Builder Confidence Rallies to Pre-Pandemic Level in July

In a strong signal that the housing market is ready to lead a post-COVID economic recovery, builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes jumped 14 points to 72 in July, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. The HMI now stands at the solid pre-pandemic reading in March before the outbreak affected much of the nation.

“Builders are seeing strong traffic and lots of interest in new construction as existing home inventory remains lean,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke.  “Moreover, builders in the Northeast and the Midwest are benefiting from demand that was sidelined during lockdowns in the spring. Low interest rates are also fueling demand, and we expect housing to lead an overall economic recovery.”

“While the housing market is clearly rebounding, challenges exist,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Lumber prices are at a two-year high and builders are reporting rising costs for other building materials while lot and skilled labor availability issues persist. Nonetheless, the important story of the changing geography of housing demand is benefiting new construction. New home demand is improving in lower density markets, including small metro areas, rural markets and large metro exurbs, as people seek out larger homes and anticipate more flexibility for telework in the years ahead. Flight to the suburbs is real.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo HMI gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

All the HMI indices posted gains in July. The HMI index gauging current sales conditions jumped 16 points to 79, the component measuring sales expectations in the next six months rose seven points to 75 and the measure charting traffic of prospective buyers posted a 15-point gain to 58.

Looking at the monthly average regional HMI scores, the Northeast surged 22 point to 70, the Midwest jumped 18 points to 68, the South increased 10 points to 73 and the West increased 14 points to 80.

HMI tables can be found at nahb.org/hmi. More information on housing statistics is also available at housingeconomics.com.

Job Posting

Construction Supervisor Assistant

Winston-Salem, NC

Description

Position Title: Construction Supervisor Assistant           

Reports To:     Director of Construction                

Hourly position 

Hourly wage rate commensurate with experience

Closing date: July 31, 2020


PLEASE CLICK HERE TO APPLY

Basic Functions:  Facilitate all on-site construction tasks to ensure safe and effective completion of affiliate goals by leading inexperienced volunteers, Cornerstone trained volunteers, AmeriCorps Service members, sub-contractors and other vendors in new, remodel, and repair construction. Responsible for ensuring all projects are completed on-time, on-budget, and to affiliate standards.

Principal Duties:

• Coordinate all hands-on construction tasks as assigned by the Director of Construction –  job requires a working knowledge of construction techniques with strong focus on carpentry and finish carpentry

• Accountable for the safety and security of assigned job sites, AmeriCorps members, partner families, and volunteers

• Provide adequate supervision and training of volunteers on the job site including an initial meeting at the beginning of the workday to discuss the plan for the day and work assignments

• Ensure that duties assigned to volunteers are age appropriate

• “Fix” any construction task performed below acceptable standards by volunteers

• Help establish and abide by timetable for construction

• Communicate closely with warehouse managers to ensure all materials are available as needed

• Work together with other construction team members, as a team, to constantly improve construction processes

• Assist in the supervision of all site preparation and layout

• Responsible for day to day management of AmeriCorps team

• Provide progress reports to the Director of Construction weekly or as requested

• Perform all homeowner warranty issues, complaints, and repairs as directed by Director of Construction

• Treat Partner Families and volunteers with respect and dignity and strives to make their construction involvement meaningful

• Understand elements that contribute to successful volunteers and help ensure that volunteers have a consistently positive, encouraging environment thus motivating them to return

• Ensure that communications to volunteers and partner families are respectful, accurate, and timely

• Safely operate Habitat vehicles and equipment – must be eligible to be added to Habitat vehicle insurance- this requires at least 5 years of driving experience and a favorable driving record

• Properly maintain equipment and immediately deal with any malfunctions

Other Duties:

• Communicate mission of Habitat

• Assist with Habitat special events as needed

• Comply with all policies and procedures

• Other duties as assigned by Director of Construction

Requirements

Physical Requirements:

• Ability to lift 50 pounds – work will require climbing ladders, considerable standing, bending, kneeling, and reaching in awkward and tiring positions

• Ability to understand and communicate in English; other languages are a plus

• Ability to pass a criminal background check, pre-employment drug test, sexual offender check, and random drug testing

Other Requirements: Adhere to schedule, show initiative, honest, drug free, positive attitude, customer service oriented, must have dependable transportation to work

Internal Interactions: Habitat Staff, AmeriCorp members

External Interactions: Volunteers, Partner Families, Donors, Community Leaders and Members

Level of authority: Requires minimal supervision

Estimated Time Commitment: 37.5 hours / week 

COVID-19 Update

Construction Sites Specifically Included In Governor’s Face Mask Order 

NCHBA Members:
 
This afternoon Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 147 (Order) which requires face covering at various business, manufacturing and other settings. Construction sites are specifically included:
 
7. In Certain High-Density Occupational Settings Where Social Distancing is Difficult. Social distancing is inherently difficult where multiple workers are together in manufacturing settings, at construction sites, and in migrant farm, other farm, and agricultural settings. Therefore, in businesses or operations within North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors 311 to 339 (manufacturing), 236 to 238 (construction), and 111, 112, 1151, and 1152 (agriculture), all workers must wear Face Coverings when they are or may be within six (6) feet of another person.
 
These requirements become effective at 5:00 pm on Friday, June 26, 2020, and remains in effect through 5:00 pm on July 17, 2020, unless repealed, replaced or rescinded by a subsequent order.
 
A face covering (mask) is defined under the Order as: 
 
“Face Covering” means a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is simply wrapped around the lower face. A Face Covering can be made of a variety of synthetic and natural fabrics, including cotton, silk, or linen. Ideally, a Face Covering has two (2) or more layers. A Face Covering may be factory-made, sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, bandanas, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.
 
Among the exceptions to the face-covering rule which may be applicable to a construction site include:
 
1. Should not wear a Face Covering due to any medical or behavioral condition or disability (including, but not limited to, any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious or incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance);
 
7. Is working at home or is in a personal vehicle;
 
10. Has found that his or her Face Covering is impeding visibility to operate equipment or a vehicle;
 
Face Coverings are also required in public or private transportation (e.g., to and from the job site) including “ride-shares, cabs, vans, and shuttles, even if the vehicles are privately owned.”
 
Enforcement of this order will be by local and state law enforcement personnel who may issue citations to businesses or organizations “who fail to enforce the requirement to wear Face Coverings.”
 
Today’s Executive Order 147 extends the previous requirements of Executive Order 141 which included limitations on mass gatherings and other matters.   Mike Carpenter
NCHBA Executive Vice President & General Counsel

OSHA Issues Guidance on Returning to Offices After Shutdowns

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) late last week issued guidance to assist employers reopening business offices and their employees returning to work during the evolving coronavirus pandemic.

The guidance provides general principles for easing restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus through the use of phased reopenings. During each phase of the process, employers should continue to focus on strategies for basic hygiene, social distancing, identification and isolation of sick employees, workplace controls and flexibilities, and employee training.

NAHB members are reminded to check with their state and local officials on occupancy and other restrictions. OSHA notes that the guidance is supplemental to guidance from the CDC and White House, and that all local and state orders should be followed before reopening begins.

The new guidance from OSHA recommends the following reopening phases:

  • Phase 1: Businesses should consider making telework available, when possible and feasible with business operations. For employees who return to the workplace, consider limiting the number of people in the workplace in order to maintain strict social distancing practices. Where feasible, accommodations (i.e., flexibilities based on individual needs) should be considered for workers at higher risk of severe illness, including elderly individuals and those with serious underlying health conditions. Non-essential business travel should be limited.
  • Phase 2: Businesses continue to make telework available where possible, but non-essential business travel can resume. Limitations on the number of people in the workplace can be eased, but continue to maintain moderate to strict social distancing practices, depending on the type of business. Continue to accommodate vulnerable workers as identified above in Phase 1.
  • Phase 3: Businesses resume unrestricted staffing of work sites.

Home builders and other construction companies also recently received some additional clarification on a recent rule regarding temperature screenings. At the request of NAHB and construction safety partners, OSHA on Friday clarified that temperature screenings required to let some workers into job sites are not medical records under its recordkeeping rules.

While there are sure to be more developments during the ongoing pandemic, for now, home builders and other businesses have definitive blueprints to resuming normal business operations.

For any questions on OSHA safety regulations, please contact Rob Matuga.

Advocacy

The Home Builders Association of Winston-Salem is dedicated to providing government advocacy services to our members. Your membership and participation support a grassroots program which advocates for Builders at every level of government.

HBAWS shares a Joint Legislative Committee with the Winston-Salem Regional Association of Realtors. This committee meets monthly to discuss issues facing our community like UDO updates, housing affordability, private property rights, and economic development. The Committee works with elected officials and staff from across WSRAR and HBAWS’ jurisdiction (Forsyth, Stokes, Davie, Wilkes, Yadkin, and Davidson Counties) to educate them on the real estate and building industries. Over the years, our committee has been successful in protecting real estate, building, and our consumers in a variety of legislative efforts, which you can read about here.

HBAWS supports candidates for local, state, and federal office through participation in a political action committee, NC BUILD PAC. North Carolina Home Builders Association Political Action Committee

Want to contact your federal or state representative? Find Your Federal and State Representatives.

Upcoming Events

September, 2020

September 14 – 4:00 pm Fall Parade of Homes Committee Meeting

September 15 – 12:00 pm Nominating Committee Meeting

September 16 – 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm HBAWS Membership Drive

September 17 – 3:30 pm Education Committee Meeting

September 18 – 10:30 am NCHBA Virtual Town Hall Meeting with NAHB Economist Rob Dietz
September 22 – Finance, Executive Board, Board Meeting

September 23 – 11:00 am Part 4 of Digital Marketing Webinar featuring Google Ads

September 24 – 3:00 pm Employee Guidelines Review Task Force Meeting

September 24 – 4:00 pm Bylaws Review Task Force Meeting

October, 2020

October 5 – FPH Sign Pick-up Day
October 6 – 11:45am Builder Committee Meeting
October 6 – 5:30pm Professional Women in Building
October 7 – FPH Pre-Qualification
October 8 – FPH Judging
October 10, 11 – Fall Parade of Homes, sponsored by BB&T now Truist
October 15 – Fall Parade Breakfast at Briarcliffe Village Association Home
October 17, 18 – Fall Parade of Homes, sponsored by BB&T now Truist
October 20 – Finance, Executive Board, Board Meeting

October 22 – Golf Tournament – Salem Glen Golf Club

October 23- CE for General Contractors-virtual

November, 2020

November 3 – 11:45am Builder Committee Meeting
November 3 – 5:30pm Professional Women in Building
November 4 – 11:30am Spike Committee Meeting
November 6 – Buck Horn Sporting Clay Tournament
November 10 – 6:00pm Remodelers Chicken Stew

November 12 – 4:00pm Associate Members Committee Meeting
November 13 – CE for General Contractors, virtual
November 17 – Membership Meeting

November 20- CE for General Contractors, virtual

November 24- CE for General Contractors, virtual
November 26, 27 – HBAWS Office Closed in celebration of Thanksgiving

December, 2020

December 1 – 11:45am Builder Committee Meeting
December 1 – 5:30pm Professional Women in Building
December 4 – New Board Orientation
December 7, 8 – NCHBA 4th Quarter Meetings / Board Installation, Pinehurst
December 11 – 11:00am AMC / Spike Holiday Brunch
December 15 – Board Planning Retreat, Masonic Center
December 15 – Board Christmas Social, Masonic Center
December 15 – 6:00pm Remodelers Council, Masonic Center
December 24, 25 – HBAWS Office Closed in celebration of Christmas
December 31 – HBAWS Office Closed in celebration of New Year’s Eve

January, 2021

January 1 – HBAWS Office Closed in celebration of New Year’s Day

Partnership Fuels Career Fair – NAHB Now

Business Community Partnership Fuels Construction Career Fair Success

Filed in Labor, Safety and Health on March 12, 2020 • 0 Comments

Career Fair

Operating a mini excavator is commonplace for professionals on a construction job site, but for teenagers watching up close, it’s an exciting window into a rewarding career. Exposing local students to job opportunities in the skilled trades was one of the reasons why the Home Builders Association of Winston-Salem (HBAWS) partnered with the Winston-Salem Chamber Construction Industry Council’s Construction Career Fair last fall. The event featured more than 40 local employers that provided hands-on learning experiences in fields such as masonry, diesel mechanics and interior design.

“The Home Builders Association of Winston-Salem proudly serves on the Winston-Salem Chamber Construction Council partnering on the regional Construction Career Fair every other year, as well as attending career fairs at local high schools,” said Beverly Kiser-Nutt, director of communications and member services, HBAWS. “HBAWS and the Chamber share the same vision for educating students about careers in the construction trades, increasing awareness in the community and finding a solution for the shortage of workers in the industry. The collaboration with the Chamber has provided us with a broader reach and more resources to address the issues and work together for the success of all of our members.”

More than 1,500 high school students in the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools (WS/FCS) and surrounding area attended the two-day Construction Career Fair at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds. Most of the students who attended are currently enrolled in WS/FCS Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes. The district’s CTE program provides a pipeline into higher education and employment opportunities in the skilled trades and has a 100% graduation rate among seniors taking four or more CTE credits.

“I feel like this is really good help for us seniors, especially for some that aren’t sure what they are passionate in or know what they want to do after high school…[now] if you don’t know what you want to do, this is a great possibility,” said participant Nicolas Vazquez-Segovia to Spectrum News.

In addition to real-world job scenarios, the Construction Career Fair participants were provided with information on the educational opportunities available at regional schools to earn the degree or certificate required for each industry. According to the Winston-Salem Chamber, the construction industry tops $17 billion in North Carolina, and many jobs are in high demand. Various careers in the skilled trades are expected to grow by 5,000-15,000 new jobs over the next 10 years, according to North Carolina Department of Commerce employment data.

For more information on how to jump start workforce development programs in your area, contact Greg Zick.

The Power of PWB

Power of PWB The Winston-Salem, North Carolina chapter of Professional Women in Building support local women serving in various ways in the community.

In the fall of 2019, PWB W-S makes a bold presence at the Construction Career Days expo for local high school students. Our booth attracts young women who have an eye for design and who would like to in those moments put together a possible layout for a blank space. PWB W-S affirms their vision and helps them think outside of a traditional box and inside their own ideas.Pearls of Wisdom.

In January 2020, PWB of Winston-Salem, North Carolina began working on “Connecting the Dots” in the community. This time during our monthly meetings is filled with many things: what’s going on in people’s lives, needs around the community that folks may know about, other local organizations that may need partnering with, new women in the industry we need to reach out to, community involvement opportunities, etc. This has been a fruitful experience in just two months.

The woman of PWB are working together to help this child in need. Women around the table shared how their businesses would provide things for a new house build that a local business has committed to for this young man. PWB W-S is connecting the dots!

“The woman of PWB are working together to help this child in need”

CTE Scholarship from PWB

HBAWS Professional Women in Building provides scholarships for students continuing their education in the trades.

The scholarships are merit based and presented annually to a student chosen from applications turned in at the WSFCS Career Center planning to further their construction education at Forsyth Technical Community College in a trades program. This year, PWB is awarding a scholarship in the amount of $1,000.

For information, call 336.768.5942