Industry Trends: LaForce Responds to the Construction Labor Shortage

Responding to the Construction Labor ShortageAccording to a May 5, 2017 report from Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), the construction labor shortage is improving but is still a challenge in many parts of the country. Since the end of the Great Recession, the construction market has picked up significantly but not all qualified craftsmen and women have returned to the industry. In addition, many states and communities have cut funding to technical training for young workers.

As a result, the construction industry is short about half a million workers, according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper goes on to report that insufficient labor for construction demand drives up the cost of some construction projects.

LaForce can help alleviate some of the labor shortfalls experienced by general contractors. For example, our door hardware pre-installation* capabilities can greatly reduce the time needed for hanging doors on-site. We recently completed a project where the general contractor compared pre-installed and traditionally installed doors. The customer found that when LaForce pre-installed hardware, it reduced on-site door installation labor costs by 60%. In conjunction with this service, many customers opt to have LaForce provide pre-finished** doors. This alleviates on-site labor that can slow job progress. Combining both of these services results in pre-finished doors with pre-installed hardware, reducing on-site labor needs.

Can the construction labor shortage be solved? There is no easy answer. But through innovations like LaForce’s door hardware pre-installation and door pre-finishing services, there is hope on the horizon.

*Pre-installation is the process in which hardware such as hinges, door closers, exit devices, locks, electrified hardware, and flat goods are installed onto the doors prior to shipping to the jobsite. Watch our video to see how the entire process can save time, help meet deadlines, and provide a hassle-free jobsite installation.

**Pre-finishing is when doors are painted in a controlled environment prior to shipping to the jobsite, which is advantageous from both quality and efficiency standpoints.

Product Spotlight: Update Your Entrance into a Remarkable Experience!

Did you know that LaForce can supply Trimco Identity Hardware? This unique product line is well-suited for restaurants, athletic facilities, schools, or any facility that wants to promote a brand image. Work with us to design custom hardware with your logo – or bring your concept to life by creating your own unique hardware design. Check out some examples of Trimco Identity Hardware, below.

Free renderings are available. Contact LaForce to set-up a consultation.

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Making Connections at Spring Trade Shows

Trade shows are a fun and interactive opportunity to develop new and old customer relationships! Read on for a summary of our trade show presence over the past few months.


Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials – Wisconsin State Education Convention in Milwaukee, WI

This event was a great opportunity to meet new contacts and continue existing relationships with members of Wisconsin’s school districts. We especially appreciated the opportunity to demonstrate our security products and services, since many schools in Wisconsin are in the process of upgrading their systems.


Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials – Facilities Management Conference in Wisconsin Dells, WI

Our presence at this two-day event allowed plenty of time to get to know facility managers and building/grounds personnel who work in Wisconsin school districts. The highlight of this event was showcasing our access control products, including a mobile access display.

Michigan Association of Physical Plant Administrators – Winter Conference in University Center, MI

This was our first time attending this event, and we were very pleased with the opportunity to co-present with Dirk Welch from Traka (ASSA ABLOY). Our booth featured products from both LaForce and Traka, including intelligent key and equipment management options, which helped us really educate show attendees.

Plant & Facilities Maintenance Association – Annual Expo in Milwaukee, WI

LaForce has exhibited at this show for over ten years, and it never fails to disappoint. This year, we had a double booth tailored to meet the needs of plants and facilities maintenance managers, including some of our new security products and services.


Illinois Association of Housing Authorities – Maintenance & Management Clinic in Decatur, IL

Our first-ever table at the IAHA clinic featured our brand-new camera display, plus a handful of other products from our Security Integration team. We met a lot of relevant end users that can benefit from our full-scope approach to door, frame, hardware, and security offerings.

Capitol Area Maintenance and Operations – Vendor Fair in Austin, TX

We sent a Building Products Consultant to this Austin School District event in order to showcase our company’s capabilities in providing a total door opening to school representatives. Since we work with so many schools around the country, this event was a great way to meet Austin-area school officials.


GOA Business Association – Business Expo in Elk Grove Village, IL

We have had an active presence in the Chicago construction market for nearly 30 years. The GOA Business Association provides an opportunity for networking and vendor demonstrations. We provided information about our keying and security services, plus several hands-on samples for attendee education.

Construction Specifications Institute – North Central Region – Conference in Madison, WI

We are active members of CSI and enjoyed the opportunity to meet other members at this yearly conference. Since we can write specifications for Divisions 8, 10, and 28, our table showcased a variety of samples, including security products.

Nice to Meet You!

Did you attend one of these shows? We’d love to hear from you again! Connect with our representatives on their LinkedIn profiles:

If you weren’t at any of these events but would like to know more about our latest products and services, take a minute to check out our website and blog archives. You may also connect with LaForce on LinkedIn, or fill out our Contact Form.

What’s Next in Trade Shows?

We will attend the Wisconsin Healthcare Engineering Association (WHEA) Technical Exhibition on September 20 in La Crosse, WI. We will also have a booth at the Midwest Facility Master’s Conference (hosted by the Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials) on October 30-31 in Wisconsin Dells, WI. Finally, you can find us at the Wisconsin Parks and Recreation Association’s Trade Show on November 8 in Wisconsin Dells, WI.

Six Considerations for Finding the Right Security System

Facility owners and managers juggle user demands every day. Besides maintenance and functionality, a top concern is building security. People and assets require diligent, technologically advanced protection. But where does one begin!?

Today we will cover six considerations for finding the right security system! Special thanks to Tony Warren, a Security Integration Field Project Manager at LaForce, for providing his 10+ years of experience for today’s blog.

1) User Friendliness

Is the system too simple or too complex for the average user? Some people are more tech-savvy than others, so it’s important to choose a system that is intuitive to user capabilities.

2) Expandability

You might start out securing just one door, but down the road, your business or facility might expand. Most systems are scalable, so choose one that will grow with your needs.

3) Level of Interaction

Are you willing to be hands-on with your security system, or would you like it managed on your behalf? Depending on your style and capabilities, the system may require more or less owner/manager interaction.

4) Credential Types

You can choose to access your secured building with something as simple as a proximity card or something as advanced as an app on your mobile phone. Biometric devices, such as finger or retina readers, are also an option! Many LaForce systems can accommodate multiple types of credentials, so discuss this with your consultant.

5) Needed Requirements

Are there internal and/or industry standards that your security system must meet? For example, food processing facilities must adhere to strict security rules. Keep this in mind when choosing the right system.

6) Lockdown Capabilities

Do you need to have areas with “lockdown” capabilities? Lockdowns are typically used in situations where there is an imminent threat, such as an active shooter. Knowing if you need lockdown capabilities will steer your decision-making process. Subjective variables must be discussed in order to create the correct system and action plan.


Six Considerations for Finding the Right Security SystemNo project is too big or too small for LaForce’s Security Integration team. We will go above and beyond your expectations to design, install, and support all your building security needs.

Better security means better business. Safeguard your building today!



Ferguson Family YMCA Renovation (Case Study)

Since 1924, downtown Green Bay, WI has featured a beautiful, multi-functional YMCA. This month, the latest renovations are revealed. Click the image to read about the project, and scroll down for more pictures! We are proud to have contributed to this historical renovation project with Berners-Schober Associates Inc. and Immel Construction.

Ferguson Family YMCA Renovation

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For more project pictures and case studies, visit our LaForce Projects page.

Volunteer Week at LaForce

During National Volunteer Week, let’s take a moment to celebrate and appreciate our many volunteers! The LaForce Volunteer Program organizes events year-round for employees to give back to their local communities.

Thank you to our volunteers – past, present, and future!

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Check out these photos from recent community events:

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To learn more about our company culture, community giving, and career opportunities, visit our website or our Facebook page. Next week, the blog will showcase recently completed construction projects.

Road Trip 2017: LaForce Projects Across the Country

Road Trip 2017, Stop 7: Catholic Memorial High School in Wisconsin

LaForce handles construction projects across the country!
In this special series, we’re exploring 12 such projects.

We handle large and small projects within a wide variety of industries, including education. At Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha, WI, Dylan Watkins (Building Products Consultant) assisted in the below-pictured door replacement. The objective was to re-use as much of the existing materials as possible, while still improving the appearance and functionality of the door.

Exterior wood doors require frequent maintenance. Therefore, Dylan advised the school to replace the damaged, worn, and fading wood doors with Special-Lite woodgrain FRP doors. These doors feature a realistic wood grain appearance without the disadvantages of a real wood door on a building’s exterior. This particular FRP door features an acrylic-modified polyester (AMP) surface. A benefit to this type of door is that it will never warp, split, peel, or rot and it has excellent rust resistance. In addition, since saving money for the customer was a priority, we re-used the existing wood frames, exit devices, closers, and electric strikes.

Other recently completed door upgrades for schools can be found here and here, and more information about our retrofit capabilities can be found in this link. You may also contact LaForce with any questions! Follow us on LinkedIn for more project photos and updates.

LaForce at Catholic Memorial High School before and after