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Tips for the Trades: Top Resources for Specialty Contractors

The construction industry is undergoing a period of transformation. COVID-19 has only accelerated the existing trend toward innovation and next-generation technology. To stay on top of the never-ending advancements, management, and workers alike need accessible resources.

We’ve compiled the top resources for specialty contractors to make things easier. Whether you run your own contracting firm or want to advance your career in a specific trade, you’ll be sure to find the list below contains the helpful resources you need.

Safety Resources for Specialty Contractors

Safety is one of the top priorities for specialty contractors, especially as working conditions continue to change in response to the pandemic. The following resources are designed to help specialty contractors build and strengthen their safety standards:

[AGC] Safety and Health Training Resources

  • If you’re looking to create new safety standards for your company (or level up your current strategy), this comprehensive list of training materials is the ideal place to start. You’ll find best practices for improving safety in general, fall protection training, a Focus Four Hazards training program based on OSHA standards, and more.

[OSHA] Recommended Practices for Safety & Health Programs in Construction 

  • Get recommendations from OSHA on how to establish a safety and health program. This downloadable PDF focuses on addressing potential issues before they present significant risks. The resource highlights nine simple ways to get started, action items for leadership and workers — just to name a few.

[Infographic] How Specialty Contractors Can Manage Risk in the New Normal

  • Subcontractors need strategies for managing safety and other risks to move forward and stay on top of future business demands. You’ll find even more insights into risk management for specialty contractors in this recent blog post.

[EHS Today] 5 Best Practices to Accelerate Contractor Safety 

  • Click here for actionable steps to building an advanced contractor safety program. This outline provides guidance on how to extend contractor safety strategy through your supply chain. From tracking KPIs to performing audits, this piece has a little of everything.

Technology Resources for Specialty Contractors

How Specialty Contractors Can Leverage Software for Better Business Outcomes

  • Specialty contractors are the lifeblood of construction sites. With construction projects becoming more complex and opportunities for work increasing globally, specialty contractors need to streamline workflows and scale with ease to succeed.

Not only do project owners expect a certain level of efficiency, but any productivity gains made by specialty contractors on their own can result directly in profit. By harnessing software, specialty contractors can deliver higher-quality work, communicate better with their teams, and deliver right on time, or even ahead of schedule.

[WEBINAR]: How Subs Leverage Data to Power Business Results

  • This on-demand webinar provides tips for leveraging project data for risk management and project success.

Resources for Concrete Contractors

How Concrete Contractors Can Leverage Software for Better Business Outcomes

  • With the right software, concrete contractors can model, design, and detail at scale for better builds and better business results. Software can also help concrete contractors meet multiple deadlines with ease, perform better estimates, and produce higher-quality work.

Concrete Associations for Contractors

  • If you’re looking for a concrete association in your area, this is the place to start. The Concrete Network has compiled a list of associations, broken down by region.

American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC) 

  • Representing 750 companies worldwide, ASCC offers industry expertise, opportunities for continuing education, safety resources, and specialty councils for concrete contractors.

Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) 

  • GCCA is a trusted platform for the global cement and contract sector. Here you’ll find a focus on combining sustainability with innovation and thought leadership from experts in the industry.

Resources for Drywall Contractors

How Drywall Contractors Can Leverage Software for Better Business Outcomes

  • In search of ways to improve productivity in your drywall business with technology? This ebook is loaded with industry-specific tips and insights from experts to help.

Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry (AWCI)

  • The AWCI website is chock full of resources, with everything from learning programs to a member directory. Their technology center highlights technologically-advanced systems installed by members.

Resources for Electrical Contractors

How Electrical Contractors Can Leverage Software for Better Business Outcomes

  • Industry-specific technology has pushed the electrical contracting industry forward. Software can help businesses in this field innovate on new concepts, increase speed to market, and raise productivity rates.

National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) 

  • NECA’s education center offers a wealth of resources with on-demand courses and special events for electrical contractors. The robust course catalog features state CEU, instructor-led, and online classes.

Independent Electrical Contractors (IECI)

  • As electrical contractor advocates, the IECI’s membership program includes apprenticeship training, codes and safety information, discounts, workforce development classes, and more.

Resources for Mechanical Contractors

How Mechanical Contractors Can Leverage Software for Better Business Outcomes

  • From more accurate estimates to improved workflows between design and installation, purpose-built software helps mechanical contractors improve profit margins and conserve resources as demonstrated in this ebook.

Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) 

  • MCAA is dedicated to helping mechanical contractors attain the highest level of managerial and technical expertise. The association has built targeted initiatives around technology, safety, and education.

Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA) 

  • The MSCA has attracted a membership of over 1,400 service contractors thanks to its strong educational programs and resource center.

Resources for Plumbing and Pipefitting Contractors

How Plumbing and Pipefitting Contractors Can Leverage Software for Better Business Outcomes

  • The earliest examples of plumbing date back to water pipes in the Indus River from 4,000 to 3,000 B.C. Plumbing and pipefitting have come a long way since their early days. The industry looks to technology, particularly technical software products, to meet changing customer demands. Here you’ll find some of the most effective ways to exceed those expectations.

Plumbing Contractors of America (PCA)

  • PCA launched the Plumbing Podcast in 2016 to discuss best practices, obstacles, and industry changes. The association also provides resources such as annual technology and market reports as well as safety videos.

National Certified Pipe Welding Bureau 

  • This bureau established by the MCAA focuses solely on pipe welding. Here you’ll find technical and support resources.

International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO)

  • For 93 years, the IAPMO group has focused on public health and safety in the plumbing and mechanical contracting sphere. The group provides a range of training, product certification, and product testing resources on their website.

Resources for Women in the Trades

Over a million women work in the construction industry. This figure only makes up around 10% of the industry. To achieve a greater level of equality, the industry must prepare resources for advancement as well as training and education on diversity and inclusion.

ANEW 

  • ANEW provides pre-apprenticeship programs, financial support, and educational resources for women in the industry.

Institute for Women in Trades, Technology and Science 

  • Bookmark this list for a quick breakdown of top resources for women and minorities in the construction industry.

National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)

  • NAWIC works to strengthen and amplify the success of women in the industry through networking, leadership training, professional development, and education.

Tradeswomen, Inc.

  • Tradeswomen, Inc. works with women and employers to achieve a higher level of equality across the industry.

Financial Resources for Specialty Contractors

COVID-19 has hit nearly every industry hard, and construction is no exception. If you’re looking for resources to increase your financial stability as a business, the following can help.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

  • The SBA has several programs dedicated to supporting small businesses in the contracting field.

Cash Flow Best Practices to Help Subcontractors

  • Maintaining proper cash flow is one of the biggest challenges for subcontractors, especially in times of feast and famine with projects. These best practices focus on KPIs, contracts, and forecasting.

Tell Us Your Top Resources for Specialty Contractors

Be sure to keep an eye on our blog for more resources. What resources are on your bookmark list? We want to know about your favorite programs, associations, and tools for finding success in specialty contracting. Comment below to share with our community.

Grace Ellis

Grace Ellis

Editor in Chief, Autodesk Construction Cloud Blog

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