Citation
Training Hispanic Construction Workers in Florida

Material Information

Title:
Training Hispanic Construction Workers in Florida
Creator:
MARIN, MARCELO G. ( Author, Primary )
Copyright Date:
2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Construction industries ( jstor )
Construction workers ( jstor )
Employees ( jstor )
Employment ( jstor )
Employment statistics ( jstor )
Hispanics ( jstor )
Industrial training ( jstor )
Job training ( jstor )
Labor ( jstor )
Roofing ( jstor )

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Marcelo G. Marin. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Embargo Date:
8/1/2007
Resource Identifier:
84957901 ( OCLC )

Downloads

This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

TRAINING HISPANIC CONSTRUCTION WORKERS IN FLORIDA By MARCELO G. MARIN A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRAUDATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2003

PAGE 2

Copyright 2003 by MARCELO G. MARIN

PAGE 3

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my committee members, Dr. Jimmie Hinze, Dr. Leon Wetherington, and Dr. Robert Stroh, for their encouragement and support. Dr. Hinze provided vision, guidance, feedback, editorial suggestions, and production help. Dr. Wetherington and Dr. Stroh provided interest, insights, feedback, and patience. I am grateful to Dottie Beaupied for her administrative support and joyful spirit of encouragement. I would like to thank my girlfriend, Melissa, for her encouragement, support, and constant demonstration of love. I thank my family for their unconditional love and support. I thank my mother and my father for their devotional love and persistent encouragement. I thank my brother and sisters for their constant support and love. Finally, I would like to thank my friends for their suggestions, understanding, and loyalty. I thank in no particular order Xinyu Huang, Christina Vasquez, Jeff King, Ned Beatty, Enrique Escobar, Mike Hodge, Maya Comia, Eric Houston, Anne Marie Sowder, Matt Harris, Fran Valmaa, Maggie Menocal, Timo Bill, Jonathan Sanchez, Kathy Senofonte, Lauren Miggins, Eduardo Sanchez, Umbelina Sanchez, and Alessandra Sanchez. This research is a great achievement of mine, and I could not have done it without the help, encouragement, support, and love of the above mentioned. iii

PAGE 4

TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iii LIST OF TABLES.............................................................................................................vi LIST OF FIGURES..........................................................................................................vii ABSTRACT.......................................................................................................................ix CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Hispanic Workers in Construction................................................................................1 Training.........................................................................................................................2 Importance of Spanish Training...................................................................................2 Research Objectives......................................................................................................3 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.............................................................................................5 Hispanics Workers Participation in Construction.........................................................5 Training.........................................................................................................................8 Need for Training.........................................................................................................9 Nature of the Job.........................................................................................................10 Employee Competencies............................................................................................12 Communication...........................................................................................................13 Training Needs............................................................................................................15 Cultural Issues............................................................................................................16 Conducting Training...................................................................................................17 Monitoring Training...................................................................................................19 Government Regulations............................................................................................19 Benefits of Training....................................................................................................21 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................22 Introduction.................................................................................................................22 Rationale for the Research..........................................................................................22 Instrument of Data Collection....................................................................................22 Source of Data............................................................................................................23 Data Collection...........................................................................................................24 iv

PAGE 5

4 DATA ANALYSIS And RESULTS..........................................................................25 Introduction.................................................................................................................25 Company Information.................................................................................................26 Workers Information..................................................................................................30 Informal Training........................................................................................................37 Training Personnel......................................................................................................43 Productivity.................................................................................................................52 Safety Performance.....................................................................................................54 Summary.....................................................................................................................56 5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.....................................................58 Conclusions.................................................................................................................58 Recommendations.......................................................................................................59 APPENDIX A CONTRACTOR SUREVEY QUESTIONNAIRE.....................................................61 B SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE COVER LETTER.....................................................65 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................67 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................70 v

PAGE 6

LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 Subdivision of Sample Population...........................................................................24 4-1 Sample Populations..................................................................................................25 4-2 Percent of Hispanic of Employees and Injury Rate.................................................55 4-3 Spanish Training for Supervisors in Firms with Mostly Hispanic Employees........56 vi

PAGE 7

LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4-1 Annual Volume of Income.......................................................................................27 4-2 Projects Built per Year.............................................................................................28 4-3 Work Distributed Among Type of Roofs Built........................................................29 4-4 Percent of Work Subcontracted to Others................................................................30 4-5 Average Numbers of Workers..................................................................................31 4-6 Percent of Hispanic Workers....................................................................................32 4-7 Is English Required for the Jobs..............................................................................33 4-8 Percent of non-English Speaking Workers..............................................................34 4-9 Language Communication Barriers.........................................................................35 4-10 Participation of Hispanics Employed Compared to Five Years Ago.......................36 4-11 Classes for Supervisors in Spanish...........................................................................37 4-12 Classes for Workers in English................................................................................38 4-13 Utilization of Spanish Training Videos....................................................................39 4-14 Utilization of Training Literature/Brochures in Spanish..........................................40 4-15 Utilization of Training Software in Spanish............................................................41 4-16 Utilization of Training Presentation/Lectures in Spanish........................................42 4-17 Other Training Methods in Spanish.........................................................................42 4-18 Informal Training in Spanish...................................................................................43 4-20 Training in Spanish Conducted by Jobsite Personnel..............................................45 vii

PAGE 8

4-21 Training in Spanish Conducted by Veteran Workers...............................................46 4-22 Spanish Crew Requirement for Foremen.................................................................47 4-23 Hispanic Assigned to the Same Crews.....................................................................48 4-24 Training in Spanish Conducted by Consultants.......................................................49 4-25 Frequency of Training in Spanish Performed..........................................................50 4-26 Training Investment Per Worker..............................................................................51 4-27 Safety Training in Spanish.......................................................................................52 4-28 Skills Rating for Hispanics.......................................................................................53 4-29 Influence of Hispanic in Productivity......................................................................54 4-30 Injury Rate For Roofing Contractors.......................................................................55 viii

PAGE 9

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Building Construction TRAINING HISPANIC CONSTRUCTION WORKERS IN FLORIDA By Marcelo G. Marin December 2003 Chair: Jimmie Hinze Major Department: Building Construction The influx of Hispanic workers into the U.S. is supported by labor shortages. Trends show that Hispanics are heavily participating in the construction industry. Existing training programs, however, do not account for Spanish-speaking construction workers. Statistics show that Hispanics are more likely to incur an injury or fatality at construction sites than any other workers. Construction employers are responsible for training construction workers. This research analyzes the efforts made by construction employers to offer Spanish training for Hispanics in the construction industry, and establishes the importance of Spanish training for Hispanic construction workers. Keywords: Hispanics, Training, Construction Industry, Construction Workers, Employers, Communication, Immigration, Language Barrier, and Hispanic Culture. ix

PAGE 10

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Hispanic Workers in Construction The Hispanic population in the U.S. is growing due to the constant influx of Hispanics from South America, Mexico, and other Spanish speaking countries. Many of these Hispanics migrate to the U.S. knowing little or no English. This situation represents an ongoing communication gap between Hispanic workers and their employers in the U.S.; such is the case in the construction industry today. Significant numbers of Hispanic immigrants become workers on construction jobsites. The construction industry employment requirements for workers are favorable for Hispanic immigrants, as entry-level construction worker positions require very few skills. Knowing English is not a strict requirement for a construction laborer position. Hispanics hired on many construction sites have few or no skills. Hispanics may be hired as construction workers regardless of their proficiency in English. Although many construction employers are aware that these hiring conditions exist in the construction industry, little is being done to train Hispanic construction workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations mandate job training for all workers on construction projects. The fact that some employees do not speak English does not relieve construction employers from their responsibility to provide training. Therefore construction employers must attempt to close the communication gap between Hispanics and other construction workers and personnel on construction sites. 1

PAGE 11

2 Training Training provides an opportunity for new and existing employees to learn the necessary skills to perform their jobs according to the employer’s standards. Training is defined by procedures that describe the nature of the work and the best way to perform it. These procedures serve as a guide for employees to be successful on the job and to be safe. Employee training takes time and effort, but will increase a worker’s productivity, decrease confusion, and increase satisfaction for all parties. It is wrong to assume that new employees understand what needs to be done or that they will catch on quickly. The construction employer should assess the employee's skill level, identify what the employee is able to do, and develop appropriate strategies for training the employee. The construction employer assumes the role of a teacher when training employees, using a systematic approach (prepare, tell, show, do, and review). Well-planned and conducted training takes time and effort by both the employer and employee; however, the benefits include positive, productive, and motivated individuals. Importance of Spanish Training Hispanics on construction sites, who do not speak English, have difficulty understanding signage or training covering health and safety, making them especially vulnerable to accidents and hazardous situations. In most cases, training is offered in English to all employees on construction sites. This means that Hispanics who speak little or no English have difficulty understanding or do not understand training sessions at all. The results of English training on construction sites can be considered ineffective if some individuals do not understand the training. When training is offered only in English a significant number of Hispanics may not be trained properly simply because they do not speak or understand English. The issue is not that Hispanic construction workers do not

PAGE 12

3 understand English; the issue is reaching them through training that allows them to understand work and safety standards. Construction employers need to realize that conducting training in both English and Spanish can prevent ineffective training. Conducting training in Spanish allows the Hispanic construction workers to understand the training because it is given in their native tongue. Statistics show that Hispanics incur a disproportionate number of the jobsite injuries and fatalities in the construction industry. “Fatal work injuries to Hispanic workers have been on the rise since 1992, when they recorded a low of 533. Moreover, the trend seen in Hispanic worker fatalities has been driven by an increasing number of fatalities to foreign-born Hispanic workers, who in 1992 accounted for 275 or 52 percent of fatalities to Hispanic workers, and in 2002 accounted for 577 fatalities, or 69 percent” (USDL, 2002). Significant cases of Hispanic injuries occurring in the construction industry have alerted government officials and construction companies that there is a need for improvement in existing training procedures. In addition to training deficiencies there are problems with language, culture, and the frequency of training, which contribute to this phenomenon. It is possible that training is the primary way to address the problem. Research Objectives The purpose of this research is to examine the experiences that specialty contractors (plumbing, electrical, concrete, landscape, roofing, etc.) in Florida have had with Hispanic employees and especially how they have addressed training for these employees. These experiences may vary on the basis of number of Hispanic construction workers present on jobsites, the number of projects completed each year, the type of training being offered, and the size of the company. This research also examines

PAGE 13

4 construction employers’ efforts to provide Spanish training, whether it is done in a formal or informal training setting. There is a need to train Hispanic construction workers if they are present on jobsites. It is typically known that Hispanic construction workers speak little or no English and do not understand training when it is conducted in English. Many construction employers do not speak Spanish and have difficulty communicating with Hispanic construction workers. Therefore the need to train Hispanics in the language they can understand is essential to improve their job performance and safety. Training conducted in Spanish may be the most effective way to train the Hispanic workforce in the construction industry.

PAGE 14

CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Hispanics Workers Participation in Construction Poor economic conditions in many of the Spanish speaking countries south of the U.S. have caused many people to migrate to the U.S. in search of job opportunities. “The number of Hispanics living in the United States has increased by almost 60% in the last 10 years, and projections are that by the year 2005, Hispanics will account for 14% of the population, making them the country’s largest minority. This growth has occurred not only in border states and eastern cities that are typically targets for Hispanic and Latino immigrants, but also in the Midwest and Southeast where Spanish-speaking arrivals have gravitated toward the construction industry” (ZSI, 2003). Increasing labor shortages in the U.S. have been conducive for a smooth transition of Hispanics to find employment in the construction industry. Fewer Americans in the U.S. want to be carpenters, bricklayers, or plumbers. This is partially due to the relative decline of wages among construction workers in the past 25 years. Growing businesses in the U.S. offer better job opportunities. These businesses can range from manufacturing factories and industrial plants to fast food restaurants. Wages offered by these businesses are also generally higher when compared to wages offered by construction companies. “If construction workers earned wages as high as they earned, on average, in 1973, adjusted for inflation, they could have bought $18.90 worth of goods and services for an hour's pay in 2000. Instead, on average, an hour's pay got a construction worker only about 5

PAGE 15

6 $15.81 worth of living expenses, a decline of about 16% (chart 23a; see chart book page 50). Since 1991, the average construction wage has fallen below the average for manufacturing; in 2000, the average wage for manufacturing was $16.74.2” (CCB, 2002). As a result of better job opportunities the construction industry faces a challenge in hiring new workers. The demand for construction work is high in the U.S., but the interest of the population to work in construction is low. The lack of interest in construction jobs has resulted in numerous job openings for prospective workers, especially Hispanics. There is a strong proportional relation between the number of Hispanics in the U.S. and the labor shortage. The participation of Hispanics in the work force increases as labor shortages also increase, and vise versa. This relationship has been proven true in agriculture and livestock farming, and food processing businesses. All three businesses are labor intensive, which makes them less desirable to work in, and the construction industry is no exception. The construction industry demands long hours of labor-intensive tasks from construction workers. During high labor shortages construction employers in need of workers are more likely to hire Hispanics. “Construction companies are hiring more Hispanics. More than 17% of their staffs speak only Spanish, with about 16% speaking both Spanish and English” (DBJ, 2000). Hispanic immigrants are eager to take any job they can. This attitude will continue to favor the construction industry for years to come. As the construction industry confronts the labor shortage issue, more and more jobs are being filled by Hispanic workers. In every trade, from roofing and drywall to concrete placement and masonry, there is an increasingly strong Hispanic presence. “When Hispanic construction workers are considered as a percentage

PAGE 16

7 of each occupation, 23% of roof workers, 33% of drywall workers, 27% of concrete workers, and 18% of manson/bricklayer workers are Hispanic” (CCB, 2002). As the need to hire more non-English speaking workers has increased, so has the need for proper training of the Hispanic workforce. “Latin America is a prime source of construction workers. As of 1999, 15 percent of all construction trade workers and 25 percent of all construction workers nationwide were Hispanic. Increasing reliance on Hispanics, many of whom are foreign-born, has created new challenges for builders” (REC, 2002). Training Hispanic workers is not an easy task. Hispanic immigrants do not speak English, and often the construction employers do not speak Spanish. Communication between Hispanics and their construction employers tends to be poor. Regardless of a worker’s proficiency with English, construction employers are bound by federal laws and regulations to provide training for all employees. OSHA regulations predominantly enforce training in the workplace. “Many standards promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) explicitly require the employer to train employees in the safety and health aspects of their jobs” (OSHA, 1996). One of OSHA’s most important goals is the development and implementation of employee training programs by employers. Construction employers for the most part have developed training programs for construction workers, which cover work related skills and safety issues. Through the past years these training programs have been implemented on many construction sites, in compliance with OSHA regulations, and they have trained thousands of employees. However, these programs have neglected to focus training for non-English speakers. Most non-English speakers do not understand training sessions held on construction sites.

PAGE 17

8 For example, Hispanics represent the largest minority of the non-English speaking group in construction who do not understand training sessions. “Layne noted a 40 percent hike in Hispanic fatalities in the construction industry, and pointed to a high rate of illiteracy among many non-English-speaking workers, which further complicates safety communication and compliance” (MRO, 2003). Developing and implementing new training programs to accommodate non-English speakers is a challenge that construction employers face today. Training The OSHA regulations serve as training guidelines to encourage cooperative and voluntary actions to take place when employers develop training programs. The guidelines include determining if training is required, studying the nature of the job, selecting the type of training to administer, and monitoring the effectiveness of the training. The guidelines are designed to enhance employers’ training programs. Using these guidelines, construction employers or supervisors can develop and administer training programs that address problems involving Hispanic construction workers, fulfill the learning needs, and strengthen the overall training program at the workplace. “If employees in certain occupational categories are experiencing higher accident and injury rates than other employees, training may be one way to reduce that rate” (OSHA, 1996). Training is an organized effort by the employer to enhance employees’ job related competencies. These competencies include knowledge, skills, and behaviors that contribute to or are required for successful job performance. Training programs should focus on these three areas of competencies. The goal of training is for employees to master the knowledge, skills, and behaviors emphasized in training programs and apply them in their day-to-day activities. Training tries to influence individuals’ performance

PAGE 18

9 and effectiveness. Training typically does not have a direct influence on organizational performance; however, it has an indirect influence on how well the organization performs. Employers use training when they recognize job deficiencies or simply job opportunities to improve employees’ skills, and safety. Job deficiencies may be due to the lack of essential knowledge, skills or attitudes that in turn prevent satisfactory job performance. Analyzing the job duties, the work performance, and critical incidents can help determine the cause of the job deficiencies. Effective training solves these job deficiencies. Training must be relevant to specific job requirements with immediate applicability. It is important to note that training needs are an ongoing process rather than a one-time process because job performance can change, and may require improvement. Monitoring the effectiveness of training programs can prevent future job deficiencies by keeping training updated. If training programs have flaws, then corrective measures can be taken to solve the problems and to improve the training program. “Corrective action is taken to eliminate the cause of the incident or accident to prevent a recurrence” (OHSR, 2003). Need for Training Labor statistics show that there are more disproportionate construction Hispanic related fatalities than any others identified. According to a recent Houston Chronicle story: the on-the-job injury and illness rate fell 31 percent between 1992 and 2000, according to OSHA. The number of fatal on-the-job accidents fell by two percent between 1999 and 2000, while at the same time overall employment increased. But in 2000, 815 Hispanics, including 494 foreign-born workers, died on the job, an 11.6-percent increase from the previous year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report on workplace fatalities. (AGCH, 2002)

PAGE 19

10 Statistics specific to the construction industry reveal similar conclusions. “For example, Hispanics or Latinos comprise almost 15 percent of construction employment, well above their representation in the workforce overall, Henshaw told Congress. The construction industry accounts for about 7 percent of all employment, but 20 percent of fatalities” (USDL, 2003). Construction employers should be concerned with these results and should be expected to address the high injury rate among Hispanics in construction. Understanding the nature of the job is important to successfully develop training programs. Construction employers should be knowledgeable of the activities that the job entails. Identifying job specific tasks deemed difficult can determine the type of knowledge and skills required for the job, and the potential hazards that exist in performing the job. Analyzing the work is a fundamental step to determine if training is needed. Then, they can determine who needs training, and what type of training is needed. Nature of the Job Studying the nature of the job that is to be performed by construction workers is one of the first steps in the training guidelines to determine if training is required. Construction workers provide demanding physical labor at highway, building, and demolition sites. Construction employers supply tools, materials, and equipment to carpenters, electricians, plasterers, masons, painters, plumbers, roofers, and other construction trades workers. Construction helpers for bricklayers and plasterers mix mortar and supply materials, set up and move scaffolding, and provide other services. Construction workers dig trenches, set braces to support the sides of excavations, and clean up rubble and debris. They operate jackhammers, earth tampers, cement mixers, rollers, front-end loaders, small mechanical hoists, and excavators. In addition to

PAGE 20

11 working on building and transportation projects, construction workers work on other projects, such as hazardous waste cleanup and asbestos and lead abatement projects. Some jobs expose construction workers to harmful chemicals, fumes, odors, loud noise, or dangerous machinery, so they may need to wear the proper safety clothing, personal protective equipment as gloves, hard hats, safety glasses, respirators, and hearing protection. “Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is designed to protect employees from serious workplace injuries or illnesses resulting from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards” (OSHA, 2002a). For many projects, construction employers will hire Hispanics without work experience or specific training. Generally it is assumed that Hispanics will learn job skills informally from the more experienced workers. Construction workers should be capable of working as members of the work crew and have basic problem-solving and math skills. They must be familiar with the duties of the workers they help, as well as with the materials, tools, and machinery they use, and the safety standards that must be followed to effectively performed their jobs. ”Safety and health training addresses the safety and health responsibilities of all personnel concerned with the site, whether salaried or hourly. It is often most effective when incorporated into other training about performance requirements and job practices. Its complexity depends on the size and complexity of the worksite, and the nature of the hazards and potential hazards at the site” (NSMS, 2000). Construction jobs have a high risk of injury because they involve physical labor. Construction workers can suffer minor or severe injuries. A worker can twist or break an

PAGE 21

12 ankle during a trench excavation, or, even worse, be electrocuted while making electrical connections. Others at work may also be injured if they are not careful in doing their jobs. Employee Competencies Whether in the interest of satisfying federal regulations or other standard or ensuring that employees are doing their jobs in the most efficient manner possible, construction employers have the duty to identify which employees are in need of training. It is crucial that the training be need-appropriate. Putting employees through training just to be able to say (or for record purposes) that workers are trained makes little sense financially or educationally. Construction employers should carefully assess their employees’ knowledge, and skills. Then, they can address those needs through training. Many organizations use a competency approach to effectively determine if training is needed. Workers’ competencies include knowledge, skills, traits, characteristics and behaviors that distinguish one worker from another. On an organizational level, competencies are those activities the organization has the capability of effectively executing and the knowledge and skills required to do it. Identifying required competencies at an organizational level enables employers to develop a profile of the general knowledge and skills needed to perform a job. The construction employer should review the performance rating for each of the job tasks and identify those tasks that are below expectations. Construction employers may also focus on any tasks that meet expectations but would benefit from additional training. They should examine the ratings for, and comments from workers, for each task and decide which job task(s) created the most difficulty and why. This can then be compared with workers’ tasks, identifying what knowledge, skills and behaviors are required to be successful in different positions

PAGE 22

13 in the constructions industry. For example, “Vocational training institutions in Latin America have begun to modernize their programs using the competencies focus. This has facilitated new approximations in the analysis of work processes, and novel procedures for establishing the knowledge, skills, dexterities and know-how mobilized by workers. This is an unparalleled opportunity to bring up to date both the content of training and the didactic strategies necessary to stimulate competencies that are considered "key", like working in a team, initiative, working in safe conditions, etc.” (ILO, 2003). Communication Communication is often taken for granted and always assumed that people understand completely what was said to them as they rhythmically nod their heads up and down. However, some communication results have shown this to not always be the case. Misunderstandings can range from not understanding terminology, to language barriers, to simply not comprehending. “With good communication skills, workers can learn more about each other and build solid relationships. Good communication can bring people from different cultures and races together rather than stay divided” (Unite Canada, 2003). Communication plays a major role in employer-employee relationships in construction. Although effective communication does not guarantee success for the construction employer, its absence usually assures problems. A communication problem may soon become a crisis or it may linger on for years. Training can be easy to understand, but when employers and employees do not speak the same language, the message can become confused or lost altogether. Such a breakdown of communication may be an underlying cause of rising injury and fatality rates among Hispanic workers in the construction industry. The language barrier is a major contributor of miscommunication, and other job related problems among Hispanics. If construction

PAGE 23

14 employers cannot communicate effectively with Hispanics, then construction employers cannot train them. The proper arrangements should be made to accommodate training needs for Spanish-speaking workers. When in a foreign non-English speaking country, most English-speaking people walk around the country without any difficulties, but what happens when they encounter an English-speaking individual; verbal communication is inevitable. When communicating with natives, one would be forced to use gestures for communication, but after a while, frustration will result, as this is not an effective means of communication. “Ineffective communication is the absence of defined message, with no identified audience, and often results in frustration, cynicism and defection on the part of the recipient” (IABC, 2003). Many construction employers would agree that foreign-born workers appreciate their jobs more, they complain less, and they have a better work ethic than domestic workers. The fact is that this is a wrong assumption on the construction employers’ part. The truth is that Hispanics are known to be hard workers; however they cannot express themselves to superiors due to poor of English language skills, and therefore they cannot complain, or they are afraid to complain, because they may feel this could cause them to lose their jobs. ”Many of the workers worry about complaining because they don't want to be labeled as troublemakers or find themselves out on the street” (Houston Chronicle, 2003). Another communication problem is the use of gestures instead of verbal communication. For example, a Hispanic worker may be signaled to lower down a box. It is a simple command and it may be adequate to communicate simple task requirements.

PAGE 24

15 However, constructing a roof frame is not a simple task when compared to lowering a box. A gesture will not replace the communication and coordination required to build a roof frame. In this case, more supervisors identify nonverbal communication as an area leading to potential workplace friction. Although simple instructions can be given through physical gestures, nonverbal communication is not, by any means, an acceptable way to communicate with Hispanic workers. Communication skills are essential for workers to carry on with their job tasks. “OPENNESS can be improved by creating ways that will make it easy for the worker to communicate their feelings and ideas about their job condition with immediate superiors. This could be done by having occasional group/individual meetings. Supervisors should also make themselves easily available to the workers, without intimidating them. ACCURACY may be ensured by providing the worker with specific instruction and information that he/she needs at work in a timely manner, so that the worker would know exactly what he/she is expected to do at work. Subsequently, there would be less rework at the job-site due to incorrect instruction or information received” (ASC, 1991). Training Needs Construction employers can consider offering Spanish courses for their supervisors, and English courses for their non-English workers. Supervisors taking Spanish courses can communicate with those employees who have little or no English language skills, and vise versa. However, it could be years before supervisors and non-English speakers like Hispanics can communicate effectively. No language in the world can be learned in a few months. Learning a language takes time and effort from those in training. The language barrier in construction is an ongoing issue that needs a solution. “The first logical first step would seem to be translating existing safety and operating materials into

PAGE 25

16 Spanish. AGC has translated much of its safety and training materials into Spanish, has made its safety videos available in Spanish, and is one of several organizations that offers a Spanish-English dictionary of construction terms” (ZSI, 2001). It is the duty and responsibility of the construction employer to train all employees, including Hispanic workers. Sometimes training sessions may be required to be conducted in other languages. Offering Spanish training to construction workers can bridge the language barrier between construction employers and Hispanics. Hispanics who receive Spanish training can benefit by understanding work and safety standards that apply to them while working under certain conditions. “In conclusion, learning key strategies to improve Latino employee management may result in greater productivity and job satisfaction, and therefore has great potential in improving any business” (AES, 2001). Cultural Issues Language may be a major obstacle, but it is not the only one that can make it difficult for Spanish-speaking workers to perform their job well. The work culture in several Latin American countries, especially poor countries, can instill in Hispanic workers the idea that they are expendable. Working conditions in Spanish speaking countries is very competitive. There are not many jobs available in many of these countries. Employers in Latin American countries often threaten to fire workers if they complain about organizational treatment, and working conditions. In Latin America, Hispanic workers are taught to be thankful for their jobs. “Seventeen million Latin American people are out of work as the unemployment rate in the region has shot up to its highest level since 1980, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO)” (BBC, 2002). They are expected to find a way to get the job done quickly, and move on

PAGE 26

17 to the next job. They receive little or no moral support from their employers. They do not have stringent labor regulations, and their government does not protect them. “In Costa Rica, as in most of Latin America, employers are not legally allowed to lay workers off ‘at will,’ but rules are often ignored” (WSWS, 1999). These feelings of abandonment carry on when Hispanics migrate to the U.S. Hispanics also believe that U.S. employers have little or no respect for them. “Some workers claim they are even sexually abused. Workers sometimes never get paid at all. After they have worked for weeks, just working for food, promised they will be paid money, they are then threatened with deportation if they do not continue” (MACR, 1999). Hispanics workers’ job performance issues come from the concept of machismo in their countries. “Machismo” is a term that reflects a concept of masculinity among Hispanics. In many ways, machismo is strength in Hispanic families. Despite the popular conception of macho Hispanic men as violent or animalistic, machismo can mean a nurturing, protective man. “The one-sided, violent view of machismo is reinforced as much by the American culture as by Hispanic tradition, and may have the effect of encouraging Hispanic men to fit the violent, controlling image of masculinity portrayed by Hollywood” (Mayo, 1997). Machismo is a negative factor in construction because sometimes it is necessary to wear protective gear to prevent injuries, but Hispanics may think it is not manly to wear protective gear. Hispanics may think work should be performed without any regard for safety. Conducting Training After determining the causes of job deficiencies, and what type of training is needed for Hispanics, construction employers must determine the best way to conduct Spanish training. Selecting the most effective training methods is part of implementing

PAGE 27

18 the training program. Training methods can be classified as formal or informal. Formal training is based on standards, and procedures that describe the most effective way to perform the work. Informal training can be described as workers learning from experience on the job; observing other workers, and hands-on experience that develops the skills needed to perform the work. Informal training occurs when experienced workers train new hires, or training is provided through generic videos, and literature/brochures that are related to job performance and safety standards. “Spanish-language safety posters, booklets, videos, and training materials designed to help Hispanic employers deliver concise, effective safety and health information to their workers. These materials address many issues relating to occupational safety and health” (NSC, 2002). In large companies, the company personnel often provide training; in small and mid-sized companies, a third party supplier usually provides training. If a co-worker or manager while on the jobsite can teach the skills that are lacking, arrangements can be made for the training to take place. If there is nobody who possesses the required skills, or if the qualified person who does has too many scheduling demands to be able to perform the training, then the only solution would be to use the formal training method conducted by others. “The best solution to ensuring that your non–English speaking employees understand the safety requirements, and can recognize hazards, is to hire a bilingual safety instructor. If that is not practical, interpreter assistance may prove helpful in getting the safety message across (ICON, 2003). Formal training is most appropriate for the development of new skills or knowledge that is significantly different than what is already known; or when a large number of

PAGE 28

19 people need to learn something and have a consistent understanding of the topic or when drills and exercises to improve the skills or modify the behaviors are beneficial. The need for the skills is also another factor that will help determine how the training should be done. However, even the most extensive and thorough training requires practice back on the job. Conducting hands-on training is also an excellent idea to reinforce learned knowledge and skills to perform the job efficiently and safe. Monitoring Training To prevent job deficiencies and to enhance job skills it is important to review the effectiveness of training. Monitoring training can help prevent future injuries on the job, and will always keep the training program updated, inspiring confidence in those who follow the job training guidelines. No training program is perfect. Training programs should be reviewed frequently. Corrective measures can remedy training flaws that are part of the training program, and can improve it. By monitoring training programs, construction employers ensure the effectiveness and authenticity of the training (OSHA, 1996). Government Regulations The Foreign Relations Authorization Act recently signed into law by President George W. Bush includes legislation initiated by the International Code Council (ICC) aimed at improving building safety in Latin America. The ICC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the unification of U.S. and international codes. The International Code Council (ICC) initiative, Code and Safety for the Americas Act (CASA Act), will promote construction performance and safety standards across Latin America. CASA is intended to improve construction residential codes and construction

PAGE 29

20 safety training in Latin America by translating international building codes in Spanish, allowing for a uniform code for Hispanic workers in Latin America and the U.S. OSHA and the Hispanic Contractors of America, Inc. (HCA) signed an agreement to promote safe and healthful working conditions for Hispanic construction workers through effective safety and health training and increased access to safety and health resources in Spanish. A Spanish OSHA website was developed to promote the Spanish training resources available to contractors and Hispanics in the construction industry. U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, U.S. Department of Labor, and OSHA have joined the Justice and Equality in the Workplace Program, designed to protect the rights and promote safety of Hispanic workers. The Justice and Equality in the Workplace Program is a partnership program that includes the Wage and Hour Administration, the Consulates General of Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala and El Salvador, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Office of the MayorImmigration and Refugee Affairs. All these partners have recognized the importance of Spanish training for Hispanic workers, and its need in the construction industry. They have joined to improve and enhance job performance and safety standards for Hispanics in the U.S. U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, U.S. Department of Labor, said at one of her conferences, “I am committed to guaranteeing that all workers -regardless of immigration status – have a safe workplace” (USDL, 2002). ICC and OSHA, with the help of the Justice and Equality in the Workplace Program, and OSHA Spanish website regulations, will disseminate health and safety

PAGE 30

21 information to contractors and Hispanics construction workers, and monitor compliance and enforcement of health and safety laws. Benefits of Training Spanish training ensures that it is the correct training for Hispanic construction workers to learn about job performance and safety standards. The training is expected to be beneficial for both construction employers and Hispanics. Spanish training will increase Hispanics’ confidence in conducting their work, and reduce Hispanic related injuries and fatalities. The training will create a consistent approach to perform jobs. The training will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Hispanics’ job performance and safety. “Whether the economy is booming or dragging, whether a company is a small local entity or a vast international operation, there's always a need for effective, hands-on training that builds skills and loyalty, promotes safety, and improves productivity and profits” (Rough Notes, 2003). For construction employers, training will mean an investment for the good of the employees and the organization, and credibility for the company as well

PAGE 31

CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Introduction This research is focused on job training approaches for Hispanic workers in the construction industry. This research will examine the various experiences contractors have had with Hispanic workers, which create training challenges for both and establish the need for Spanish training. Rationale for the Research The rationale for this research is based on creating a factual representation of the sample population related to the training of Hispanics in the construction industry. The primary goals of this research is to find out if training in Spanish is offered to Hispanic construction workers, and to identify the types of training tools in Spanish utilized by construction employers. Instrument of Data Collection It was decided that the most reliable data could be obtained directly from contractors that employ Hispanic workers. It was further decided to obtain this information through a survey questionnaire that could be mailed or faxed to the contractors. The survey questionnaire was developed by examining the literature review. The survey questionnaire was designed to collect data pertinent to training in Spanish offered to Hispanic workers by their construction employers. The survey sought the following information from each respondent: Annual Dollar Volume of Business of the Company 22

PAGE 32

23 Number of Projects Undertaken per Year Amount of Work Subcontracted to Others Average Number of Employees Percent of Hispanic Workers in the Workforce Level of Proficiency in English Among the Hispanic Employees Changes in the Percentage of Hispanics in the Construction Workforce Methods of Informal and Formal Training in Spanish Frequency of Training Productivity of Hispanic Workers Safety Training Offered in Spanish Cost of Spanish Training Number of Injuries A copy of the survey questionnaire and the cover letter is found in Appendix A and Appendix B, respectively. Source of Data The primary sample population for this research consisted of Florida specialty contractors in the construction industry. Specialty contractors perform such work as plumbing, roofing, flooring, metalwork, landscaping, mechanical, masonry, concrete, sitework and others. Specialty contractors were identified as the appropriate source of information after a pilot survey was sent via e-mail to thirty construction management companies (general contractors). The sample population for the pilot survey consisted of construction management companies who participated in the Building Construction Career Fair of Spring 2003. Sixteen responses were received. The results of the pilot survey established that these companies were not reliable sources of data for the research. Most of the construction management companies were found not to have a direct relationship with Hispanic workers in construction because they subcontract all of their work to specialty contractors. Unlike construction management companies, specialty contractors have a demand for labor due to the nature of their work. Whether the job is pouring concrete, carrying construction materials, or constructing a roof frame, these jobs

PAGE 33

24 require manual labor. Therefore, specialty contractors were chosen as the main data source because they tend to hire field employees, including Hispanics workers, that perform the construction work. The source sample population was from two data sources of specialty contractors. As described in Table 3-1, the survey questionnaires were sent to each source via mail or fax. The table further describes the source name, the group of specialty contractors, and the number of members. The first set of survey questionnaires was sent via fax to the Roofing Contractors, from the Florida Roofing, Sheet Metal, and Air Conditioning Association (FRSA), which accounted for two hundred (200) recipients of the survey. The second set of survey questionnaires was sent to all specialty contractors found in the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) National Membership Directory and Users Guide of 2000, which accounted for three hundred (300) survey recipients. Table 3-1 Subdivision of Sample Population Source Group Members FRSA Roofing 200 ABC Membership Directory Specialty Contractors 300 TOTAL 500 Data Collection The data collection process occurred over the course of two and a half months between the middle of July 2003 through the end of September 2003. The data collection for the research ended in September 2003.

PAGE 34

CHAPTER 4 DATA ANALYSIS AND RESULTS Introduction Data collected from the survey were used as the basis of the analysis. Sixty-three survey responses were received from the sample population. The survey responses were predominantly categorized as roofing contractors in the construction industry. Table 4-1 shows the composition of all responses received; the sixty-three survey responses were made up of forty (40) roofing contractors and twenty-three (23) responses from a of specialty contractors. Table 4-1 Sample Populations Responding group Type of respondent Responses FRSA Roofing Contractors 40 ABC Membership Directory Specialty Contractors 23 Total 63 For the purpose of analyzing the data, the sample population was divided in two groups, mainly roofing contractors and the other (electrical, plumbing, concrete, steel. etc.) was a mix of specialty contractors. The responses to the survey were organized in three sections. The first section consisted of pertinent information about the company, the second section was strictly related to construction workers with a special interest on Hispanics, and the third section to identify the training methods used by construction contractors. To put in perspective the responses, figures were created to compare and contrast the two responding groups. 25

PAGE 35

26 The Z test and the Chi Square test were used to determine if there was a significant difference between the roofing contractors and the specialty contractors. Company Information The annual dollar volume of work of the respondents is shown in Figure 4-1. The roofing contractors had a lower annual dollar volume of work than the specialty contractors. Hereafter the two responding groups will be referred to as the roofing contractors and the specialty contractors. The term “specialty contractors” is used to specially reference the ABC respondents. Most roofing contractors (74%) had annual revenues of $1-$5 millions, and 18 percent had revenues less than $1 million. Compared to the roofing contractors, many specialty contractors (36%) had annual revenues of $6-10 millions, 23 percent had revenues of $11-$25 millions, and 5 percent had annual revenues of $51 million or greater. The remaining specialty contractors had an annual volume of work of $11$50 millions. Based on a Z test, the differences in the average annual dollar volumes by contractors were found to be significant at the 95% level of confidence. The size of company was defined in terms of the annual dollar volume of work of the company. On average, roofing contractors were smaller companies than the specialty contractors. As demonstrated by the data, roofing contractors were considered small companies because they had lower annual dollar volumes of work when compared to the specialty contractors, the companies that had higher annual dollar volumes of work.

PAGE 36

27 18743331836231850102030405060708090100<11-56-1011-2526-5051
PAGE 37

28 32219351111431424190204060801001-2021-5051-100101-200201-1000<1001Number of Projects per YearPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-2 Projects Built per Year The percent of work performed for the type of roof built by the roofing contractors is shown in Figure 4-3. These data only pertained to and was answered by the roofing contractors that participated in the research survey. Most roofing work consisted of the installation of either sloped or flat roofs. Other types of roofing work included repair and maintenance work performed on roofs. Twenty-eight percent of the roofing contractors built 0%-20% of sloped roofs, and 44 percent of the contractors built 0%-20% of flat roofs. Twenty percent of the contractors built 81%-100% of sloped roofs, and 23% percent of the contractors built 81%-100% of flat roofs. The remaining percentage of work was distributed among 21% to 80% sloped and flat roofs built. The results showed that roofing contractors built about the same percent of sloped and flat roofs, and that little repair and maintenance work was performed on roofs.

PAGE 38

29 28101815284418313239033330204060801000-2021-4041-6061-8081-100Percent of Roofs BuiltPercent of Roofing Contractors Sloped Roofs Flat Roofs Other Type of Roofs Figure 4-3 Work Distributed Among Type of Roofs Built The percent of work subcontracted to other contractors by the sample population is illustrated in Figure 4-4. Roofing contractors performed most of the work themselves, compared to the specialty contractor that subcontracted more of their work to other contractors. Most of the roofing contractors (83%) subcontracted 6% or less of their work. Most of the specialty contractors (68%) subcontracted more than 6% of the work. Based on a Z test, the differences in the average percentage of work subcontracted by contractors were found to be significant at the 95% level of confidence. The data showed that many specialty contractors preferred to subcontract the work to others rather than do it themselves, unlike the roofing contractors who performed the work with their own workforce.

PAGE 39

30 60231352753623901020304050607080901000-34-67-1015-3031-60Percent of Work SubcontractedPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-4 Percent of Work Subcontracted to Others Workers Information The average number of workers employed by the sample population is shown in Figure 4-5. The roofing contractors employed fewer workers than did the specialty contractors. Most roofing contractors (50%) employed 1-20 workers, and 40% employed 21-50 workers. Compared to the roofing contractors, many of the specialty contractors (41%) employed 21-50 workers, and 29% employed 51-100 workers. Based on a Z test, the differences in the average number of workers employed by contractors were not found to be statistically significant. As shown by the data, the roofing contractors had fewer employees, which is consistent with them being smaller companies than the specialty contractors.

PAGE 40

31 5040559412318950204060801001-2021-5051-100101-200201-10001001
PAGE 41

32 381813528482691340204060801000-2021-4041-6061-8081-100Percent of Hispanic WorkersPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-6 Percent of Hispanic Workers Some construction employers required workers to have a substantial level of proficiency in English, while others did not. The percent of the sample population with an English requirement for jobs is shown in Figure 4-7. About 80 percent of the roofing contractors did not require employees to understand English as a condition of employment; however, 78 percent the specialty contractors did. Based on a Chi Square test, the differences in the average percentage of contractors that required workers to have English skills were found to be significant at the 95% level of confidence. The results showed that the specialty contractors had higher needs of English speakers on their jobs, and that the roofing contractors were indifferent to whether their employees spoke English or not.

PAGE 42

33 80202278020406080100noyesResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-7 Is English Required for the Jobs The percent of non-English speaking Hispanic workers hired by the sample population is shown in Figure 4-8. About 48 percent of the roofing contractors and 76 percent of the contractors employed less than 20 percent non-English speaking Hispanic workers. Approximately 21 percent of roofing contractors and 14 percent of the specialty contractors hired 41-60 percent of nonEnglish speaking Hispanic workers. Based on a Z test, the differences in the average percentage of non-English speaking workers employed by contractors were not found to be statistically significant. The collection of data showed that a higher percentage of specialty contractors hired Hispanic workers who did speak English. Nonetheless, the results show that some firms had high percentages of Hispanics who do not speak English. This shows the importance of implementing training programs in Spanish in order to reach those non-English speaking workers.

PAGE 43

34 489219127651450204060801000-2021-4041-6061-8081-100Percent of non-English WorkersPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-8 Percent of non-English Speaking Workers Language was believed to create communication barriers at the workplace; Figure 4-9 describes the level of language communication barrier experiences for the sample population. Roofing contractors had less communication barriers than did the specialty contractors. Approximately 61 percent of roofing contractors and 38 percent of specialty contractors observed no communication barriers at work because of bilingual personnel who provided a key communication link with non-English speaking workers. However, 32 percent of the roofing contractors and 62 percent of the specialty contractors observed that language was a serious communication barrier, but sometimes manageable. Based on a Chi Square test, the differences in the average percentage of contractors that experienced language communication barriers were found to be significant at the 95% level of confidence. The data showed that language represented a more serious communication barrier for the specialty contractors than for the roofing contractors. For most contractors this means that hiring Hispanic workers requires a solution to communicate effectively through training in Spanish sessions that will allow Hispanics to understand and perform according to job standards.

PAGE 44

35 1814617382438020406080100YesYes(manageable)No (bilingualpersonnel)No (spanishinstructions)ResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-9 Language Communication Barriers Based on the experiences of the sample population, Figure 4-10 shows the changes of the Hispanic workforce participation in the construction industry. About 48 percent of the roofing contractors and 27 percent of the specialty contractors observed no change in the number of Hispanics they employed in the past five years; however, 38 percent of the roofing contractors and 63 percent of the specialty contractors employed more Hispanics workers. Based on a Chi Square test, the difference in the average percentages of Hispanic employees employed today versus five years ago was found to be significant at the 95% level of confidence. The data showed that the contractors had a gradual Hispanic workforce growth among roofing contractors and the specialty contractors.

PAGE 45

36 154818205273632020406080100Less No ChangeA Few MoreMany MoreResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-10 Participation of Hispanics Employed Compared to Five Years Ago The number of contractors that offered Spanish classes for supervisors is illustrated in Figure 4-11, about 35 percent of the roofing contractors and 22 percent of the specialty contractors. Based on a Chi Square test, the difference in the average percentage of contractors that offered Spanish classes for supervisors was found to be significant at the 95% level of confidence. The data showed there was only some effort by construction employers to provide Spanish training for supervisors, to enhance their communication abilities with Hispanic workers.

PAGE 46

37 65357822020406080100NoYesResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-11 Classes for Supervisors in Spanish Informal Training The number of contractors that offered English classes for non-English speaking workers was few, as illustrated in Figure 4-12. About 70 percent of the roofing and 86 percent of the specialty contractors did not offer English classes for their non-English speaking employees. The data showed that most contractors did not offer English classes for non-English speaking workers. Based on a Chi Square test, the difference in the percentage of contractors that offered English classes for non-English speaking workers was found to be significant at the 95% level of confidence. The results showed that roofing contractors offered more English classes for non-English speaking workers to improve their English skills than did the specialty contractors.

PAGE 47

38 703086140102030405060708090100NoYesResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-12 Classes for Workers in English The utilization of training videos in Spanish to train Hispanic workers is illustrated in Figure 4-13. Roofing contractors offered more Spanish video training than did the specialty contractors. Approximately 53 percent of the roofing contractors, and 13 percent of the specialty contractors used training videos in Spanish. Based on a Chi Square test, the difference in the average percentage of contractors that utilized training videos in Spanish was found to be significant at the 95% level of confidence. This finding showed that roofing contractors had a greater utilization of video training in Spanish to train their Hispanic workers than did the specialty contractors.

PAGE 48

39 47538713020406080100NoYesResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-13 Utilization of Spanish Training Videos The utilization of literature/brochures in Spanish to train Hispanic workers is illustrated in Figure 4-14. Roofing contractors used more Spanish training literature/brochures than did the specialty contractors, i.e., about 55 percent of the roofing and 30 percent of the specialty contractors used Spanish training literature/brochures. Based on a Chi Square test, the differences in the average percentage of contractors that utilized training literature/brochures in Spanish were found to be significant at the 95% level of confidence. The results showed that training literature/brochures in Spanish for Hispanic workers was provided by a larger percentage of roofing contractors to train their non-English speaking workers, than the specialty contractors.

PAGE 49

40 45557030020406080100NoYesResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-14 Utilization of Training Literature/Brochures in Spanish The utilization of software in Spanish to train Hispanic workers is illustrated in Figure 4-15. Training software in Spanish for nonEnglish workers was used very little. Thirteen percent of the roofing contractors used training software in Spanish to train Hispanics workers, but no specialty contractor employed software of this type. Based on a Chi Square test, the differences in the average percentage of contractors that utilized training software in Spanish were not found to be statistically significant. The results showed that training software in Spanish were not considered regular training methods, and were used by a small percentage of the roofing contractors.

PAGE 50

41 8713100020406080100NoYesResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-15 Utilization of Training Software in Spanish The utilization of training presentations/lecturers in Spanish to train Hispanic workers is illustrated in Figure 4-16. Roofing contractors gave more Spanish training presentations/lectures than did the specialty contractors. Approximately 37 percent of the roofing contractors and 9 percent of the specialty contractors used training presentations/lecturers in Spanish. Based on a Chi Square test, the differences in the average percentage of contractors that utilized training presentation/lectures in Spanish were found to be significant at the 95% level of confidence. These results identified presentations/lectures in Spanish to be moderately used training tools for roofing contractors and very little used by specialty contractors.

PAGE 51

42 6337919020406080100NoYesResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-16 Utilization of Training Presentation/Lectures in Spanish The utilization of other training methods in Spanish to train Hispanic workers is illustrated in Figure 4-17. Other types of informal training tools can be classified as audiotapes, posters, or manuals. Five percent of the roofing contractors and 9 percent of the specialty contractors used other training methods. Based on a Chi Square test, the differences in the average percentage of contractors that utilized other training methods in Spanish were not found to be statistically significant. This table showed that most contractors did not use other types of training tools. 955919020406080100NoYesResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-17 Other Training Methods in Spanish

PAGE 52

43 The percentage of the contractors that did not use some type of informal training to train Hispanic workers is illustrated in Figure 4-18. Informal training consists of videos, literature/brochures, and presentations. Most firms used informal training methods to train the Hispanic workers. About 74 percent of the roofing contractors and 57 percent of the specialty contractors used informal training methods. Based on a Chi Square test, the differences in the average percentage of contractors that utilized informal training in Spanish for Hispanic workers were found to be significant at the 95% level of confidence. These data showed that a larger percentage of the roofing contactors had informal training in Spanish for their Hispanic workers, and that more of the specialty contractors had not use informal training in Spanish as part of their training programs. 26744357020406080100NoYesResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-18 Informal Training in Spanish Training Personnel The percentage of the sample population that conducted training in Spanish through company personnel is illustrated in Figure 4-19. In general, contractors had few company personnel who could train in Spanish. About 37 percent of the roofing contractors and 26 percent of the specialty contractors conducted training in Spanish

PAGE 53

44 through company personnel. Based on a Chi Square test, the differences in the average percentage of contractors that conducted training in Spanish through company personnel were not found to be statistically significant. 63377426020406080100NoYesResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-19 Training in Spanish Conducted by Company Personnel The percentage of the sample respondents that conducted training in Spanish through jobsite personnel is illustrated in Figure 4-20. Roofing contractors had about the same number of jobsite training personnel as the specialty contractors, i.e., about 47 percent of the roofing contractors and 52% of the specialty contractors conducted training in Spanish through jobsite personnel. Based on a Chi Square test, the differences in the average percentage of contractors that conducted training in Spanish through jobsite personnel were not found to be statistically significant.

PAGE 54

45 53474852020406080100NoYesResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-20 Training in Spanish Conducted by Jobsite Personnel The percent of the respondents who assigned Hispanic workers to veteran or experienced workers was relatively high as illustrated in Figure 4-21. Roofing contractors and the specialty contractors used this training approach about the same extent. About 50 percent of the roofing contractors and 57 percent of the specialty contractors conducted training by assigning them to veteran or experienced workers to train Hispanic workers. From this, it might be inferred that training consists of on-the-job training rather than through any other training means. Based on a Chi Square test, the differences in the average percentage of contractors that conducted training by assigning Hispanic workers to veteran or experienced workers were not found to be statistically significant.

PAGE 55

46 50504357020406080100NoYesResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-21 Training in Spanish Conducted by Veteran Workers Some construction employers may require their foremen to have Spanish-speaking qualifications in order to train Hispanics. The percent of the respondents that required their foremen to have Spanish-speaking capabilities is illustrated in Figure 4-22. About 16 percent of the roofing and 22 percent of the specialty contractors required the crew foreman to have Spanish speaking skills. Based on a Chi Square test, the differences in the average percentage of contractors that required their foremen to have Spanish skills were not found to be statistically significant. The data results showed that crew foremen were generally not required to speak Spanish.

PAGE 56

47 84167822020406080100NoYesResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-22 Spanish Crew Requirement for Foremen Some construction employers assign Hispanic-speaking workers to Spanish speaking crews (see Figure 4-23. Approximately 39 percent of the roofing contractors and 35 percent of the specialty contractors assigned Spanish-speaking workers to Spanish speaking crews. Perhaps, keeping Hispanics in the same crews may help resolve language communication problems. Based on a Chi Square test, the differences in the average percentage of contractors that assigned Hispanic workers to the same crew were not found to be statistically significant.

PAGE 57

48 61396535020406080100NoYesResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-23 Hispanic Assigned to the Same Crews The percent of the respondents that conducted Spanish training through outside personnel is illustrated in Figure 4-24. Relatively few contractors provided training in Spanish through outside personnel (consultants). Approximately 11 percent of the roofing contractors and 4 percent of the specialty contractors conducted training in Spanish through consultants. Based on a Chi Square test, the differences in the average percentage of contractors that conducted training in Spanish through consultants were not found to be statistically significant. In summary, few efforts were made to provide training in Spanish through consultants who specialized in this kind of training.

PAGE 58

49 8911964020406080100NoYesResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-24 Training in Spanish Conducted by Consultants The frequency of training in Spanish offered to Hispanic workers is illustrated in Figure 4-25. Many contractors did not conduct any training in Spanish. Approximately 40 percent of the roofing contractors and 76 percent of the specialty contractors never conducted training in Spanish. About 20 percent of the roofing contractors and 14 percent of the specialty contractors conducted training in Spanish on a weekly basis. This weekly training period is often recommended for safety toolbox talks for workers. Twenty percent of the roofing contractors conducted training in Spanish on a monthly basis. Based on a Chi Square test, the differences in the average percentage of contractors that conducted training in Spanish on a regular basis were found to be significant. The data showed that relatively few contractors offered training in Spanish on a regular basis, and that most of the roofing contractors (60%) offered training in Spanish to train Hispanic workers on a more frequent basis than did the specialty contractors.

PAGE 59

50 202096640141076020406080100WeeklyMonthlyBi-MonthlyEvery 6MonthEveryYearNeverResponsesPercent of Constractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-25 Frequency of Training in Spanish Performed The level of investment in Spanish training per worker by the respondents is illustrated in Figure 4-26. A large percentage of roofing and specialty contractors (70%) did not invest over $50 per worker. About 25 percent of the roofing contractors and the specialty contractors made an investment between $51 and $200 per worker. The remaining of the roofing contractors invested between $201and $650 per worker. Based on a Z test, the differences in the average investment per worker by contractors were not found to be statistically significant.

PAGE 60

51 67101455778150204060801000-5051-100101-200201-300301-700Investment/Worker(dollarts)Percent of Contractors Roofing Constractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-26 Training Investment Per Worker The percent of the sample population that offered safety training in Spanish is illustrated in Figure 4-27. Most contractors did offer safety training in Spanish. About 71 percent of the roofing contractors and 48 percent of the contractors offered safety training in Spanish to their Hispanic workers. Based on a Chi Square test, the differences in the average percentage of contractors that offered safety training in Spanish for Hispanic workers were found to be significant at the 95% level of confidence. According to the data, safety training was deemed important by most contractors and was provided it in Spanish for the Hispanic workers.

PAGE 61

52 29715248020406080100NoYesResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-27 Safety Training in Spanish Productivity Based on the experiences of the respondents, Figure 4-28 shows the skills rating of the Hispanic workforce in the construction industry. Most contractors observed no difference in the skills rating for Hispanic workers. About 58 percent of the roofing and 55 percent of specialty contractors observed no difference in skills between domestic workers and the Hispanics workers. However, a small percentage of the respondents determined the skills rating for the Hispanic workers were better. It was estimated that 27 percent of the roofing and 10 percent of the specialty contractors observed better skills among the Hispanics workforce. Based on a Chi Square test, the differences in the average percentage of contractors that rated the skill level of Hispanic workers were found to be significant at the 95% level of confidence. The data showed that the majority of the Hispanic workers’ skills were no different than the domestic workers, but a few showed they did have better skills.

PAGE 62

53 155827355510020406080100LowerNot any differentBetterResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-28 Skills Rating for Hispanics Based on the experiences of the respondents, Figure 4-29 shows the productivity observations of the Hispanic workforce in the construction industry. Most roofing contractors (42%) experienced a slightly better productivity with Hispanic workers. Compared to roofing contractors, most of the specialty contractors (33%) found almost no difference in productivity with Hispanic workers, and 28% percent found productivity to be better. Based on a Chi Square test, the differences in the average percentage of contractors that observed a productivity influence by Hispanic workers were found to be significant at the 95% level of confidence. Surprising enough, regardless of the language communication problems the data showed that most contractors experienced better productivity with Hispanic workers.

PAGE 63

54 33916422414331414020406080100DecreasedSlightly LessNoDifferenceSlightlyBetterA Lot BetterResponsesPercent of Contractors Roofing Contractors Specialty Contractors Figure 4-29 Influence of Hispanic in Productivity Safety Performance The injury rate for the roofing contractors is illustrated in Figure 4-30. Injury data only pertained to the roofing contractors who participated in the research survey, as this information was not requested of the specialty contractors. The injury rates for most of the roofing firms were low, about 32% them had an injury rate of 0, and 24% of the firms had injury rates between 1 and 10. On the other hand, some firms had high injury rates, approximately 44 percent of the roofing contractors had injury rates above 11 and up to 33. Although the injury rates of several contractors was quite low, the safety performances of the roofing contractors with injury rates above the national average for the construction industry indicates that there is considerable room for improvement among the roofing contractors.

PAGE 64

55 32242214802040608010001-1011-2021-3031-35Injury Rate (OSHA recordable injuries per 200,000 hours)Percent of Contractors Figure 4-30 Injury Rate For Roofing Contractors By performing a Kendals correlation test it was discovered that those firms with a greater percentage of Hispanic employees had higher injury rates (P<0.01). This finding is shown in Table 4-2. Table 4-2 Percent of Hispanic of Employees and Injury Rate % Of Hispanic workers N value Mean Injury rate Median 50-100 16 13.40 11.80 1-49 1 21 8.50 3.33 TOTAL 18.50 10.95 7.57 Further analysis was conducted with the safety performance data for those firms with more than 50% of their employees being Hispanic. For these 16 firms, a Kendals correlation test was performed. The results showed those firms that offered Spanish classes to supervisors had a lower injury rate (P<0.1). These findings are in Table 4-3.

PAGE 65

56 Table 4-3 Spanish Training for Supervisors in Firms with Mostly Hispanic Employees Spanish classes offered for supervisors N value Mean Median Yes 8 18.33 19.17 No 8 8.57 5 TOTAL 16 13.45 11.80 Summary On the basis of the data collected, the following observations, and trends should be noted. Roofing contractors were identified as small companies with a low annual dollar volume of work, high numbers of projects completed per year, with little subcontracted work to others. The specialty contractors were identified as big companies with higher annual dollar volumes of work, and low numbers of projects completed per year with higher percentages of work subcontracted to others. Roofing contractors had fewer employees but a higher percentage of Hispanic workers with a very low English requirement for job positions, compared to the contractors who had more workers but a lower percent of Hispanic workers with a higher English requirement for job positions. Only very few of the contractors offered Spanish and English classes to supervisors and Hispanics worker, respectively. Informal training was conducted by more roofing contractors than by specialty contractors. Spanish literature/brochures were the most common training tools used, Spanish videos were second, and then third were presentation/lectures. Software and other methods of Spanish training were rarely used as Spanish training tools. Training by assigning Hispanic workers to veteran workers was the most common method of personnel training for Hispanics, second was jobsite personnel, and third was company personnel. The sample population had very little interest in Spanish qualifications for

PAGE 66

57 foremen, or to organize Hispanic workers in the same crews as a measure of improving communications. The data showed that roofing contractors conducted more frequent Spanish training, but there was a low interest in training Hispanic workers in Spanish on a regular basis. The productivity influence of Hispanic workers had a slight increase among the roofing contractors, compared to the specialty contractor’s experiences showing that their productivity influenced by Hispanic workers had increased more. Safety training was deemed important for the sample population. Most contractors conducted safety training in Spanish. According to the respondents, the skills rating for Hispanic workers observed by roofing contractors was better, but it was lower for the specialty contractors. The financial investment for training in Spanish was very low for the sample population; however, the roofing contractors spent relatively more money on training Hispanic workers in Spanish. The injury rate results for most roofing contractors were low. This showed that training efforts were made to train workers in order to prevent injuries at the workplace. However, some firms had high injury rates. These firms with high injuries could reduce the number of injuries if they improve, or implement training programs at their workplace. The compiled data showed that there was a need to improve training for non-English workers, especially Hispanics. The data collected for this research found a lack of commitment from the contractors to train the Hispanic workforce, but at the same time it found there were few attempts to train the Hispanics in Spanish, especially among the roofing contractors.

PAGE 67

CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Conclusions The growth of the Hispanic workforce is increasing in the U.S. There are increasing numbers of Hispanic workers in the construction industry. There is a need to improve the training practices of construction employers in order to accommodate non-English speaking workers. The largest group of non-English speakers on construction sites consists of Hispanic workers. A very good and effective training option in construction could very well consist of implementing Spanish training programs for Hispanic workers. The government is participating with the implementation and enforcement of Spanish training provided for the Hispanic workforce. OSHA has translated training materials into Spanish and it has created a Spanish website to encourage other contractors to train their employees in Spanish. Construction employers are expected to follow the Government’s example and implement Spanish training at the workplace. Based on this research, it can be concluded that the Hispanic workforce in the construction industry is gradually increasing. This increase of Hispanic construction workers represents challenges for them and their employers, the contractors. Challenges between employer and employees consist of cultural, language barriers, and limited skills. These challenges are a reflection of disproportionate injuries incurred by the Hispanics on construction sites. Findings in this research showed that some contractors are addressing these issues by training the Hispanic workforce in Spanish. However, the 58

PAGE 68

59 training in Spanish is not very effective because training is offered infrequently or sometimes it is not offered at all. Therefore the training needs for Hispanic workers are not being properly met. Recommendations The issue of training Hispanic workers in the construction industry is not resolved. Construction employers need more persuasive facts to absolutely buy into the idea of training both in English and Spanish. Perhaps, a common language is needed to communicate, and emphasize the importance of Spanish training. The language could very possibly be “money”. Funds spent in training should be regarded as investment funds. It is true there may be a loss of money associated with Spanish training, or there may be a big gain of money associated with it. Whichever the case may be, it can significantly influence construction employer investment levels in Spanish training. Although this research has been informative about the Hispanic participation in construction and the importance of Spanish training as part of the training programs development; other areas related to this research can be further examined. The return on investment from training Hispanic workers, for example, is an excellent area to look into. The results of investing in Spanish training could lead to safer projects, and higher productivity levels, thus increasing the profitability of businesses; and a significant reduction of job injuries. If theses results increase the return on investment from training in Spanish, there is no doubt that construction employers will be willing to invest their money, or at least be enticed by the idea. The effectiveness of training in Spanish on construction jobsites should be explored. An analysis comparing training in Spanish to productivity levels and injury

PAGE 69

60 rates for Hispanic workers should be examined. This information could be helpful to contractors who have Hispanic workers.

PAGE 70

APPENDIX A CONTRACTOR SUREVEY QUESTIONNAIRE Training Hispanic Construction Workers General Information 1. What is the firm’s approximate annual revenue? $ _____ Million 2. Typically, how many projects does your firm complete each year? ______ projects 3. How is your annual volume of business distributed among the following work items? _____ % Slope roofs _____ % Flat roofs _____ % Other (describe) 4. What percent of the work does the firm subcontract to other firms? ______ % Worker Information 5. What is the average number of field workers employed by the company? ______ workers 6. Approximately, what percent of the employees are Hispanic? ______% 7. Does the company have any requirement that workers must be able to speak and understand English in order to be employed? Yes No 8. Of the Hispanic workers, what percent do not speak/understand English? ______% 9. If some of the company employees do not speak English, does this present an obstacle in giving instructions? Yes, this is a serious problem for the company. Yes, but somehow the information gets out to all the workers. 61

PAGE 71

62 No, we have enough people who are bilingual so it is not a problem. No, we give instructions in Spanish when necessary. 10. How has the number of Hispanic workers in your firm changed in the past 5 years? Less Hispanics Today No Change in the Number A Few More Hispanics Today Many More Hispanics Today Training Information 11. Does the firm offer Spanish training for supervisors and foremen? Yes No 12. Does the firm offer English training for Hispanics? Yes No 13. Which of the following Spanish job training tools has your company used? (Check all that apply) Spanish Videos Literature/brochures in Spanish Spanish Software Presentations/lectures in Spanish Other (please describe) _______________________________ None 14. What type(s) of job training does your company offer for Hispanics? (Check all that apply) Company personnel provide training in Spanish. On site personnel translate training information into Spanish for Hispanic workers. New workers are assigned to work with veteran or experienced workers. Foremen with non-English speaking workers in their crews must speak Spanish. We try to keep Spanish-speaking workers in the same crews. Other: _____________________________________________________ 15. How often does the company offer training in Spanish?

PAGE 72

63 Weekly Monthly Bi-Monthly Every 6 Months Every Year Never 16. Has the firm found that non-English speaking workers affect the productivity level of work? It is decreased It is only slightly less There is no difference It is slightly better It is a lot better 17. Is safety training offered in Spanish? Yes No 18. What has been the typical skill level of the Hispanic workers hired by the firm? Generally the skill level is lower than most of our new domestic hires. Generally the skill level is low, but not any different from new domestic hires. Generally the skill level is better than our new domestic hires. 19. What is your company’s approximate annual expenditure on training for non-English speaking workers? $ _____ thousand 20. Approximately how many injuries occurred among your workers in 2002 that required treatment by a doctor? _____ injuries Thank you for your responses. Optional:

PAGE 73

64 A summary of this research study will be prepared. If you would like a complimentary copy of the report as soon as it is available, you may include your name and address below and one will be provided to you. Note that your firm’s identity will not be used in any way other than to get a report to you. Thank you for your participation. Name: ____________________________________________ Firm: ____________________________________________ Street Address: ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ City: ______________________________ State: ______ Zip: ________

PAGE 74

APPENDIX B SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE COVER LETTER July 14, 2003 Subject: Survey on Training Hispanic Construction Workers Dear Contractor, The M. E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction at the University of Florida is conducting a survey on training Hispanic construction workers. The objective of the study is to identify the initiatives, efforts, and implementation of training techniques in practice for Hispanic construction workers. The survey is composed of 16 questions relating to training practices for Hispanic construction workers. If you feel that you are not the appropriate individual to complete the survey, please forward it to someone who you feel is knowledgeable on the subject covered. Many of the questions can be answered by simply checking the applicable answers. There are no risks associated with participating in this study and participation is entirely voluntary. The survey can be completed in a few minutes. Naturally, you are asked to answer only those questions that you feel comfortable in answering. Results of this study will be compiled and summarized in a report. We will provide a complimentary summary report to you if you want one. The information presented in the report may prove to be beneficial to you and your firm. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact me. 65

PAGE 75

66 Responses provided by specific firms will be kept strictly confidential to the extent provided by law. Research data will be summarized so that the identity of individual participants will be concealed. You have my sincere thanks for participating in this study. Yours truly, Jimmie Hinze Director, Fluor Program for Construction Safety (352) 273-1167 FAX: (352) 392-9606 Email: hinze@ufl.edu P.S. For information about participant rights, please contact the University of Florida Institutional Review Board at (352) 392-0433 or Email: IRB2@ufl.edu.

PAGE 76

LIST OF REFERENCES AGC Houston (AGCH). (2002). Houston AGC & OSHA Offer Safety Support for Hispanic Workers. http://www.agchouston.org/content/public/pdf/ SafetySupportHispanicWorkforce_Article_Summer_2002.pdf . Accessed July 2003. Agriculture and Environmental Science (AES). (2001). A Human Resource Introduction to Latino Employees in Georgia? Green Industry. http://www.ces.uga.edu/pubs /PDF/newneighbors.pdf. Accessed November 2003. Associated Schools of Construction (ASC). (1991). Worker Satisfaction and Communication Pattern on Construction Job-Sites. http://asceditor.unl.edu /archives/1991/Udo-Inyang91.htm. Accessed November 2003. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). (2002). Latin American Unemployment Soars. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2561107.stm. Accessed November 2003. Construction Chart Book 3rd Edition (CCB). (2002). The US Construction Industry and Its Workers. http://www.cpwr.com/chartbook.htm. Accessed November 2003. Dallas Business Journal (DBJ). (2000). Building Boom Labor Shortage Will Continue. http://dallas.bizjournals.com/dallas/stories/2000/11/27/story7.html. Accessed September 2003. Houston Chronicle. (2003). Hispanics Still Face More Deaths, Injuries on the Job. http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/business/sixel/2120856. Accessed November 2003. ICON Training Materials. (2003). Safety Training—Tips for Crossing the Language Barrier. http://www.icontraining.com/tips/langtip.htm. Accessed November 2003. International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). (2003). 2003-2004 Board Members Share Insights into Communication Challenges and Predictions for the Profession. http://www.iabc.com/info/news/pdf/meettheboard.pdf. Accessed November 2003. International Labor Organization (ILO). (2003). Competency-Based Training in Latin America and the Caribbean. http://www-ilo-mirror.cornell.edu/public/english/ region/ampro/cinterfor/temas/complab/observ/i.htm. Accessed November 2003. 67

PAGE 77

68 Mayo, Y. (1997). Machismo, Fatherhood, and the Latino Family: Understanding the Concept. Journal of Multicultural Social Work , Vol. 5, Page 49-61. Mesa Arizona Corruption Report (MACR). (1999). Millionaire Families and Various Businesses from Around Arizona Mistreat Immigrant Workers Violating Their Civil & Human Rights. http://www.mesaazcorruptionreport.com/immigrant/. Accessed November 2003. MROToday. (2003). The Impact of Language and Culture on Job Safety. http://www.mrotoday.com/mro/archives/exclusives/LanguageCultureSafety.htm. Accessed September 2003. National Safety Council (NSC). (2002). Immigrant Worker Safety and Health. http://www.nsc.org/news/bj022702.htm. Accessed November 2003. National Safety Management Society (NSMS). (2000). OSHA's Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines. http://www.nsms.us/courses/pages /700guidelines.html. Accessed November 2003. Occupational Health and Safety and Rehabilitation (OHSR). (2003). The Accredited Health and Safety. http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/doingbusinesswithus/downloads/ insert4.pdf. Accessed November 2003. OSHA. (1996). Training Requirements in OSHA Construction Industry Standards and Training Guidelines. http://www.osha-slc.gov/doc/outreacht.raining/htmlfiles /osha2254.html. Accessed September 2003. OSHA. (2002a). OSHA Fact Sheet. http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts /ppe-factsheet.pdf. Accessed November 2003. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Construction Industry Regulations. (2002b). Safety Training and Education, 1926.21 (b). Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office. Real Estate Center (REC). (. 2002). Skilled Labor Crunch Hurts Homebuilding. http://recenter.tamu.edu/news/07-1002.html Accessed September 2003. Rough Notes. (2003). Accident and Injury Rates Erop When Non-English Speaking Workers "Learn by Doing." http://www.roughnotes.com/rnmagazine/2003/ april03/04p25.htm. Accessed November 2003. Unite Canada. (2003). Communication at the Workplace: Language, Culture and Race. http://www.unite-svti.org/En/BASIC_SKILLS/Communication_at_the_Workplace /communication_at_the_workplace.html. Accessed November 2003. US Department of Labor (USDL). (2003). How many Hispanic workers have been fatally injured on the job? http://www.bls.gov/iif/peoplebox.htm. Accessed November 2003.

PAGE 78

69 US Department of Labor (USDL). (2003). OSHA Reaches Out to Hispanics About... http://www.osha.gov/Publications/JSHQ/spring2002/oshahisp.htm. Accessed November 2003. US Department of Labor (USDL). (2002). Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities http://www.dol.gov/_sec/media/speeches/20020415_HACU.htm. Accessed November 2003. World Socialist Web Site(WSWS). (1999.) Banana workers protest layoffs in Costa Rica. http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/sep1999/lab-s28.shtml. Accessed September 2003. Zerah Service, Inc. (ZSI). (Sept. 2003). Safety, Liability, Productivity: Breaking the Language Barrier on Construction Sites. http://www.zerah.com/news2.pdf . Accessed September 2003.

PAGE 79

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Marcelo G. Marin was born on December 26 th , 1978, in Managua, Nicaragua. He was the first son and third child born to Marcelo P. Marin and Maria V. Marin. He moved to Miami, Florida, with his family in 1989. He received his high school diploma from Coral Gables Senior High in 1997. He received his Associate of Arts degree from Miami Dade Community College in 2001. That year, he moved to Gainesville, Florida, and was accepted as a student of the M.E. Rinker, Sr., School of Building Construction at the University of Florida. While attending the University of Florida he received his Bachelor of Science of Building Construction in 2003. Then, he entered the combined bachelor’s/master’s degree program of the M.E. Rinker, Sr., School of Building Construction to pursue a Master of Science of Building Construction in December 2003. 70