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AGC HOUSTON

DNA OF A VP OF CONSTRUCTION

Jerry NevludJerry Nevlud joined the staff of AGC Houston in May of 2000 as Executive Director of Contractor Development and was named President/CEO in September of 2004. He is only the fifth person to serve in chief staff position during the Chapter’s 93 year history. Prior to joining AGC, Nevlud spent 15 years in the commercial construction business culminating in the role of Regional President for a specialty contractor company.  He also spent time as a magazine editor and publisher and as an executive with a building supply company.

Nevlud currently serves on the Texas Gulf Coast Workforce Board, The Construction Career Collaborative (C3) and the St. Pius X High School Board. He is Past Chair of the AGC of America Executive Leadership Council and is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum (ALF). Nevlud is a native Houstonian and attended the University of Texas at Austin, graduating with a Bachelor of Journalism in 1978.

Jerry Nevlud
CEO/President
Associated General Contractors, Houston Chapter

DNA Construction AGC Houston logoHow does your organization help professionals in the construction industry?
Since our chapter’s formation in 1923, AGC Houston has brought people together to advance the issues important to the commercial construction industry. In the early days of the chapter’s formation, AGC negotiated with fledgling labor organizations and promoted construction by contract during a time abounding with day labor and force account construction work. Today’s leaders and members still collaborate to foster an environment that promotes excellence in building practices. This collaboration has led our chapter in developing educational programs that included technological advancements and improving the safety and work condition on construction job sites.

In addition, AGC Houston formed the Construction Career Collaborative (C3), which is an alliance of socially responsible Owners, Contractors and Specialty Contractors to positively affect the growth of a sustainable workforce. AGC Houston is the voice of Houston’s commercial construction industry and has played a significant role in helping to shape policies at the city and state levels since the mid 1920’s.

Our membership is comprised of local and national companies – large and small – union and merit shop, general and specialty contractors, as well as suppliers and manufacturers and numerous affiliate firms that support the administrative side of the contracting business.

What are the current challenges for your members?
The most urgent challenge our members face is the lack of qualified craft workers in the commercial construction industry.

How has this changed in the last 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years?
In the 1980s, we saw the union and open shop workforce merge so we had a substantial workforce, but saw training start to diminish. Throughout the 1990s we saw more independent contractors subbing their work which saw the image of the industry to continue to decline. By the 2000s, market downturns forced many to find other work, never to return to construction; and the high tech industry became more appealing to the younger folks entering the workforce. Our challenge is to create a sustainable workforce, and lower the average age (29) of those workers coming into our industry.

How has networking played a role in building your organization?

It is an essential part of how our members grow their business and their level of professionalism by attending our educational courses and being engaged on committees and other networking opportunities – through our local, state and national organizations.

How does your organization support professional networking for construction professionals?

We host a variety of social events throughout the year, as well as engage our members to serve on various committees and lead professional development classes. In addition, our members are highly engaged in the business communities, serving on school boards, medical boards, public service committees and charitable organizations.

How is your organization involved in mentorship programs?
Through educational programs and events – which focus on the professional development and leadership skills of the industry's future leaders – AGC Houston Construction Leadership Council offers educational and networking opportunities to its members.  CLC has evolved to be a major financial contributor to the AGC Houston Scholarship fund and has donated more than $100,000 over the last 10 years to the program.  Besides socializing at monthly events, the cadre of 145 active CLC members network, exchange ideas about work and the industry, and gain continuing education including professional development and leadership skills.

In 2014, AGC Houston launched Leadership AGC, a program designed to develop the next generation of leaders. A limited group of less than 20 participants are selected by to participate in the eight-session program. Designed to create the building blocks for up-and-coming leaders, Leadership AGC provides participants an opportunity to broaden their exposure to the community, meet with industry peers and learn specific leadership and management skills. The Leadership AGC Class of 2016 recently completed their intensive program, which culminated with a graduation at the annual Patrick J. Kiley Excellence In Leadership Scholarship ceremony.

AGC Houston has a long history of nurturing the next generation of professionals – including students pursuing a career in a construction-related discipline or trade. In 1996, a small group of the AGC Houston Quality Committee was tasked with creating a platform to generate scholarships for local students pursuing a degree in a construction-related field. Renamed the Patrick J. Kiley Excellence in Leadership Scholarship – in honor of the Chapter’s most recent past executive vice president who served for 21 years – the scholarship has awarded more than $418,000 to date.

AGC Houston reaches out to nurture the future construction industry by encouraging college students in construction-related studies to form AGC Houston Student Chapters. AGC Houston has a long-standing relationship with student chapters, dating back to 1949 when we formed the AGC student chapter at Texas A&M University - one of the first AGC student chapters in the nation! Texas Southern University received its Student Chapter charter in 1974, Sam Houston State University arrived in 2008, University of Houston recommitted to its charter in 2009 and in 2012 we were proud to welcome the formation of a new student chapter at Prairie View A&M. AGC Houston actively engages students representing all university chapters in numerous activities throughout the year, which fosters relations and enriches their experience with industry professionals. 

AGC Houston and its members value nurturing and participating in activities that promote the construction industry as a career. To underscore the importance of our efforts, to date, we have helped to raise more than $100,000 for the ACE Mentor  Houston Program. The ACE Mentor Program of America, Inc. helps mentor high school students and inspires them to pursue careers in design and construction. It’s now the construction industry's fastest-growing high school mentoring program, reaching over 8,000 students annually.

In your opinion, how important is social media for networking/helping one achieve their career goals?
Through our social media campaigns, (including other electronic communications such as our newsletters and informational promotional cards), we are able to reach and engage our younger members about our events, classes and issues that our industry faces. Our diverse group continues to grow monthly and we encourage AGC staff to help disseminate and like our targeted campaigns. We believe that it is a critical means to reach our audience and are looking to grow our network by engaging active members to participate in specific social media campaigns.