survey conducted by Northspyre of U.S. real estate project managers indicates that 62% of respondents consider “keeping projects on budget and on schedule” a major pain point.
Funding release for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is well underway, despite almost 80% of voters not realizing the bill has actually been passed. Updates from the IIJA include a push to fund electric vehicle charging stations, and announcing a June 30th, 2023 deadline for awarding “internet for everyone” broadband funding.
Shifts in Construction Inclusion
While the incident on the jobsite at the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago certainly had malicious intentions, the construction industry, in general, appears to be moving towards promoting knowledge and respect for various cultures.
Describing it as a 'cultural shift', the construction industry's goal is to open doors for diversity and eliminate racism in the workplace during October’s Global Diversity Awareness Month. First pioneered by Turner Construction, October 17-21 was Construction Inclusion Week. During a recent project, the CEO of Turner Construction says, “I got in a room with 50 trade partners talking about how we’re going to work together and make sure that every trade partner supervisor takes the same message to their people about eliminating hate and bias onsite. That’s a big shift.”
However, this push to eliminate racism from the workplace doesn’t come without its costs—specifically talking politics. It may not be realistic to completely eliminate political conversations from the workplace, but leading with clear examples of expected behavior and empathy is a great place to start.
Research suggests that by adding an array of perspectives and cultures to the workforce, companies that prioritize diversity outperform others with better earnings, good leadership, and “greater innovation and more opportunities”.
KEY TAKEAWAY: From an owner’s stance, leveraging diverse perspectives can create advantages for your capital program that may transfer to project stakeholders, and all the way to the end users.
Real Concerns for Commercial Real Estate Developers
CRE developers have 2023 project deliveries on their mind, and legitimate concerns alongside their project completion projections.
A recent survey from Northspyre indicates three major concerns from CRE developer project managers:
- The rising costs due to inflation
- Inadequate productivity
- Uncertain project outcomes
According to about two-thirds of the survey respondents, comprised of U.S. CRE project managers, the biggest challenge facing project managers is not surprisingly time-consuming administrative tasking, taking up to about 38% of their workday on manual data entry. Following this, it isn’t a stretch to show that uncertain project outcomes are a result of inadequate productivity and manual project tracking.
While the cost of inflation is not something that can be solved by CRE owners and developers, the high costs of inflation can be mitigated with efficient project management information systems, eliminating manual data entry and reducing the amount of the 51% of American project managers who say they put in more than an 8 hour work day.
KEY TAKEAWAY: With inflation rising, the cost of materials and labor, CRE developers are looking to digital transformation to offset the costs of inflation by streamlining their administrative tasks.
Decisions Underway for IIJA Funding
Proactivity is key to taking advantage of infrastructure funding. A recent American City and County article lists three things that municipalities and counties can do to get up to speed and strengthen their applications:
- Find a trusted resource
- Cultivate relationships
- Know what you want to achieve
With U.S. car manufacturers’ electric vehicle (EV) plans in place, states are needing to shift some focus to EV charging stations. The IIJA, which dedicated $7.5 billion to build a nationwide network of vehicle charging stations, along with the tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act, are laying the groundwork for states to get to work on catching up with the future plans of the EV industry, many with plans to go all electric.
The Biden administration announced that June 30th, 2023 will be their deadline to allocate more than $42 billion in broadband infrastructure grants. As of now, only about $8.5 million has been allocated. Residents and governments will be able to view a map of the country as provided by the FCC to ensure their broadband needs are being met in this infrastructure bill.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Local government capital program owners seeking funding for infrastructure projects can now find answers to their questions without having to sift through the $1.2 trillion, 1000 page bill—read on for insightful infrastructure resources.
- Infrastructure Bill: Get Smart, Get Started, Get Funded
- Infrastructure: Gain Confidence in Managing Your Infrastructure Projects
- Get Smart: Capital Guide Overview based on White House’s Funding Guide
- The Definitive Guide to Digital Transformation for Owners of Capital Improvement Programs
- Blog: Breaking Down Infrastructure Funding for The American Rescue Plan Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
- 25 Competitive Infrastructure Funding Opportunities for Local Governments, Fact Sheet by the White House
The Definitive Guide to Digital Transformation for Owners of Capital Improvement Programs
Download our Definitive Guide to Digital Transformation for Owners of Capital Improvement Programs and learn why leveraging an advanced digital construction management solution like e-Builder Enterprise—which is designed for owners like you—will effectively aid in managing the funding, tracking and reporting of your infrastructure-related projects. Get your complimentary guide.