Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Tue, Dec. 10

Column: Construction industry integral to local economy

We live and work in the silhouettes and outlines of Yavapai County-sized skyscrapers known as multi-story buildings; we travel through streets lined with homes and local businesses and buildings under construction. The majority of you probably move through our roads and communities unaware of the vast industry that is responsible for shaping the environments in which we live and work -- the industry that has built America.

Construction is the second largest industry in the United States with more than $1 trillion in total volume, accounting for approximately 8 percent of the nation’s GDP. It is the industry responsible for constructing the buildings and infrastructure that are so vital to the quality of life.

There are many misconceptions about the construction industry. What today’s construction industry is NOT…

Artless, basic, boring, unfulfilling, thankless, routine, predictable, unchanging, dull, greedy and ecologically damaging.

You can see that the construction industry is a significant part of our economy; it touches everything from major roads to arterial roads in our communities. Without construction we would not have airport runways, bridges, and interstate. Every building — our City Hall and Town offices, our schools, grocery stores, our homes, movie theaters, places of worship, libraries, restaurants hotels and resorts. Construction has been in our lives for decades.

Just like our life, we have a lot of years we can see in the rearview mirror, and we need to keep looking ahead and that is what the construction industry is doing. We are going to see more collaborative approaches for projects such as design-build, public-private partnerships and integrated project delivery.

Our jurisdictions are an integral part of the business community and our cities and towns must support, create and implement innovative and flexible strategies that foster business growth and profitability all through construction.

Construction impacts the economic health of any region as a whole and each community, business and household. A growing and exciting community will attract employers and employees to the region. Development and revitalization of built areas and carefully managed growth instead of continued sprawling development is a must.

The housing market, in particular, plays a crucial role in boosting the economy. When people purchase new homes, they also tend to make other big purchases, including furniture and appliances. As home sales increase, it creates opportunities for a range of service providers. Buyers and builders require services such as real estate agents, roofers, accountants, bankers, landscapers, legal professionals and way too many to mention.

The construction industry has been a key player in leading states out of tough times and today and in the future the construction industry is and always will play a significant role in the recovery of the American economy.

Sandy Griffis is executive director of Yavapai County Contractors Association.

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