In The Zone – Ep# 2 Helping the Industry Move Forward with Tony Rader

[00:00:00.000] – Jeremy

Welcome to the US Construction Zone podcast in the Zone is what we’re calling it.

[00:00:05.480] – Valerie

My name is Valerie Owens, and I’m excited to be back with you today.

[00:00:09.540] – Jeremy

I’m Jeremy Owens and I’m also excited, probably a little bit more excited than Valerie right now. That’s another discussion, another podcast?

[00:00:18.870] – Jeremy


[00:00:19.870] – Jeremy

We wanted to get into a little bit of things in the news. So Val got an article here and she wanted to share what’s going on.

[00:00:28.040] – Valerie

So lately in the news and of course, across the construction industry, we’ve been hearing about the problem with labor shortage. Well, not only a labor shortage, but material shortage. And so I just saw in the news that the Senate passed at $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which would put 550,000,000,000 into new infrastructure over the next five years. And a lot of this will be used for things such as improving roads and bridges and highways. However, I wanted to get your take on how this will affect the construction industry itself.

[00:01:07.790] – Jeremy

Yeah. I mean, I am a fan of the bill in terms of we need to upgrade our infrastructure. I don’t know if you’ve been on the freeway, go anywhere, any highway for US, highway 99 and going down California, and you’re likely to lose a tire like it’s needed, for sure. But I’m a little concerned with it. And we’ll ask Tony Raider later on what his take is on it, because during COVID, we lost right out the gate. We lost a million workers. So a million workers were laid off, and a lot of that was on the manufacturing side.

[00:01:44.100] – Jeremy

We did recoup 80% of that. So we still have roughly 40,000 to go. And this bill, they say, is going to add another 650,000 workers. So we’re about a million short. And I’m concerned with that million number because our shortage in Northern California is as worse as it’s ever been. And I’m nervous because I don’t know how we can perform it from that side. But also the supply chain side for us, getting material is triple what it was before. We have problems with rail cars, we have problems with trucking industry, anything regarding getting the material to us.

[00:02:27.010] – Jeremy

Raw materials, manufacturing, basically every single possible thing to get anything and manufactured in the US to a builder is completely strained. So now we have the biggest infrastructure bill ever, and probably I don’t even know what 1.2 trillion is it’s got to be. It’s got to be a lot, right. I’ll ask my son. He’ll tell me how much that is, but it just seems like it’s a bad time in our industry to add kind of extra stress. And I did hear that Biden came out and said.

[00:03:02.930] – Jeremy

Well, before we get to it.

[00:03:04.460] – Jeremy

We are going to fix the raw materials. We’re going to fix the supply chain issue. We’re going to fix the transportation.

[00:03:10.720] – Jeremy


[00:03:11.730] – Jeremy

I would have loved that fixed already.

[00:03:13.380] – Jeremy

But how are we going to do that? You know, within a year so that’s my biggest concern right now. I’d like to be optimistic, but I’m just not because of our own work has been severely strained with labor shortage. And we can’t get guys. We’re losing guys more than we’re gaining them. We’re actually losing a lot of our crews to the trucking industry. And in the downturn in the 2008, we lost him to College. So we’ve lost workers. We have not picked them up.

[00:03:45.540] – Valerie

Right. And I’m curious to get Tony’s take on this is (he is way smarter than I an by the way). Well, but he just has so much experience and vast experience over different parts of the construction industry. So it’ll be interesting to get his take on it. I think that he has a lot of great ideas and so experience with ideas. And then I think that he’s going to offer a lot of.

[00:04:11.310] – Jeremy

Hopefully some insight that I don’t have. I’m looking for some optimism and hopefully he will be. But the other thing, the other stat that was a couple of other ones. One is our average worker in the construction industry right now is 43 years of age. That is very old for for an industry that you’re using your hands, that’s even older. So that’s a concerning stat. We’ll talk to Tony about the younger generations coming up, how we get them involved. The other one is it’s not a money issue. I was looking at the stats.

[00:04:48.100] – Jeremy

Restaurant, hotel workers are an average in the US of $18.23 an hour, construction right now is an average of $32.86 an hour. That ain’t bad right. So it’s not money. It’s just the messaging. And hopefully we can get the message out that you can make good money really, right out of your trade school or right away. You can be making good money. So hopefully we get there and we can get to putting people at work and improving our roadways. And I know we have not only terrible roadways, but our bridges are in peril.

[00:05:24.650] – Jeremy

And, you know, our state is currently on fire. I don’t know if the bridges matter if they’re burned.

[00:05:30.090] – Valerie


[00:05:33.670] – Jeremy

I’m kind of a downer right now.

[00:05:37.080] – Jeremy

I think I’m feeling downer because of my my own work. And when I’m feeling the strain and the stress and the crews complaining about everyone’s complaining about wanting to make more money, and so it’s just a stressful time for us.

[00:05:53.960] – Valerie

I agree to see this. I’m stressed.

[00:05:56.440] – Valerie

Yeah. Even though it’s good news, really. It is good news. I think that we’re in this climate right now where it seems I was telling Jeremy the other day, it feels like we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop in some ways. And if you if you are watching the news on any channel at any point in time, there’s a lot of frightening things going on right now across our nation and globally. And so I think that part of it, too, is that you’re not only feeling the effects of it in being a business owner, which we can empathize with all of the business owners in not only construction, but in all fields, everyone is feeling the effect of this fear.

[00:06:41.260] – Valerie

And, of course, it’s difficult to be optimistic. Sometimes it feels phony if you’re to say everything is going to be great. And that is why I think it’s really important and why we both are very excited to have Tony with us today because he’s not just optimistic. I mean, it is based in experience. And I think that having someone who not only has the belief but the ability to use their expertise and their skills to bring these innovative ideas, such as bringing the younger demographic into this industry.

[00:07:21.380] – Jeremy

I’m just excited to hear what his thoughts and ideas and all that. I think the last component to this news and then we’ll get to Tony is the raw materials issue. Everyone talks about raw materials. And for us, for siding and windows and decking, there’s raw materials and all those things. And there’s been a shortage of just the raw materials to make things. And just, for example, getting a window could have taken two to three weeks last year. Now they’re taking three months. So it does matter.

[00:07:52.520] – Jeremy

And one of the industries that is going to be hardest hit and they’re looking at the most is the steel industry. They can’t keep up with current demand. So when they heard about this bill, they’re like, I don’t how and then they said, I’m worried that you guys are just going to outsource from another country, and that’s not the intent of this bill. The intent of this bill is to get Americans working. So if we start too soon on this bill and get to working, I don’t think that we can keep up.

[00:08:21.590] – Jeremy

So then we’re going to be getting raw materials from other countries. And the quality is an issue and other things.

[00:08:26.060] – Valerie


[00:08:26.450] – Jeremy

When you’re building a bridge, you need quality.

[00:08:28.390] – Valerie

Yes. And I hear that there are a lot of there’s a lot as far as a budget plan before it can actually be implemented.

[00:08:40.190] – Speaker 2

We’re getting the cart in front of the horse a little bit here.

[00:08:43.340] – Valerie

So it will take time and we’ll go from there. In the meantime, it’s a tough road to be on right now.

[00:08:51.970] – Jeremy

It is I think like you said, every industry has has some COVID casualties. I just think with our industry, almost every single facet of getting material to us to putting it on the wall has been a casualty. Yes. The demand is great. But if you can’t perform, then it doesn’t really mean anything.

[00:09:14.410] – Valerie


[00:09:15.250] – Jeremy

So everyone’s like, oh, it’s so great to be busy. And I’m like, I just think it’s not a fun busy. It’s just a busy busy. And so I want it to be fun again. It’s just not currently.

[00:09:30.990] – Valerie

Yeah. And change doesn’t come from comfort. So I think  the opportunity to learn from this and to improve for the future, I think is going to be something that in the moment when you’re trudging through, it’s not comforting. But once we’ve gotten through it and we can look back and say, wow, this is how the greatest minds figured out how to make it possible and how to keep businesses running and customers happy.

[00:10:06.160] – Jeremy

Well, that’s in the news on in the Zone. And right now we’d like to talk about our guest.

[00:10:15.120] – Jeremy

We are honored to be speaking to a true change maker in the construction industry today. Our guest has an illustrious 37 year career, in many sectors of the construction industry, and has specialized in project management, negotiations, management, and his fierce leadership skills have been demonstrated in every position along the way. His accolades and awards are frankly just too long to discuss on this podcast. But he was elected to be the Associated Builders and Contractors 2019 National Chair and he was even invited to the White House. We are looking for change makers and innovators in the construction industry for this podcast, but I’ll be damned if we didn’t find both in Tony Rader, thank you, Tony, for joining us.

[00:10:59.080] – Tony

I appreciate that, man. It’s great to join Jeremy.

[00:11:02.580] – Jeremy

All right. And just before we get started, we should probably let everybody know we had a little snafu with the technology and you can really tell a lot about a person when things aren’t going right and things weren’t going right, connecting with them and he hung on and stayed in there. So we appreciate that, Tony.

[00:11:21.480] – Tony

You bet.

[00:11:23.580] – Jeremy

Alright. So I think I wanted to start with, you know, we kind of chatted a couple of weeks ago and we have a similar upbringing and that we both started with our dads in the construction industry. So I’d like you tell me a little bit about that experience with your father and how it kind of developed into who you are now.

[00:11:40.280] – Tony

I’m the youngest of four boys in my family. We weren’t blessed with a sister, but I have plenty of individuals out there that said that they can jump in at any time and slap me upside the head with that. Being the youngest of four, you get picked on a lot. And dad came up from a rough upbringing himself and always worked hard for everything. He worked two jobs, extremely good on his work ethic and taught us boys to do that and that always treat others with the same level of respect that you want to be treated.

[00:12:20.820] – Tony

And he instilled that in all four of us, he was working in American Airlines and he started a construction company on the side, if you can imagine that. And they did dirt excavation and also mowing. And that’s how I started. Back when I was 13 or 14 years old, weekends and in the summertime and six days a week. I was on a tractor mowing lots at the city of Herst that they owned land. So we go out and this is probably pre you. We had to get jumped on a site early in the morning with this day old tin can, water and metal lunch bucket.

[00:13:01.480] – Tony

And dad say, I’ll see you tonight. And that was our day. But our expectation was he’d sit down on line is out what the expectation was now if we broke something during the day, the issue back then was there was no cell phones. Right. So we had to have a pocket of quarters. It would go and call mom at the house. And she said, okay, well, what did you break and would tell dad when he came by? And then dad would come out and it usually be from one of those boys messing around, doing something we shouldn’t have been doing with the equipment.

[00:13:37.320] – Tony

And we’re breaking it, of course. That’s right. So that would be, of course, wrapped up about it. And what teaches that, you know, that little bit there lost production and lost his ability to be able to bill for that job that day. You know, we had to pick back up that amount of work the following day. So it instilled on all of us boys that work ethic. There is a game plan that you got to lay out a plan of action. And I enjoyed  working outside and work with my hands,  that’s how I get started.

[00:14:14.790] – Tony

Yeah, that’s cool.

[00:14:16.480] – Jeremy

You can tell you have a lot of fun memories about your experience with that. You don’t see that every day with people working with their fathers. But I would agree with you. I got the same exact treatment and work ethic. And without that, I don’t know where I’d be, but I’m glad that I ended up in the construction industry. So that’s a good answer.

[00:14:36.170] – Valerie

Yeah. You have one of the things I noticed in learning some things about you is you have had many roles and in those roles in the AUI ABC chairman, and then your role currently with the NRP, you’ve always brought your integrity along with it. Your character shines brighter than everything you have accomplished. It shines along with it. So you’ve brought philanthropy and integrity and selflessness. Has that always been a part of who you are as a young child? And coming into this industry, is it something that you found important as you went in?

[00:15:18.070] – Valerie

Can you tell us a little bit about that?

[00:15:19.700] – Tony

It is, the construction industry is when you look at it overall, it’s gotten  a bad rap readers, okay. And it’s gotten a bad rap from individuals going out to people’s homes and doing work in their home and not treating them with the level of respect and and following up when they have an issue. And that’s one thing I always tell people is that you’ll call me and if I don’t answer you right away, you know, I’m going to call you back. And I will call you back. Now, there are sometimes with subcontractors over the years, you may not like the answer I give you.

[00:15:56.880] – Tony

But, I’m going to call you back, okay? Right. Because I owe you that. And I’ve always told my kids, which I have three kids and a lovely bride of 42 years, that when you have an issue, hit his head on, you know, talk to the individual and say, here’s my perception. Here’s what it is. Here’s what I plan on doing. Is there anything that you’re going to tell me that can change my mind on my decision? And people respect that. Whether it be a man or a woman, they respect you being up front with them, as opposed to trying to hide something and do something dishonest because you’re not going to win at the end of the day, you’re just not. So, be upfront. I treat employees the same way. If you’re not a meeting expectations, I’ll sit you down and talk to you and tell you and treat you like a man or treat you like a woman and be up front with you. And I found over the years, if that’s the way you do business, that’s the way you deal with friends. I’ve got a lot of competitors over the years that we’re good friends, but we’re good competitors. Okay. And we can go into a pre bid.

[00:17:07.960] – Tony

I can tell you how many times I’ve gone into a pre bid and seeing several other companies that I compete against. And it’s like old home. And sometimes that sets the clients or the architects or the engineers off because they go, Well, these guys are all, like, conversing together. They’re looking for us to be pitted against each other. And it’s not collusion by any means. It’s just. Hey, good to see you, Jeremy. It’s great to see you here, man. How’s the business doing? You know, right?



[00:17:40.710] – Jeremy

There’s enough business for all of us, isn’t there? I never quite understood that. I think there’s jealousy and pride that’s involved in a lot of that. But the same way with my competitors, there’s enough business for all of us. Let’s be cordial. Let’s even learn from each other. Was there one individual that you would say that you learned kind of how you just described you going to work? Is there some way that your dad or was that somebody you learned that from along the way?

[00:18:07.300] – Tony

You know, I’ve got several good mentors along the way. They’re coached me. And one of them, of course, is my dad. That is now no longer with us. But there’s another gentleman that was a CEO of a large mechanical. They’re one of the largest in the nation. And he was CEO of the company back when they did maybe 100 million. Well, now they’re probably close to a billion dollars in work. And he’s retired now. And then I tell you, Ben (Houston) is somebody that would come and challenge me.

[00:18:42.880] – Tony

He would say, have you thought about this or think about the way you want to respond to this more of a good mentor. And then I had one other individual named John McGuire, who John was the CFO for Tyson Foods. And John and I got to know each other really well. And he was one I could go and say, man, I got this problem. And then John would give me some counsel. You know, it’s great to have those mentors. And it’s great to have those individuals when you start out in the industry, no matter what industry you have.

[00:19:18.740] – Tony

And I’ve taken it to heart because I mentored and helping individuals over years with other corporations. I’ve got a gentleman right now that I’m helping –  hired him right out of College, worked as an estimator for me, moved up to project manager. Sold the firm he left the firm, started a company out of the back of his house. Okay. He now has 275 employees, going to do 75 million this year and growing. And I meet with him once a month, and we kind of go through, hey, what are your pain points?

[00:19:57.000] – Tony

And I’m helping structure leadership. Helping structure his company for success. He’s wanting to be 100 -150,000,000 next year. He’ll do it, you know, young guy, 37 years old, 38 years old. I mean, how exciting a story is that to tell?

[00:20:13.320] – Jeremy

Yeah. That’s awesome. And I think just like you said, mentors around you. But now if you can mentor others, then you’re really giving back. And that’s really why we wanted to talk to you, because we know that you’ve been a mentor for a lot of people, but not only a mentor for people, but the industry. And that honorable thing that you got with the ABC national chair in 2019. I was telling Valerie about how difficult that is. And that’s not something that just anybody can win. And so tell us a little bit about that experience and kind of how their mission ABC’s mission became your mission.

[00:20:50.620] – Tony

Yeah. Ben Houston, my mentor, one of my mentors actually got me involved with ABC. And when I came into the very first meeting, he said, you need to be involved with Associated Builders and Contractors of America. And I said, well, why, he told me why. And I said, I’ll try it and immediately fell in love. But not only their mission and statement of providing a free enterprise system for construction to work in, but also the legislative side of it being part of the solution, not part of the outside looking in, that was critical for me.

[00:21:30.050] – Tony

And as I grew into that mission of being able to be involved in ABC, I became part of the some committees here locally in the local chapter, because they got 69 chapters nationwide, 27,000 members. Companies.



[00:21:48.430] – Tony

Well, they’re one of the largest in the industry. Construction industry Association wise. And I got to be chair the local chapter. And then from the local chapter. I started serving on committees nationally. And then they asked me if I would come on to the executive board, which there’s twelve on the executive board. And I served on the executive board for about three and a half years. And then they asked me to go in rotation for the national chair position. So I became chair in 2019.



[00:22:21.380] – Tony

Now chair of 27,000 member companies and 69 chapters is a daunting task that’s when you could travel. Okay. I was in the air somewhere every week. Every week, I would be gone two days a week out of the office and still doing my day job.



[00:22:46.900] – Tony

So I knew the task upfront. I was very blessed to be able to do that. I got to meet a lot of individuals that I would never have the opportunity to meet, to be able to sit at the conference room outside the oval office with the President and Ivanka, have a 15 minutes. I’ve scheduled for 15 minutes and turn into a 45 minute discussion where they’re actually dragging him out of the room, not me. And I always tell people I got people over the years since then to say, Why did you ever go meet with President Trump?

[00:23:27.360] – Tony

And because of their political beliefs? Sure. And I told him I said, why not? Let me ask you the question. I don’t care who the President is, right? It doesn’t matter to me is that you respect the office. If I can help the industry move forward in a positive manner, some way, somehow, that’s what I want to do. And so they asked, we were served on a committee, the Workforce Development Committee, because, you know, in the construction history, at any given time, there’s 450 to 550 thousand construction jobs open even today.

[00:24:02.580] – Tony

Yeah. When this infrastructure bill is signed all the way through that goes over a million jobs instantly that are available in the construction industry. We got a big problem, folks. You don’t believe it, go to any restaurant?



[00:24:21.200] – Tony

Try to get something delivered on time in the construction industry.

[00:24:25.410] – Valerie


[00:24:28.080] – Tony

You know, it’s unfortunate where we stand right now in the construction industry because it’s so backlogged with shortage of material, shortage of labor, people are overstressed. And we’re just trying to do our little small part to try to fill some of that gap.

[00:24:46.620] – Jeremy

So tell me a little bit about that. So the White House experience was that on the committee for ABC, when you guys kind of speaking about the labor shortage at that point and how the messaging was coming through.

[00:24:58.050] – Tony

And we developed a plan, ABC did, with the White House. Ivanka Trump, lead it. Let me tell you, say what you want to about that young lady. There’s been a few women that blow my socks out with how smart and intelligent that woman is right out of the gate, highest level of respect for her and what she brings to the table, she demands the presence when you walk in. So I was very blessed to be able to spend time with them. But, you know, the goal and the mission is we needed to fill this gap because when kids are in – I call them kids – so I apologize when these kids, young men and women are in high school. Okay. They’re in high school. Some of the last thing they want to think about is working in the construction industry, you know, grit and grime dirt and all that they’re pushed to go to College. Well, not ever kids built for College. Not every kid is going to be able to afford for 100 – 150,000, maybe 200,000 in College dues and tuitions and everything else. So why not provide another path that will get them a great career at zero cost to them and pay them while they’re getting in.

[00:26:25.650] – Jeremy

Sounds like a good gig to me. I was just telling Valerie about the average starting wages, right around $32 an hour for the construction industry, where a restaurant hotel workers at 18. So the money really hasn’t been the issue, but the messaging was poor for so bad. And we are kind of talking about this before about the push to College, and everyone’s got to go to College. And not everyone does need to go to College or should go to College. And so it was like, kind of we need to reopen this door to the construction industry and say, hey, wait a minute.

[00:27:01.020] – Jeremy

What about us? And I think now you said it. Now we’re having a hard time just getting plumbers and electricians to show up and things to show up on time. So I did want to ask you about that infrastructure bill, and I know it’s not fully vetted and signed yet, but if this does go through and we are a million short of workers, how do we perform this? Not only the labor, but we also have supply issues as well. So how do we perform this?

[00:27:31.040] – Valerie

And insure its success.

[00:27:33.950] – Jeremy

Yeah, exactly.

[00:27:34.940] – Tony

Yeah. It’s going to be difficult with the current model that we’re in right now because there’s not enough labor right now with looking at you’re going to have to bring in my opinion, you’re going to have to bring in outside resources. And what I mean by that is you’re going to have to bring in some people from outside of the United States to be able to fill some of these jobs and get them on a pathway to citizenship and get them on started with that pathway, there are people hungry for it.

[00:28:04.780] – Tony

And it’s also educating the young men and women about the open jobs in the construction industry. Provide that training. You know, individuals want to be trained and they want a good training and they want a good education. They want their kids to have a good education. So we’re providing, like in the roofing industry. About a year and a half ago, I looked at the roofing industry and our training program, we have a great training programming in RCA, but it’s never been recognized as a true apprenticeship program in the industry, like mechanical electricians, plumbers and so forth.

[00:28:45.900] – Tony

The Department Labor did not recognize it. So I said, why don’t we have a training program, a structured training program that’s recognized by the Department of labor? And they said, oh, it’s too hard. It’s too hard. So I got together because I’m on the board also in NCEER, which is the curriculum for the construction industry, and visit with them as if what’s it going to take? Well, it’s going to take a rewriting of the curriculum. It’s going to take an application to the government to get approved, and everybody’s going to always month, you may be a year.

[00:29:21.320] – Tony

So I started pulling some strings, got some people involved and made the application through an individual. And we got it approved in 30 days.

[00:29:31.690] – Valerie


[00:29:32.430] – Valerie

That’s huge phenomenal.

[00:29:33.990] – Tony

And everybody said you couldn’t get it done that quick. Well, I got it done that quick. We’re having our first class for Roofer apprenticeship training next month.

[00:29:44.570] – Jeremy

Starting that’s such a huge success. I mean, just on the heels of what we just talked about with the labor shortage, we got to have more of those training programs set up and ready, because that’s how you’re creating the whole younger generation in the trades. And we have very few of those experiences in California. I can tell you that it’s just so hard to get them trained.

[00:30:05.190] – Tony

That’s awesome. It’s going to come to California is we’re starting off with this program in Dallas, Fort Worth at the CEF training facility, which actually just opened up this week, 88,000 square foot, brand new facility. So we’re starting the program here. We’re going to get the first class started. And then the goal is to utilize out of the 69 chapters nationwide with ABC, there’s 60 of them that have training facilities. Is we’re going to roll this out to all 60 that have training facilities across the nation. California be included.

[00:30:42.180] – Tony

And we’ve already got the program where to get the curriculum. All they got to do is here you go, folks, get the people. And we’ve got the network of the NRCA to get the companies and the individuals in the classes.

[00:30:56.320] – Jeremy

Right. Awesome.

[00:30:58.140] – Valerie


[00:30:58.560] – Jeremy

I think that spring boards into what you were.

[00:31:00.900] – Valerie

Yeah. Well, I was just curious. It sounds like a lot of your motivation comes from bringing in the next generation into the construction industry. And so I know you’re doing some things over at NRP with some innovations you have going on there. What are some things that you can share with the listeners as far as one, how you would bring the next generation and how you know that you found that it makes it exciting and then also some things that you already have in place.

[00:31:33.220] – Jeremy


[00:31:34.090] – Tony

Great question, Valerie. I don’t know if this is going to be shown video wise, but people will be able to see my hair in that I’m not too much longer in this industry. Okay. I don’t have Jeremy’s hair color anymore, but the exciting part of it is that when I visit with young men and women, especially at the young constructors form at ABC, I say think about this. In our construction industry, the larger firms have every type of industry that you can think of within their firm draft people that draftsmen that work on AutoCAD attorneys.

[00:32:20.490] – Tony

Cpas, you know, think of financial people, think of all the various aspects that you can think of in the industry. And I’m sure that some of these larger construction companies have those in their firms. We started seeing the shortage. We said, okay, technology is going to drive some of this. Who would have ever thought that up on a roof? You have a robot laying roofing material, right. Who would have ever thought that in lieu of putting guys up on a roof to do a roof inspection, that we now can do it with artificial intelligence that NRP developed to go and fly the roof by drone, which is just capturing information, takes that information into an artificial intelligent computer that we have and spits out a report and tells me everything about that work and measures it in 3D AutoCAD ability drawing.

[00:33:22.630] – Jeremy

I wouldn’t have said that.

[00:33:24.530] – Tony

Now, when we show people this, we’ve got about 2600 sites to fly. We just got an order for 1300 sites to do this artificial intelligence with. And if you put this out with guys on a roof, you know, shutting the crew down, number one. So now you’re losing production, right?

[00:33:50.710] – Jeremy


[00:33:51.800] – Tony

You’re having to send that crew to that job to do the assessment. So then you get back and these guys are going to fill out the report, get everything up onto a server of some type, and then go back to work. Okay. How long will you think you taking do 1300 hundred all over, then it would take you a while, right?



[00:34:16.600] – Tony

Would take you nine months to a year, probably to do them all. What if I told you we’re going to do all 1300 of those in three months and have full reports done?

[00:34:27.080] – Jeremy

Yeah. That’s what we need. Technology. Wow. So that NRP program, is that available for others? So can we buy that, or are you guys licensing that, or how are we going to do it?

[00:34:39.440] – Tony

Yeah. What we do is if someone needs that, they just go on to our website and order. You can actually order it on the website. The program, it’s very inexpensive, like for 50,000 square foot building. And I think it’s somewhere between 1000, 1200 Bucks. So if you ordered one today, Jeremy, in ten days, I have a report for you.



[00:35:01.010] – Tony




[00:35:02.060] – Tony

And then you also have a log in to where you got that information from. That forever. It comes with pictures, assessments, measurements, it’s got everything on it.

[00:35:14.300] – Jeremy

I mean, that’s such a key piece to this labor shortage is making sure that we keep the crews that we do have efficient. So we’re definitely going to be seeing more of the technology kind of infrastructure. We talked about robots. We’re talked about they are doing zip walls and making buildings already. So something like that is exactly what the construction industry needs.

[00:35:35.930] – Tony


[00:35:36.710] – Jeremy

We need more of that, obviously.

[00:35:38.010] – Tony

Right now, there’s other firms and other industries, like dry Wall and plumbing, for instance. I know a couple of firms here here locally that will build an office in sections, and it’ll be complete when it comes out.

[00:35:52.400] – Valerie


[00:35:53.240] – Tony

The only thing that they’ve got to do for the plumbing fixtures is hang the actual fixture, but all the pre plumbing done in the walls, 100% done.

[00:36:04.930] – Jeremy


[00:36:06.140] – Valerie

So what it makes me think of is that generally, in the past, stereotypically, a lot of women have avoided the construction industry because of potentially because of the labor. You know, it’s just one of the things that we’ve noticed across generations. It just, you know, women typically haven’t been exposed to certain parts of the industry as we move forward with greater technology. And we find that we are Stem programs are gaining massive steam. And what are you seeing for women in the construction industry?

[00:36:46.490] – Tony

Let me give you a couple of stats and I will kind of preface this with I’m a humongous proponent of women in the construction industry. It is a guy dominated side of the world and industry wise. But I can tell you that if I was going to hire two individuals and I had women on this side and I have men on this side, and they both have the same capabilities, I would hire the women over the men. And the reason why is that you have someone that’s more detailed, you have some more passion.

[00:37:24.260] – Tony

I find that they’re more reliable, and that’s just me. Okay. I may get shot off of this, but I’m just telling you that every experience I have, we have a young woman in the back. It’s a project manager, and she is killing it right now. Killing it and has a baby at all. Okay, put that on a guy and let me know it goes for you.

[00:37:49.470] – Jeremy

The are calling in sick.

[00:37:52.960] – Tony

But in the industry, what you’ve seen in the construction world, which is great news. I did a talk with National Women and Roofing, and I give them some of these same stats. And these stats are on the Department of Laborer website. You’ve seen a pay structure has always been a discrepancy between men and women in the construction industry. Men seem to be for some reason, people think that they ought to be paid more. I don’t like don’t like that model. That model doesn’t work here. The women’s pay has increased to 97% of what a man makes it’s jumped from 85% to 97%.

[00:38:35.680] – Tony

Now, that is a huge jump in the roofing industry. For people. We have women that are now on roofing crews. Go figure there now. Yeah. That’s a little different. Right. Okay. You see the women in the workplace, in the roofing side of the world, it’s increased to about 14% in the field that needs to get better. It needs to get better. We are dominated by women in our office. I can tell you that it’s probably more like 70% women as opposed to the men in the office because they’re organized it’s.

[00:39:20.420] – Tony

Okay. I’m okay.

[00:39:23.920] – Jeremy


[00:39:24.930] – Tony


[00:39:25.170] – Jeremy

We’re definitely seeing the trend, and obviously that it’s kind of a hot button topic now. They have their own organizations, and they’re really kind of sweeping the nation. So we’re big supporters of them. And we’re hopeful to talk to a few of them pretty soon because it is the wave. And we talk about a shortage or there’s a lot of women who want to do something different. And we don’t have a shortage of women that can join the industry and really provide a little tweak to it.

[00:39:55.730] – Jeremy

Like you were saying their organization, they’re just their brains. Typically, we’re generalizing they’re a little different than us. And we’re a little bit more task, like get it done and move on. And I think sometimes women can see a big picture that we can’t. And that’s really why I wanted her to be in my podcast was that she hasn’t been involved with the construction industry her whole life, but she has these perspectives that I don’t have, and I never will. And so without them, I’d be missing something.

[00:40:25.270] – Jeremy

So I think that’s where we’re going absolutely.

[00:40:28.240] – Valerie

One of the things, too, that I admire so much about you is that you see value where a lot of people would tend to overlook it. So you do see it in demographics that might have been overlooked in the past, such as the younger generation or females. I think that you’ve done a fantastic job of really being open to learning about what the needs of everyone is and then using that with in your leadership roles to speak for most people.

[00:40:58.660] – Jeremy


[00:40:59.230] – Tony


[00:40:59.620] – Jeremy

I mean, there’s a lot of things that we’re trying to do here is just leave the industry better than you found it. And I think that will be a legacy that you should be very proud of and that everyone around you says the same thing. And, you know, there’s a lot of things that I’m impressed with you on. But the one thing that I keep coming back to is your leadership, your family, your faith, all of those things that are wrapped around you tell us a little bit about this will be our last question about how important family and the rest of your life, how important that is in your leadership.

[00:41:34.540] – Tony

You know, family is extremely important to me. I’ve got three beautiful kids and four beautiful grandkids and another one in the oven coming so I’m excited about seeing the new little boy. We didn’t have the boy in the family, not nothing against women. We have plenty of women one boy in the family for my only grandson. But, you know, the other thing that I tell some of the younger people here is that work hard. But remember that there’s a worklife balance. You know, I am a huge proponent of when somebody calls and says, hey, my son’s got a game tonight, can I need to take off early –  go take off. Get to your son’s game. It will be here tomorrow.



[00:42:22.750] – Tony

Okay. I’ve got to go with several young ladies this week that they called and said, hey, I’m taking my daughter or son to school for the first day for this year. Is it okay? Absolutely. It’ll be you when you get here to take him to school. I tease with one of the girls in the back. She’s a great friend. And she said, hey, do you mind if I’m late because I’ve  got to take Aubrey to school. And I said, no, make her walk  – no take her to school.

[00:43:00.260] – Tony

Because we just think about it. You’re around these individuals for a majority of your day. Okay. And I’m an early riser. I get here at the office 6:30-7 every day, and I’m usually here to five, except for Fridays. I take off. But they all know that if they need some day or not, they can call. Yeah, I have a rule, the only rule I got about taking phone calls at night is I answer up until 900. After that, all bets are off – I’m snoring in the chair somewhere.

[00:43:38.920] – Jeremy


[00:43:39.400] – Jeremy

Well, we appreciate all the feedback insightfulness of the industry. We wanted to finish like we do with everybody in our zone out of kind of feature here where we ask you three questions. And the first question for you, Tony, is as a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

[00:43:56.860] – Tony

Oh, I would say it was originally it was following my dad in the airline industry some way. Okay. I wanted to fly somewhere.

[00:44:11.900] – Jeremy

Okay. Got it.

[00:44:14.290] – Valerie

So pretend you have your own late night talk show. Who would you invite as your first guest?

[00:44:21.420] – Tony

Oh, my first. That’s a great one there. It would be. It has to be Robin Williams.

[00:44:32.040] – Valerie

I love that.

[00:44:34.820] – Tony

Just because you never know what you’re going to get, though, I’d rather have a surprise as opposed to somebody structured. I’d rather say, hey, bring it and let’s just roll with it.

[00:44:44.660] – Jeremy

Yeah, man. Yeah. You never know what you’re going to get with him, man. What a great soul he was. I agree with that. The last one here. Who is the most influential person in your life?

[00:44:58.610] – Tony

The most influential person I probably have in my life. It would probably be my best friend that I currently have, which is Steve Little.

[00:45:10.030] – Jeremy


[00:45:11.040] – Valerie

Why is that?

[00:45:13.280] – Tony

You know, I actually work for Steve. Okay, that’s who I report to. But Steve and I got a friendship on the other side of it that we can separate. And people tell us they’re still constantly amazed at how we do this. Is that I can separate business from personal. We can have a business. We can get passionate about an issue. We can get passionate with each other and when we get through it’s all out on the table. There’s nothing left unsaid. And we can go out to dinner with our wives at night or travel the next day for a week long vacation and do whatever. Our families know each other. I’ve watched their kids grow up. He watch our kids grow up. The wives are best friends. You know, when you have that kind of relationship where you can bury your soul when you’re. Because we all go through times in our lives where we need somebody to pick us up and we’ve done that with each other. We’ve seen each other our best. We’ve seen each other at the worst. And just remember that you take a step back and take a breath and say, what can I do for you?

[00:46:27.440] – Tony

And what do you need help with when you see them hurt? When you see somebody needs some help, pick them up, help them. And you know what? It’ll come back to you. Ten fold.

[00:46:37.030] – Valerie

Yeah. What a gift.

[00:46:40.110] – Jeremy

He just described a pretty good friend.

[00:46:42.030] – Valerie

I know. A gift to have each other.

[00:46:47.920] – Jeremy

All right, well, we appreciate your time, Tony. We’ll give you the last word. Do you have any last takeaways anything calls the action for the industry. What would you like to leave with even though you could just leave with that friend description? That could work too.

[00:47:02.490] – Tony

I think, Jeremy, you said the best is leave the industry better than what you brought into it. And to help the younger generation see the footprint of a career long term career in the construction industry. Okay.

[00:47:16.020] – Jeremy

Awesome. Well, we appreciate your time, Tony. If people want to get in touch with you, are you on LinkedIn.

– Tony

Yep, give me a shout and we will connect. We’ll talk.

– Jeremy

Alright. Thanks again, Tony.

– Tony

Alright, bye.

– Jeremy


– Valerie


– Jeremy

Okay. That was cool. Like I said, in the beginning of the podcast, we had a we had a snafu getting connected and just the fact that he was gracious and just no problem we will figure it out. Just like I told Val, probably nine out of ten guys would be like, I got to go.

– Valerie

Yeah. See you later.


– Jeremy

Chicken scratch notes.

– Valerie

I’m so I’m impressed with everything that he could put on his resume. That alone stands alone on itself. That is right. But even more so, the ease of being able to talk to him for one. What you see is what you get. It’s very obvious that his character is what he leads with, and I’d love to get to know him better. I think having leaders in the industry that not only bring the aspect of experience and skill and his brilliance, but also leading with their heart and their convictions and insight and integrity.

– Valerie

I mean, what a fantastic person to be part of your industry and to call a peer.


– Jeremy

No, I totally agree. That’s the kind of guy we want to be part of us construction zone and be leading us. And that’s why we kept asking questions about how he’s done in leadership, because this is how the rest of us are gonna learn. We’re not gonna learn by reading it out of a magazine or it’s going to be from that relationship you have with a guy like Tony. So we definitely appreciate him being on the show. And that’s the kind of guy that we’re looking for and Gal we’re looking for people who are.

– Jeremy

We said it a couple of times, leaving the industry better, leading with integrity, all those things to the value of connection and contacts.

– Valerie

And one one having mentors that are willing to share with you. But then also turning around and being that for someone else, totally agree.

– Jeremy

Anything else? Any last words? Alright. Well, we thank you guys all for listening and watching, and we can’t wait to keep this thing rolling and chat with more people and learn from them. And so thanks again.

– Tony

We’ll see you next time.

– Valerie

Bye bye.


No account yet? Register


Login expired, please login and try again later.