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|May 25, 2016 ||
Vol. 47 No. 3
What a conference it was! People are still talking about our Dallas get-together, and not just for the great city, great hotel, and great people who gathered: We had some truly outstanding presentations, and we invite all GBA members to see what meeting attendees saw, with a dozen all-new presentations; titles/speakers listed below. These are all free to GBA members.
- Change Your Perspective, Change Your Business Jonathan Edison, M.Ed.
- Maintaining Professionalism as an Expert Witness Denise M. Hammond, Esq.
- Crystal Ball Workshop Download Arthur G. Hoffmann, P.E., D.GE
- Business Snapshot Survey Report Steven K. Noble, P.E., PTOE
- Defining Professionalism: Using Quality Management to Improve the Client and Employee Experience Jeffrey A. Gebhard, P.E.
- The Death of Old-School Business Development: What Your Future Leaders Need to Know Richard Friedman
- 2-3 Millennials Don’t Want to Work for You! How to Cultivate Millennial Leaders Gaynor Strachan Chun
- Update on the Phase I Environmental Site-Assessment Standard of Care Michael E. Covert, P.G.
- Real-Life Negotiating Lee R. James, C.P.A., C.M.C., C.B.I.
- Where Have All the Good Sites Gone? Providing Multiple Services to Clients Developing Brownfield Sites Saiid Behboodi, P.E., G.E.; Michael E. Covert, P.G.; and Randal G. Martin, P.E.
- So, Mr. Green, Let's Look under the Hood of Your "Well-Oiled Machine": Peer Review Training Thomas W. Blackburn, P.E., G.E., F.ASCE; Gary M. DeJidas, P.E.; Kevin B. Hoppe, P.E.; Michael V. Smith, P.G., C.E.G.; James L. Withiam, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE; and Christopher Clarke
- Professionalism in Motion Victor R. Donald, P.E.
About one-third of job applicants lie on their resumes. Many of the lies are easy to spot, as when you come across companies you've never heard of; suspiciously wordy job titles; far-fetched, exaggerating language; and mysteriously long resume gaps. Other lies show up using Google or other search/HR tools. While, unquestionably, you don't want to hire someone who’s dishonest, honesty of itself is not enough: Geoprofessional firms need honest people who will bring knowledge, creativity, and enthusiasm to the workplace. How to spot them? Scan resumes for indicators that an applicant has led the way on a new initiative; look for signs of hands-on involvement with projects and solutions; consider the extent to which an applicant has shown continuous growth and improvement and/or has made an effort to create innovative solutions for past employers. Interviews are more important than resumes, of course, and you can ask questions to get a better feel for how an individual would fit in. During that process, however, bear in mind the results of one major study that found that almost 90% of great work starts with an employee asking the question, "What difference could I make that other people would love?" Where do you look to learn if an individual is likely ask that question? Believe it or not, the cover letter.
Travel insurance is an essential for some trips; a waste of money for others, depending on the nature of travel and the risks each poses. If you have to book far in advance and pay hefty deposits (subject to trip-cancellation penalties) when you do, trip-cancellation insurance (TCI) would likely be worthwhile. If you might have to cut a trip short and get home quickly, trip-interruption insurance (TII) could be called for. If you could require emergency health care while you're away, especially if you're outside the U.S., primary travel-medical insurance (TMI) would pay your expenses up front. Will your existing medical coverage help? Maybe…or maybe not. You need to know, however, so read the policy. Note that Medicare does not cover you outside the U.S., but some Medicare supplements do. Could that health problem require emergency evacuation back to home? If so, medical-evacuation (ME) insurance would sure come in handy. Note that the best source of these coverages may be an online agency that specializes in travel insurance.
National Association of Home Builders
Just how tight is the labor market? Well, according to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics'
Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, March 2016 saw 210,000 construction-sector jobs go unfilled, bringing the open-position rate (job openings as a percent of total employment) for March to 3%. On a three-month moving-average basis, the open-position rate for the construction sector increased to 2.7%. For the economy as a whole, the overall open-job rate rose to 3.9%. This could bode well for future hiring, but it also indicates that labor scarcity is a general problem; one that hardly is limited to the construction industry.
U.S. Department of Labor
Just as public disclosure of their kitchens' sanitary conditions encourages restaurant owners to improve food safety, OSHA expects that public disclosure of work injury data will encourage employers to increase their efforts to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses." So says the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in a news release announcing a final rule to implement public shaming of companies that report workplace illnesses and injuries. "Since high injury rates are a sign of poor management, no employer wants to be seen publicly as operating a dangerous workplace," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "Our new reporting requirements will 'nudge' employers to prevent worker injuries and illnesses to demonstrate to investors, job seekers, customers and the public that they operate safe and well-managed facilities." The final rule also promotes employees’ right to report injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation. More than 3 million workplace injuries and illnesses occur every year in the U.S.
Environmental Research & Education Foundation
Regulations specify that owner/operators of closed landfills are responsible for maintenance, monitoring, and condition of the site for 30 years, but regulations provide no guidance for releasing a landfill from post-closure care (PCC). The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) provided guidance in 2006, when it issued the performance-based Evaluation of Post-Closure Care (EPCC) methodology for evaluating leachate management, landfill-gas management, groundwater monitoring, and cover maintenance. Now, EREF has issued a new report, based on 20 years of retroactive data evaluations at a case-study landfill. The study shows that site conditions and the availability of data are imperative to demonstrate that functional stability is achieved and passive controls can be successfully implemented at a site. The cornerstone of the EPCC process is the confirmation-monitoring (CM) program that is implemented after shut down of active controls as part of the transition from active to passive care.
Mark your calendar for these two outstanding GBA get-togethers, and be on the lookout for announcements about others being finalized.
For a complete list of upcoming events, click here.
If Facebook is part of your social-media, marketing-outreach strategy, you should be aware of an even dozen's worth of "hidden Facebook marketing features" to try today! They are:
If you're into social networking, these are must-knows. For today!
- pages to watch,
- like a page as a brand,
- save an article for later,
- audience insights,
- create custom app icons,
- search previous posts for specific wording and insights,
- Facebook pixel,
- customize your ad preferences,
- pin posts to the top of your Facebook page,
- view people and pages that like your page,
- Facebook page tips, and
- dark posts.
Harvard Business Review
If your job includes meeting management/leadership, this is an outstanding article you need to review. It includes guidance that we have seen nowhere else…and it's good guidance! Example: Whether or not your agenda is timed, you need to issue it well in advance of the meeting, to give people time to absorb the information and ask questions. What format do your agenda items take? Suggestion: Present "all agenda items in the form of questions to be answered, including a specific step-by-step process for addressing each agenda item and identifying which require a decision — and if so, what the decision rule will be…. For each part of the agenda, each person should know if he or she is expected to share information, to advise others who are making the decision, to be part of a decision, or to just listen. If it's your meeting and you don't tell people the roles you expect them to play, and then they act at odds with your expectations, you've helped create the problem."
Slate Associate Editor L. V. Anderson wrote a neat column on "anti-to-do lists" (a.k.a., "done lists"). Some highlights: To-do lists "are designed to remind you of all the things you haven't done. As soon as you cross off one task, another one or two or 10 await you. The whole exercise can be a dispiriting reminder that no matter how hard you work or how much you accomplish, there will always be more work to do until you die…. Because of the discouraging nature of to-do lists, I have a habit of abandoning them: My computer contains countless Word files, Outlook tasks, and sticky notes littered with uncompleted assignments and chores. But there is one list of tasks that I have never been tempted to abandon: a color-coded spreadsheet that tracks… everything I have done as a writer and editor over the past three years…. Keeping track of what you do makes you feel productive, which makes you feel happy and energized, which translates into more productivity going forward…. I get a frisson of self-satisfaction every time I update it. (…I spend maybe 30 seconds a day updating the list.) It has also helped me take a big-picture view of my work and be more deliberate, and realistic, about my goals…. During my annual performance reviews, I can draw on actual data instead of just evaluating my work based on my feelings and recollections.
|GRAPE PRESS: Hold on to Your Socks
Big, tasty reds: Those are the favorites of not just a few of the many GBA members who love wine. Of course, really good reds can be pricey. These two should be. The first comes from Spellbound Wines, a Rob Mondavi Jr. winery that produces unspectacular easy drinkers, with one exception. As described by Robert Parker, the "real star, and a sleeper selection for sure [Parker gave it 90 points], is the outstanding 2013 Petite Sirah. This wine has an inky, ruby/purple color, notes of cassis, blueberry, blackberry fruit, incense and camphor. This is a medium to full-bodied beauty to drink over the next 5-6 years, possibly longer." In other words, a highly rated, big, gutsy Petite Sirah from Lodi that will last maybe a decade. The price? $11. Unreal. Then, there's the 2013 Roots Run Deep Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Educated Guess, which Parker also rates at 90 points and calls "one of the best buys in Cabernet Sauvignon in all of Napa Valley." It has a dark, brooding appearance in the glass, with a nose of dark fruit and a bit of spice. As Parker says, it's "just a gorgeously sexy, lush wine that delivers the goods." It should last until 2020. It's available for as little as $13. Even more unreal.
| || 2016-2017 GBA BOARD OF DIRECTORS|
Laura R. Reinbold, P.E.
(Terracon / Nashville, TN)
Charles L. Head, P.E., P.G.
(Sanborn, Head & Associates, Inc. / Concord, NH)
Woodward L. Vogt, P.E., D.GE, F.ACI, F.ASCE, F.ASTM
(Paradigm Consultants, Inc. / Houston, TX)
Thomas W. Blackburn, P.E., G.E., F.ASCE
(Blackburn Consulting / Auburn, CA)
Arthur G. Hoffmann, P.E., D.GE
(Gannett Fleming, Inc. / Harrisburg, PA)
Kenneth R. Johnston
(GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. / Norwood, MA)
Kimberly F. Morrison, P.E., R.G.
(Morrison Geotechnical Solutions, Inc. / Denver, CO)
Alex Sy, Ph.D., P. Eng.
(Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd. / Vancouver, BC)
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063