The Lift

Welcome to “The Lift,” a blog by the California Construction Academy. Check back for regular snapshots of innovative projects across the country, worker stories, and news.

Toolbox Tuesday: Inequality rising

Why are middle class construction jobs so important to the economy? This graphic maps wealth and income distribution from 1962 to 2010. The picture it paints is stark. During this time period, the richest have become richer and the poorest have become poorer.

Worth noting:

  • The richest 20 percent claim 46 percent of American income in 1962, and almost 60 percent of income in 2010.  Their share of non-home wealth (not including home equity) went from 86.1 percent to 95.4 percent over the same span.
  • After widening in the 1970s, the inequality of net worth (the red line is the gini coefficient measure of inequality) was pretty flat through 2007, but spike sharply between 2007 and 2010.
Construction is one of the few remaining US industries that provide pathways to middle class careers. Still, it is an industry with two faces. It contains workers from all walks of life and can can exploit workers in dangerous and temporary dead-end jobs, or it can provide high quality, lifelong career opportunities. Given the trends of growing income inequality, will these middle class careers last?

Graphic by Colin Gordon, The Telltale Chart and Iowa Policy Project

Every Tuesday the Construction Academy posts a graphic, chart or other resource to demystify the construction industry. To receive updates, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Do you have graphics or resources you’d like us to feature? Let us know!

Toolbox Tuesday: U.S. Housing Starts Rise

Last week several sources released reports about the increase in housing market numbers. Housing is one of the first signs that the construction market overall is coming back, and with that the expectation is that commercial, industrial and other sectors . . . Read More

Toolbox Tuesday: A Greener Future for Business

McGraw Hill just released a study showing that green building is accelerating globally despite the economic downturn.

Top findings from the study include:

  • Green building has become a long-term business opportunity with 51% percent of study firms planning more than
  • . . . Read More

7 Things to Be Thankful For at Work

With Thanksgiving on Thursday, here are some reasons to be thankful at work. It may sometimes be easy to take these workplace rights for granted, but they are the result of years of work by community and labor leaders.

Let’s . . . Read More

Voters Strike Down Charter City Initiatives, Yet More Loom On the Horizon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 19, 2012

Contact: Stefanie Ritoper, sritoper@ucla.edu, 213-375-4841

California –On November 6, voters in Costa Mesa, Escondido, and Grover Beach decided on ballot measures to convert their cities from general law cities to charter cities. This . . . Read More

Toolbox Tuesday: Prop 39 Passes!

Every Tuesday the Construction Academy posts a graphic, chart or other resource to demystify the construction industry.  To receive updates, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Prop 39 Means More Green Construction

Last week, California voters . . . Read More

Eliminating Middle Class Jobs in the Shadow of the Election

Daniel Villao, Huffington Post, November 5, 2012

Huffington Post featured Daniel Villao, Statewide Director of the California Construction Academy.  Under the cover of the presidential and state ballot races, a construction lobby group is quietly working to change the . . . Read More

Toolbox Tuesday: What’s driving California’s clean energy economy?

Every Tuesday the Construction Academy posts a graphic, chart or other resource to demystify the construction industry.  To receive updates, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

What’s driving California’s clean energy economy?

This year was the . . . Read More

Toolbox Tuesday: How much unemployment is in your district?

Every Tuesday the Construction Academy posts a graphic, chart or other resource to demystify the construction industry.  To receive updates, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

How much unemployment is in your district?

With elections just . . . Read More

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