The construction industry can lead our country back to prosperity.
By the time this article goes to print we will have elected a new President. Polls indicate that more than 80 percent of the electorate are extraordinarily disenchanted with both candidates and fear our country is headed for a period of uncertainty, perhaps even economic and social chaos.
This will probably not occur. The American people are too sensible to allow this to happen.
The construction industry will play a leading role in ensuring that the economy and our social institutions continue to operate without interruption.
Our industry functions because reasonable, talented men and women on all levels of the construction process identify problems, develop solutions and then work together to make these solutions reality.
They do so within time and budget constraints. This requires constant negotiation and compromise. It’s understood that all parties either succeed or fail together.
One of the reasons the construction industry is special is that it represents an avenue for those with talent to succeed regardless of their social standing or education. If you can contribute to the success of a construction project you are needed and welcome in the industry.
I realize, of course, that there are tensions between management and labor, and between various groups within the labor force vying for work. But these tensions have, historically, ultimately been resolved to make our industry more inclusive and more efficient.
Our industry works within the overall fabric of our society. We volunteer for community service. We serve on the boards of charitable organizations. We provide leadership and construction expertise on the weekends to groups such as Habitat for Humanity.
Political analysts insist that the Presidential campaign has not addressed the issues that concern people in this country. This is not true.
We are concerned about the lack of decent paying, stable jobs. We are struggling to adapt to a multicultural, multiracial society. We are attempting to address these and other issues without leadership from our elected officials in Washington.
These are concerns that those of us in the construction industry have been addressing successfully on an almost daily basis throughout our careers in reasoned, measured fashion.
We are, collectively, a strong force for stability in our communities.
I urge all of you in the days, months, and years to come to continue to serve the people of this country by bringing the talents and experience you’ve acquired in the workplace to bear upon the issues that confront our nation.
America needs us and is depending upon us.
Don Wallis has more than 40 years experience in residential and commercial construction, and land development. He also has a law degree and currently teaches Environmental Law at Santa Fe Community College.