November 2018 — Retail Properties Quarterly — Page 23 Your commercial property loans done right. Take advantage of our local expertise and a national banking presence. Our clients come to Chase for our exceptional service, quick turn times, and a clear path to closing with no surprises. Call Sara Croot, Client Manager at (303) 512-1293 or visit Credit is subject to approval. Rates and programs are subject to change; certain restrictions apply. Terms and conditions subject to commitment letter. Products and services provided by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. ©2018 JPMorgan Chase & Co. All rights reserved. Chase is a marketing name for certain businesses of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Member FDIC. 420236 CHASE COMMERCIAL MORTGAGE LENDING Retail | Mixed Use | Office | Industrial C olorado’s current unemploy- ment rate of 3.1 percent sits well below the Federal Reserve’s estimated natu- ral rate of 4.5 to 5 percent unemployment, and is still below the United States’ unemployment rate of 3.7 percent. Meanwhile, Colorado’s construction industry is booming and the hot housing mar- ket leads the way to major retail construction growth. That’s a great scenario for our economy, unless you’re a construction company leader looking to hire and retain qualified employees in this tight labor market. Denver still is an isolated commu- nity related to construction so it’s not easy to draw labor from other metropolitan markets. The primary challenges for general contractors in this market are: • Finding qualified employees who can manage subcontractors; • Shifting the millennial mindset related to construction careers; and • Meeting the stringent construc- tion deadlines required by retailers opening in new markets. • Finding and retaining good people when they have a sundry of employment options. It’s a challenging employ- ment market for most companies, especially contractors. The industry is coping by adjusting its hiring requirements and creating robust on-the-job training programs and competitive benefits packages. Con- tractors are willing to spend more time and dollars on employees with the attitude and aptitude to learn the trade. Many companies will pair new workers with expe- rienced ones for hands-on learning experiences. Con- struction industry employers also are investing heav- ily in recruiters to help locate talent- ed people – most of whom are cur- rently employed elsewhere. Networking and referrals are huge- ly popular ways to identify and employ qualified peo- ple. Our firm, along with many of our industry peers, embraces social media as a way to reach people. We encourage our employees to share our open positions through their social media channels. We often share open positions, as well as content about our company culture, on our social media with the expec- tations that our employees and industry influencers will refer our company to potential employees. We’ve recently hired several great people via social media networking and referrals. There’s also a National Asso- ciation of Women in Construction organization, with the purpose of enhancing and promoting the suc- cess of women in the construction industry. The group, which has an active Denver chapter, supports women in all construction fields and has a strong focus on educat- ing young women on various con- struction career options. NAWIC and similar programs greatly help construction recruiting and hiring initiatives. (As a woman-owned business, we are extremely proud of our heritage and the success of organizations that promote women in construction careers.) Contractors also are offering much more competitive benefits packages as a way to entice tal- ented people to make career moves. For example, many companies offer bonus packages, referral programs and robust well-being/wellness plans. • Reconstructing the millennial mindset toward construction careers. One additional factor leading to the construction worker shortfall is the lack of younger workers pursuing careers in construction. Millennials make up the largest generation in the U.S. labor force at 35 percent, according to the Pew Research Cen- ter. Many members of this growing workforce population view con- struction jobs as “dirty work” for unsophisticated people. Shifting this millennial mindset is funda- mental to keeping the construction industry and American economy thriving long into the future. The construction industry is hard at work with a focus on demonstrat- ing the external value and intrin- sic rewards found in construction careers, as well as educating mil- lennials on the wide variety of con- struction careers that exist. Also, key to recruiting millennials for construction careers is offer- ing work environments that appeal Contractor challenges in this strong economy Construction Please see Willingham, Page 29 Mike Willingham Vice president, Maxwell Builders Maxwell Builders Meeting the stringent construction deadlines required by retailers opening in new markets is just one of the many challenges contractors face.