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Construction is the biggest industry in the United States, employing more workers than the automotive industry, airline industry and steel combined. It is commonly referred to as a bellwether for the general economy as a whole. California, and specifically San Diego, is a good case in point. Last November, the voters of the state of California passed infrastructure bonds totaling $37 billion. Locally, five San Diego County school districts also passed construction bonds totaling more than $2 billion. Add in the $40 billion trans-net tax extension from a few years ago and you are talking about real money. Unfortunately, the only expectation for all these construction dollars is more roads, stronger deltas and better schools.

But, what if we could do even more? What if your hard-earned money (and make no mistake about it, that is what is being spent) could provide a higher return on investment? Shouldn’t owners of public construction projects (elected officials) be asking themselves how they could get more than just a new building in exchange for the taxpayers’ money? Well, the fact is we can do more, a lot more.

In my next blog, I will show how construction, when done right, can:

1. Stimulate a local economy;

2. Provide high-paying jobs with benefits;

3. Provide training for life-time career opportunities;

4. Help stabilize future construction costs;

5. Provide neighborhood benefits above and beyond that realized by the project itself.

ANDREW BERG

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