Menu
  • © 2020 Bush Construction
  • Office Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm

News image

construction management

Celebrating National Intern Day

National Intern Day was created by WayUp to recognize and celebrate future leaders – interns! Bush Construction has a long history of providing internship opportunities, and this summer we are pleased to have Trevor Viren join our team. Trevor is a QC native who will be going into his senior year at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. With a major in Construction Management and a minor in Business Administration, Trevor is a perfect fit for our internship program.

Get to know intern Trevor

Is this your first internship?

This is technically my second internship in the construction industry. Last Summer I worked as a commercial estimating intern with Tri-City Electric.

How did you hear about the Bush Construction internship?

Trevor Viren is a 2020 summer intern at Bush Construction

I heard about the Bush Construction Internship when I met Rob and Lea Ann at the career fair at UW-Platteville. I had been looking for companies in the QC area and stumbled upon Bush, which I had somehow overlooked. In hindsight, I am very happy that I made the decision to approach them at the career fair to put myself in the running for an intern position at Bush.

What tasks are you currently working on?

The main tasks I have been working on have been for the Coram Deo Church project. I have been drafting RFI’s, reviewing submittals, communicating with the design team, communicating with subcontractors about revised quotes, tracking framing progress at the site, attending progress meetings with subcontractors, attending meetings with owners of the project, and updating drawings with the answered RFI’s. I have also organized a couple of other site visits with the project’s corresponding superintendents.

What have you learned from your time here?

I have learned more in my short time here than I have from any other job before! I have learned about the construction process, thanks to the Coram Deo project starting promptly when I started here. This has led to me being able to familiarize myself with common construction practices from a general contractor’s point of view.

What advice do you have for your peers considering an internship?

One piece of advice I have for my peers considering an internship is to absolutely in any way possible to take an internship if given the opportunity. I am very grateful and fortunate enough to have landed one at Bush Construction, and it is the best way to learn what goes on in the industry you plan to pursue your career in. You learn just as much in 2-3 months of a solid internship as you would in over a year of schooling.  If it is a possibility, try to make an internship opportunity happen!

“Trevor has been doing a great job on the Coram Deo Project, said Justin Hoerner, Bush Construction Project Engineer. “He’s handled everything we’ve thrown at him. I’ve tried to put the pressure on him at times, and he puts his head down and gets whatever is being asked of him done. He’s been very coachable and asks plenty of questions until he completely understands it. During his short time here at Bush, Trevor has proven to be a very valuable member of the team!”

3 Ways to Improve Workforce Recruitment in the Construction Industry

Whether you’re building a team for an upcoming construction project or preparing for future growth, assembling a team of dependable, highly motivated, and skilled employees is critical to your success. While it can be extremely difficult to attract and retain these team members, here are three tactics for HR managers in the construction industry to employ.

1. Reach Potential Workers Early–Very Early

Before the pandemic, Bush Construction visited classrooms ranging from preschool to eighth grade.

“We wanted to familiarize students with the different opportunities in construction,” said Lea Ann Dies, Senior Human Resources Generalist with McCarthy-Bush Corporation.

Reaching potential workers before they have made it to college or even high school is an effective long-term effort to bring awareness to careers in the skilled trades. In addition, talking about movements such as Generation T also helps students understand that organizations are working very hard to changing the perception of the trades.

Studies show that far too often many make the wrong decision when choosing a job. There are plenty of reasons:

  1. People are motivated by high salaries even though studies show there’s no correlation between pay and job satisfaction.
  2. Many are unwilling to try a new job if they are unhappy in their current one.
  3. Many do not know their own talents.

“Obviously, the messaging is different based on the age of the group we are presenting to,” Dies said, “But the idea is to reach children and students early so they can understand the types of opportunities available in the trades and learn about our role in the community.”

“We look forward to hopefully picking classroom visits back up in the fall!” Dies said.

2. Internships & Job Fairs

According to the Harvard Business Review, approximately three out of four college students intern while in school. For many students, internships end up being much more than a way of gaining real-world experience while they’re still in college. They can turn into full-time jobs post-graduation. This year, Bush Construction hired two former interns into full-time positions.

“For college students, an internship is a great way to gain experience, get an insider’s view into a specific career path, and test out whether that profession is right for them,” Dies said. “On the flip side, an internship program enables employers to build a steady pipeline of young, qualified, and talented candidates.”

This summer, Bush Construction is proud to have another intern, Trevor Viren as part of their team.  Trevor is a Quad-City native who will be going into his senior year at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville. With a major in Construction Management and a minor in Business Administration, Trevor will be working on finalizing quality control checklists with Bush Construction’s project management team.

In addition, attending job fairs is another recruiting and brand awareness tool. Many educational institutions hold career fairs to expose their students to potential employers with diverse hiring needs. Registration has begun for fall recruiting events, with most colleges and universities shifting towards offering virtual career fairs because of COVID-19. Iowa State University, for example, will be hosting its Engineering Career Fair on September 15th and 16th. Developing relationships with vocational schools is also a good way to learn about the talent pool that will be available after students complete the program(s).

3. Online Recruiting Platforms

Whether you are recruiting for in-office or field positions, employees are likely to track down your website, visit your social media profiles, and review third-party sites like Glassdoor to learn more about your company’s culture. Alternatively, searching for the right talent on digital platforms such as LinkedIn, Indeed, CareerBuilder, and more will help staff your workforce.

To learn more about careers available at Bush Construction, visit https://www.bushconstruct.com/meet-the-team/careers/.

Five Ways to Increase Project Efficiency

One of the most important aspects of construction management is creating and maintaining an effective schedule. Construction operations, big and small, include troves of interconnected elements that must work cohesively and sequentially to maintain the project schedule.

From inception to completion, each of these details contributes to the overall success of the job. However, without effective schedule management, the project can easily experience delays. Avoid the chaos by implementing these five practices.

1. Develop a Complete Project Plan

A detailed and complete project plan is essential to developing a master schedule. If available to the project, use 3-D modeling technology, like BIM (Building Information Modeling) to develop a coordinated plan established to identify design conflicts, reduce waste, and eliminate problems.

Once completed, involve all decision-makers in the final approval of the project plan to reduce the need for changes later that may delay the schedule or lead to rework. The foundation of schedule management ties directly to the quality of the design and plan.

2. Create a Master Schedule

A solid and realistic master schedule provides the backbone for the total project execution. When developing the master schedule, divide out each part of the project by phase while ensuring the accurate sequence of the tasks. It is best to never have an activity that extends beyond 15 days.  Also, after finalizing the master schedule, communicate clear expectations to all parties.

3. Manage Supply and Supplier Schedules

The master schedule only works with accurate order processing and delivery of project supplies. Select trusted suppliers with a reputation for quality and reliability. Then, communicate the schedule and project expectations to each supplier. Define the roles for order management, including responsibilities for tasks and proper communication channels.

4. Identify Pitfalls and Challenges

Scheduling challenges can occur with any construction project, no matter the scale. However, the larger the project, the more likely delays, and issues become. World events, like we are experiencing now with COVID-19, lead to disruption. In addition, labor shortages continue as an issue in the industry.

Major weather events, supply chain problems, changes to the project plan and other issues may impact the project flow. Build in time for unexpected delays and develop a contingency plan from the start so that each person understands their role in the face of challenges.

5.  Monitor and Report Progress Daily

Daily reporting is vital for successful and effective schedule management. Without proper communication and reporting, issues may go unaddressed. In addition, pay attention to times where the project falls behind or moves ahead. This is accomplished by creating detailed three week look aheads for each trade contractor to better communicate the project expectations on a daily in a much more detailed fashion than the overall master schedule. Correct and update the schedule based on changes or delays. Ensure effective and consistent communication occurs with all decision-makers and managers on the progress of the project.

 

Effective Schedule Management Based on Experience and Excellence

At Bush Construction, we offer professional solutions based on years of experience in the construction industry. We prioritize relationships with our clients, our team and our suppliers. Trust and quality matter to us. Effective and accurate schedule management is a vital part of building trust. We manage each project to stay on schedule and on budget.

Contact us with questions regarding our construction schedule management solutions.

 

Author: Jerod Engler | Vice President of Construction | Bush Construction

What is Contingency and How Does it Benefit Construction Management?

The word “contingency” has many different meanings, depending on the industry you serve or your point of view. In construction, contingency refers to a percentage of money reserved to cover unanticipated project costs. A contractor, an owner, or a design professional (aka architect, engineer, etc.) all likely feel that the proper use of contingency within a project stems from different, but justifiable causes.

Design professionals

For instance, a designer undoubtedly assumes responsibility for planning and designing a building that complies with all building codes and regulations. However, to draft a complete project that indicates every possible section or detail, and also encompasses every possible combination of material, model, or manufacturer is inconceivable. Therefore, in the designer’s eyes, it may be perfectly acceptable during the construction phase to use contingency spend to accommodate variations or updates that need to be made to the “as-bid” plan set.

Owners

In contrast, if an owner is fortunate enough to have any contingent funds left in their budget, they are likely to prefer that they are used on project betterments. Perhaps to add items to the project that had been eliminated during design or value engineering, or maybe just to incorporate items from their wish list that hadn’t made it into the project initially. It is conceivable to see the justification for this case as well.

Contractors

Lastly, a contractor may take the stand that the use of contingent funds is reserved for unforeseen or differing conditions than those outlined in the plans and specifications from which they based their bid on. For example, old foundations or utility piping buried on a project site that wasn’t documented on the as-builts (record drawings) of a particular property. The contractor had no way of knowing the subsurface conditions of the entire project site and therefore should be entitled to additional compensation, drawn from the project contingency. It seems fair to me…I may, however, be biased.

Whatever your viewpoint, one thing is clear. Every project should have some measure of contingency included and its acceptable uses defined and agreed upon at the onset, you’re going to need it!

 

Author: Rob Davis | Vice President of Operations | Bush Construction

Have an inquiry?
Contact us.