December 2012

Dateline Nov. 5, 2012. That’s right; I am intentionally sitting down to write this editorial the evening prior to the presidential election.

Rather than waiting a mere 24 hours (we hope) to find out the fate of the nation, I instead thought it would be best, for purposes of getting the point of this editorial across, to capture a glimpse into the economic landscape of the country on the night prior to the election.

For all intents and purposes, the fate of our nation could stay exactly the same no matter which candidate ultimately takes office. But the fact of the matter is with every presidential election comes new hope and optimism that the next four years will provide a brighter, more prosperous tomorrow.

For those of you reading this in December, you may recall that some leading economic indicators were starting to show signs of positivity in the weeks leading up to the election. Consumer confidence climbed to a more than four-year high in October. Perhaps American consumers were taking comfort in the fact that the final jobs report put out by the U.S. Labor Dept., prior to the election showed signs of life, saying roughly 171,000 jobs were added in the reporting period. Or perhaps the American public was riding high on the opinions that a recovery in the U.S. housing market was officially “under way” according to an industry Webinar held by leaders in the housing industry in October, hosted by the National Assn. of Home Builders.

During the Webinar, which was focused on the economic and construction outlook for the United States, NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe boasted the market had been experiencing a more robust housing sector than many other parts of the economy. One reason cited was the opinion that housing prices were once again on the rise.

Above all else, perhaps the reason I chose to pen this editorial prior to the election was to demonstrate that, despite who sits in the Oval Office, our success as a country, by in large, has to do with the men and women that go to work each day, hell bent on making the right decisions for their company, their family, themselves.

By in large this coincides well with a theme that you will see carry throughout this entire issue of Constructech. This issue is all about creating that “self-made success” in today’s economy. For instance, we have our story about homebuilders that, despite all the budget restraints and tough times, have made it a point to make the investments that matter. These builders know what it takes to survive—whether expanding into new markets or extending services—and aren’t afraid to make things happen. We also have our Vision Awards winners profiled in this issue, all of which carry on the theme of being a “self-made success.”

Of course there will always be underlying economic factors that contribute to the success or failure of an industry, but as individuals or companies all we can demand is our very best. Beyond that, you need the chips to simply fall where they may. I will stand by this opinion as strongly on November 6 as I do on November 5.

Mike Carrozzo
Chief Editor

Construction Is All About Hope
Elections are all about new beginnings. Or at least that is what we have come to believe in our hearts and minds. But for most of the construction industry, let’s be honest, “uncertainty” has become the watchword during the past several years for many of you.

And after billions of dollars, ruthless debates, and countless hours of frantic pitches from the candidates, it all came down to the voters to decide whether to give President Barack Obama four more years with a second term or to change course with Republican Mitt Romney.

It’s now December, and unless you have been on a deserted island, we all know how the November 6 election turned out. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican it really doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, what does matter is that we now support our commander in chief and we all chart a new course for change for the construction industry.

Many pundits still insisted that whoever won this past November, the economy and markets would likely continue to face more uncertainty, not less, during the New Year. It’s clear we all need to stop talking about the so called “fiscal cliff” and start talking about how we right the wrongs of the past so more contractors can get back to work. Let’s stop pointing fingers and playing the blame game. You are contractors. You are builders. There has always been a powerful sense of resiliency in this market, making it one of the most powerful in the country. And there’s no industry like construction.

Peggy Smedley
Editorial Director

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