Donald Trump and the Construction Industry


The Good

President Donald Trump is at the forefront of developing properties for the last 5 decades. His strong presidential views on developing the country’s infrastructure is a breath of fresh air for the future of the country. He has emphasized the need for boosting infrastructure and construction investments.

The nation’s crumbling infrastructure has become a talking point for both major parties during the election. A February American Road and Transportation Builders Association study found that approximately 10% of the nation’s bridges were structurally deficient in 2015. In May, the American Society of Civil Engineers reported that the U.S. will lose an estimated 2.5 million jobs and $4 trillion in gross domestic product over the next decade if it can’t overcome the impending $1.44 trillion deficit in infrastructure funding.

Trump revealed his $1 trillion infrastructure plan in October. This program would be largely funded through private investment, with tax credits going to investors willing to put up an equity stake in revenue-generating projects like toll roads, airports and utilities. Officials said the cost of the tax credit would be offset by employee and company taxes generated by the volume of work.

Donald Trump, builder of hotels, casinos, luxury apartment buildings, and golf courses, now wants to rebuild America. Donald J. Trump “I want to build the next generation of roads, bridges, railways, tunnels, seaports, and airports.”

As with so many of his proposals, Trump hasn’t put out a detailed plan. But one is coming in the next several weeks, a campaign adviser told Bloomberg News.

Huge new investments in infrastructure would reverse decades of decay in the nation’s public transportation arteries and create millions of jobs.

The Bad

Another wrinkle to the infrastructure conversation has been introduced by critics who worry that investing heavily in transportation projects and construction jobs is a bad idea. Amid the skilled labor shortage that has been plaguing the industry, as they say contractors might not be able to find workers to staff the new jobs.

Because public construction spending has lagged behind the other sectors, there is likely “a lot more slack in that labor market,” Brian Turmail, senior executive director of public affairs for the AGC, said. “If the funding came through, our guys would find a way to put the workers onto the job.”

The first thing to ask about any Trump policy pronouncement is, “Is he serious, or is this just one more promise by a presidential candidate?”. It’s true that Trump hasn’t released a detailed infrastructure plan but Trump’s embrace of an ambitious infrastructure agenda has been one of the most consistent themes in his presidential campaign. Both candidates in the presidential election said that this plan will create many new jobs, putting construction workers back to work.

USA Today reported on Thursday that Trump has refused to pay hundreds of contractors – from carpenters to painters to even his own lawyers. Trump and his companies face 60 or more lawsuits as well as liens and judgments.

The president apparently isn’t concerned. He told USA Today that he withholds payment when he isn’t pleased with the work. “Let’s say that they do a job that’s not good, or a job that they didn’t finish, or a job that was way late. I’ll deduct from their contract, absolutely. That’s what the country should be doing.”

To be part of Trumps infrastructure dream every construction company CFO should take an intense interest in the way they run their project i.e budgets. The CFO should get all employees that is part of the project on board with the spend and up the quality of work.

The Construction CFO

In today’s environment, the role of the financial manager in a construction organization is essential to organizational success. The CFO is vital avoiding failure. In many circumstances competition is so fierce and margins are so thin, reliable financial information and analysis certainly can make the difference between success and failure.

The economy is driving all contractors toward highly sophisticated financial management in order to succeed in the construction industry.

As a company leader, the CFO guides the organization using suitable values and ethics. Values come primarily from three sources: knowledge, skills, and integrity.The CFO need to step up not only THE budget plan, but make sure work is done correctly and efficiently with quality in mind. It is vital that they are honest with those relying on them to provide valid information that will inform their decisions.

Keeping the lines of communication open is the keystone of relationship management. Recognizing issues and following-up with open, honest and prompt communication among all parties involved, helps to avoid escalation of resultant negative consequences. Many construction industry executives have little, if any, formal training in communications.

It is highly advised to put a working purchase order system in place that could help the flow of the project and that can be easily be monitored by the CFO at all times.

Successful trading means making the right decisions. An experienced lead cost controller will know the significance of progress and its overall effect on the project. So taking a serious interest in the spend rate is a given.

Final Trump words

Another positive report on an unacknowledged barrier to advancement, President Donald J. Trump said in an interview on Fox News on Monday night:

“I was the one that really broke the glass ceiling on behalf of women more than anybody in the construction industry, and my relationship, I think, is going to end up being very good with women,” Mr. Trump told the interviewer, Bill O’Reilly.

It looks like President Trump is really taking out all the stops to make the Construction Industry a building block for the future with his Infrastructure plan and his empowering of women leaders in this hard core industry.

What are your views on the state of the Infrastructure of America?

How would you better your budget spend to help make your country a better building block for tomorrow?

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