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Community Colleges help train skilled workers for the construction industry

Posted By ryan kaminski, Friday, May 19, 2017
Updated: Thursday, May 18, 2017

Training the Next Generation of Skilled Workers

There's no denying that the construction industry is in serious need of new skilled workers. In Nevada, even the local community colleges are jumping on-board with programs to educate high school and college students on practical and engaging career paths in construction. If you're a millennial, you know how hard it can be to find a job in other sectors. What's stopping you from trying out construction?

CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) Tuesday morning, the students in the construction class at Western Nevada College weren't just getting hands-on training. They were getting both high school and college credit. "To be able to do this, it's such a great opportunity," said Johnny Llamas, one of the students. Llamas and his peers are seniors at Carson High School. They are taking part in the Jump Start program at Western Nevada College, which means when they graduate high school, they will also have earned credits toward an associates degree at WNC. And that's just the beginning. "Right after they graduate from high school, they'll have the skills to get a decent job in the trades," said Nigel Harrison, Professor of Construction Technology at WNC. The program is just one of many ways the college is ramping up its construction management program to meet the demands of the region. "Construction is booming in Northern Nevada," said Harrison. "The jobs are there. We have employers knocking on our door, looking for people who have the skills we offer here."

Truckee Meadows Community College is also trying to keep up with the growing demand for skilled workers in the construction industry. "We try to build a pipeline of trained workers," said Kyle Dalpe, Dean of Applied Industrial Technologies at TMCC, who says the demand for skilled workers in construction is high. The college is trying to get its students into those jobs and is increasing its apprenticeship programs with employers and unions. He also says demand among students continues to go up."What we're seeing from last academic year to this academic year is students are actually taking twice as many credits in our construction classes and that's not even including HVAC, welding, and some of the other construction-related career paths," said Dalpe. "We're in dire straits," said Aaron West, CEO of Nevada Builders Association, about the construction worker shortage in the state. "Within Northern Nevada alone, we're about 15,000 workers short as of today," he said. West says the region lost a quarter of its workers in the construction industry in the recession and many who stayed are now getting closer to retirement age. "The average age of the construction work force right now is 45," said West. "Fifteen-percent of our work force is over the age of 50." But students like the ones at Western Nevada College and Truckee Community College are giving builders hope. And those schools plan to keep building on their construction programs to build up the work force.

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2017 Mile High Summit: Don't’ Miss out on Early Registration Pricing

Posted By Administrator, Saturday, May 13, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Early Bird Registration Deadline Extended – May 31st

The American Society of Professional Estimators is excited to announce this year’s annual conference:

A Mile High Summit in Denver, Colorado (July 12 thru July 15, 2017).

The theme is an engaging one: The Art and Science of Estimating. Estimators face new and diverse challenges every day. Technical obstacles range from BIM and other software trends to a lack of standards facing the estimating industry. Other challenges are what we refer to as ‘soft- skill’ challenges ranging from professional team work, practical business presentation skills, and maximizing productivity and efficiency in an ever-chaotic workday. The goal of ASPE is to help equip estimators with the skills, knowledge, and tools to face and master these very challenges. Natasha Crumbliss, Education Committee Coordinator at ASPE states, “The American Society of Professional Estimators is at the forefront of Construction Engineering and the landscape of building a better future within the industry and platform of Estimating. They have the expertise and ability needed to dramatically contribute not only to the individual but also to any project that a Certified Professional Estimator (CPE) is involved with. Building the future together, begins with estimating”. Having found many of the best experts in these fields and more to offer insight and practical implementation to support and enhance an estimator’s skillset, we invite you to join us in Denver for an exciting and engaging conference!

Registration Deadline

* Early Bird Registration Deadline: May 12th $750
* Regular Registration Deadline: June 9th $850
* Late Registration Deadline: June 28th $1000

Embassy Suites Downtown Denver, Colorado

Hotel Information (Daily breakfast is included)

Room Pricing: $199/ night under ASPE room block.Book your stay under the ASPE room block at the Embassy Suites Downtown Denver by June 22, 2017. Book online at ASPE's Webpage. Book Now Online!

Book by phone by calling 1 (800) 774-1500 and mention the group code “ASP” to receive the ASPE room block rate.

* Pricing if not within the room block is $359/ night.
* Parking Fee is $40, Valet Only.

Summit Agenda 2017

Wednesday July 12, 2017

03:00 – 08:00 Registration
06:00 – 08:00 Welcome Reception

Thursday July 13, 2017

08:30 – 10:00 Two Concrete Things That Accelerate Transformation 10:15 – 11:45 The Leadership Advantage - How to Connect, Communicate & Influence Different Personalities 12:00 – 12:30 Demonstration
12:30 – 02:00 Keynote Lunch
02:00 – 02:30 Workshop
02:30 – 04:00 Leveraging Historical Costs to Maximize Cost Intelligence
04:15 – 05:45 Microsoft Excel Skills For Estimators

Friday July 14, 2017

08:30 – 10:00 BIM: Case Study
10:15 – 11:45 BIM Expert Panel Discussion
12:00 – 12:30 Demonstration
12:30 – 02:00 Lunch
02:00 – 02:30 Workshop
02:30 – 04:00 It’s Not Actually Worse Than Death: Surviving (and THRIVING at) Public Speaking
04:15 – 05:45 Creating Time Efficiency & Managing Multiple Priorities
07:00 – 10:00 Awards Dinner

Saturday July 15, 2017

08:00 – 09:30 State of the Society Address and Q&A
09:45 – 10:45 Higher Education Panel Discussion
11:00 – 12:00 Estimating Textbook Discussion (Invitation Only)
12:30 – 01:30 Regional Breakouts
02:00 – 04:30 Rock Bottom Brewery Experience
06:00 – 10:00 President's Dinner at the Denver Art Museum

Facebook: 226981764377586/

Media Contacts:

Ryan Kaminski
Marketing and Communications
(888) 378-6283 – (888-EST- MATE)

American Society of Professional Estimators

Society Business Office
2525 Perimeter Place Drive
Suite 103
Nashville, TN 37214
(888) 378-6283 – (888-EST- MATE)

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Task Management: How Efficiently Are You Using Your Time?

Posted By YM Administrator, Tuesday, January 31, 2017

This is not an article on cost estimating. No. This article is about being efficient, achieving more in less time and following your agenda.

If you have been making a living as a cost estimator, then you know: an estimator’s job is never boring. You are always in a contest with time: how to better use it. Every project we work on comes with a deadline we don’t control. Last minute changes make the life of a cost estimator, even more, fun.

Those who are exploring a career in cost estimating ask this common question: what makes a good estimator. I will tell you what I think it is: Excellent Time Management Skills! Yes, if you master how to manage your time very efficiently, the rest just falls into place.

Following, I will share with you the apps I use every day to enable me to accomplish more. Let’s be honest: the amount of information we have to handle day in and day out, prioritize, delegate, communicate, update, report, social presence, etc., it is overwhelming. Having the tools to help us navigate through a day’s load of to-do’s it is crucial. It makes all the difference. Attention to detail and meeting the deadlines need a laser-like focus on your part. Are you up to it?

Here are my favorite Apps:


After trying many apps for task management, workflows and to do lists, I settled on Trello. The best by far. The visual interface and flexibility are the features I like the most. This tool lets me organize everything going on in my life, work wise and personal. The way I use it is to create workflows, increase productivity and keep my personal goals in perspective.

To give you a better idea of how powerful and versatile this app is, browse through these examples and decide for yourself. The learning curve is very short, and the user discovers the many functionalities quite easy. The app has a free version you can use. If you want to get the most of it, the paid version comes with a low monthly fee, but it is all worth your money. Here is a YouTube video that will give you enough information to get you started with Trello.


Automate everything! Well, most of it anyway. This is a free app that lets you automate lots of tasks. I use it to automate tasks that I do every day, mostly within the social media. For instance, I created an app to automatically post a thank you tweet to all my new followers and add them to a spreadsheet in Google drive. A time saver!

This app uses “recipes” built on the “if this, then that” formula. If you are not using it, you are missing out. Read this article to understand how it works at a glance, or go to the app home page.


This app has the same functionality of the IFTTT app; the difference is that Zapier is more business focused and gives the user the ability to create multiple steps recipes. The app has a free version, but to be able to use the best functionality, the user has to pay. Here is a great article on comparison of automation tools, including the Microsoft Flow.

Both IFTTT and Zapier appeal to those who use various apps regularly. Using IFTTT or Zapier, the user can create recipes to make the various apps talk to each other. Here is an article that focuses on Zapier use for project management.

The point here is that any repetitive task we do takes time. If we can find a way to neatly organize an automatic flow, the time we end up saving could be significant.


If you are more of a “just a straight forward to do list” kind of person, there is an app for that too. Meet Workflowy. Create simple lists and “organize your brain” the way the creator of Workflowy markets it. I used it for a long time and found it very helpful. It has a free version with almost all the features as the paid version. I believe the only noticeable difference is that with the paid version you can share your lists with others. Same as with all of the above apps, this one can also be used on all mobile devices.


Another great list and task management app is Todoist. This app comes with a free version as well. The paid version does not offer a lot more, but if you want to collaborate with others, set reminders and add labels and filters to your projects, you will need to pay for it. Regardless, it is a great app. It also can be used within Zapier and IFTTT receipts. The learning curve is relatively short.


And, of course, with all that much on your plate, you will want to know where your time goes. Meet Toggl, the app that keeps you focused on the task at hand. Literally! The paid version has the Pomodoro feature included. If you are not familiar with the Pomodoro technique, read about it here.

I love this app. It comes in handy especially when I work on multiple projects, and I need to track my time spent on each of them. And the best part, it just shows me at the end of the day how much of my time went towards actual work. Another way I like to use it is to see how much time I need to complete a particular task. We tend to be over optimistic when we estimate the amount of time we need to do something. At least I am! A reality check is always helpful.

Fantastical 2

My last one on the list is a calendar consolidation app. Fantastical 2 is just that. It lets you consolidate all your calendars if you have more than one, which I do.

It is designed to work only on Apple mobile devices, unfortunately. I used the Microsoft Sunrise calendar until it was discontinued later this year. For all those who manage more than one calendar, this app lets you see them all in the same place. It is priceless.

There are many other apps out there which are very useful, like cloud storage, social media management, etc. The intention of this article was to share the few ones that I use and are not quite well known.

By Doina Dobre

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