The meeting featured opening remarks from Steve Faught, Director of Construction and Preventive Maintenance for the Archdiocese, who described the decision made by Cardinal DiNardo and its desired impact. Faught spoke of up to 10 archdiocesan projects, currently in the planning stages, which he hopes will become C3 projects. He also highlighted his hope that the cost impact of C3 projects for the Archdiocese will be minimal. To support this aspiration, Faught spoke of a large commercial office-building project, which was bid with C3 requirements and without them. Once the bids were totaled, the cost differential for the bids, which specified C3 criteria, was approximately .04% (four one hundredths of one percent) more than the bids without C3 requirements. Faught then described his belief that the potential savings gained from higher quality construction, resulting in lower building operational and maintenance costs, and a safer job site, will far surpass the incremental cost of C3 in construction.
Jim Stevenson, Board Chairman of C3, then spoke to those in attendance about the history of C3, its mission and principles and the need to make a career in the craft trades attractive once again. Stevenson also provided an update to C3’s growing impact on the commercial construction industry, which included identification of the eight high-profile owners who support it as well as their completed, ongoing or upcoming projects. In addition to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, owners supporting the C3 mission include Texas Children’s Hospital, M.D. Anderson Cancer Centers, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Museum of Fine Arts-Houston, Hines, Jones Lange LaSalle and Greater Houston Partnership. Stevenson also identified the 107 construction companies who, as of the town hall meeting, had received designation as C3 Accredited Employers. Included in that number were 17 Contractors and 90 Specialty Contractors. (Since this meeting, the number of C3 Accredited Employers has grown to 116.)
I followed Stevenson to the podium and outlined for the attendees the expectations of a Contractor working on a C3 project, which include the importance of a pre-bid conference to set expectations of C3 requirements for all bidders, utilization of the C3 Training Database as a project tool, the delivery of C3 Orientation to all craft workers on the project and the submission of project metrics each month.
The meeting was concluded with a panel discussion featuring members of the C3 Board of Directors. Panelists were Tom Vaughn, president of Vaughn Construction, Mike Holland, chief operating officer of Marek Bothers Systems and Stevenson, who is president of the Houston Division of McCarthy Building Companies.
The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is the most recent addition to the ranks of prestigious owners who recognize that the issues facing the craft worker in the commercial construction industry must be addressed in order to make a career in the craft trades attractive once again. The payoff for these owners, once C3 principles of Financial Health & Well Being, Safety Training and Craft Training are achieved, will be higher quality buildings with lower operational and maintenance costs, safer job sites and a trained, sustainable craft workforce to construct their buildings to which prospects are attracted because it provides a career with compensation to support a middle-class lifestyle. I hope that you agree and will support C3 as well!