The latest installment in the podcast series “Topcon Talks Construction” is now available. Hosted by Murray Lodge, senior vice president of Construction for Topcon Positioning Group, the podcast covers a number of topics ranging from the current state of economic recovery in the U.S. and North America to building tomorrow’s construction workforce.
Guests for the newest installment include Kate Fox Wood, Washington-D.C.-based senior director of government relations for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and Dariana Tani, economist for the Americas for GlobalData LLC, headquartered in London. Together with Lodge, they discuss ways in which the construction industry is moving forward in this challenging time and offer a look at areas that can be improved upon.
“When viewed against other segments, the construction industry has done surprisingly well throughout this COVID-era,” said Lodge. “That’s not to say, however, that there aren’t steps that can be taken to do even better, overall. In improving productivity, for example, construction is sorely lagging behind other industries, both in adopting new technology and attracting new talent. It was great to hear Kate and Dariana discuss ways in which that can happen.”
A recurring theme in the podcast’s discussion is the Biden administration’s pending infrastructure bill. Both Wood and Tani see it as important for the construction industry and equipment manufacturers to move forward in a number of areas, including improving broadband connectivity in rural areas — an ongoing focus for Topcon. Also discussed is the situation facing workers displaced by COVID-19. Though dramatically life-changing in many cases, Wood said there is also a big chance for re-training and re-skilling in that change.
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“This could be an awesome opportunity for many,” she said. “Congress is working at re-authorizing the old Federal jobs training program as the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act and, if they can do so at a funding level that can make a difference, it could mean great things in the workforce development effort for a new generation of Americans.”
Other topics covered include moves to incentivize technology adoption, the need to better educate people about the opportunities that exist within the construction industry, and efforts currently taking place to modernize the registered apprentice program.
Listeners can subscribe to the “Topcon Talks Construction” series through their preferred podcast streaming app. Additionally, the “Industry Outlook and Current Opportunities” episode is available at topconpositioning.com/industryoutlook and all podcasts, including those for the agriculture industry, are available at topconpositioning.com/podcasts.