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Labor & Workforce

Why Mental & Physical Well-Being is Crucial

posted on 09.12.2023

It's a familiar sight: Men and women clustered at a job site, hard hats and safety vests on and clearly visible. This standard image showcases a commitment to the physical safety of its workforce, a necessary aspect of any construction company.

The construction industry is one of enormous physical labor, including significant physical stress. However, mental stress has just as much of an impact on the safety of construction workers and at all levels. Whether managing projects in an office or working tirelessly on-site, the importance of both mental and physical well-being cannot be overstated. These two pillars of health are not just beneficial but are absolutely crucial for the success and longevity of every construction worker's career.

In this week's blog, we delve deeper into the significant benefits of prioritizing one's mental and physical well-being, not just for professional reasons, but personally, too.


Mental Well-Being: A Cornerstone of Success

1.) Stress Management: Construction projects often come with tight deadlines, budget constraints, and client expectations. Nurturing your mental well-being equips you with the tools to manage stress effectively. This, in turn, allows you to maintain a clear head, make rational decisions, and avoid burnout.

2.) Optimal Decision-Making: In construction, the ability to make sound decisions is paramount. When you prioritize your mental health, your cognitive abilities are sharpened, enabling you to make informed choices that can significantly impact the success of a project.

3.) Safety and Focus: Construction sites can be hazardous places. Mental well-being ensures that you remain alert, focused, and attentive to safety protocols, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.

4.) Enhanced Communication and Collaboration: Successful construction projects rely on effective teamwork and communication. Mental well-being enhances your ability to relate to colleagues, clients, and subcontractors, fostering positive working relationships and efficient collaboration.


Physical Well-Being: The Key to Longevity

1.) Sustained Energy Levels: Construction work is physically demanding, often requiring long hours and strenuous labor. Maintaining your physical health ensures that you have the energy and endurance to tackle even the toughest tasks, day in and day out.

2.) Injury Prevention: The construction industry is known for its risks. Physical self-care, including warm-up exercises, stretches, and adherence to ergonomic principles, serves as a protective shield against workplace accidents and injuries.

3.) Career Longevity: A construction career can span decades, but only if physical well-being is made a top priority. By taking care of your body, you not only endure the rigors of the job but also ensure that you can enjoy a long and fulfilling career.

4.) Body and Mind Connection: It's important to recognize the relationship between one's mental and physical well-being. Regular exercise and a balanced diet not only promote physical health but also enhance mental clarity, emotional stability, and overall resilience.


10 Ways to Improve Your Physical and Mental Well-Being

1.) Practice Mindfulness Meditation. Allocate a few minutes each day for mindfulness meditation to reduce stress and enhance mental clarity.
2.) Regular Exercise. Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine, whether it's a workout, a walk, or stretching exercises. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day.
3.) Take Short Breaks. Incorporate short breaks into your workday to clear your mind and recharge.
4.) Balanced Nutrition. Maintain a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to provide your body with the necessary nutrients for energy and recovery.
5.) Talk About Your Feelings. Don't hesitate to discuss your mental health with trusted colleagues or professionals if needed. Sharing your feelings can be therapeutic.
6.) Stay Hydrated. Drink enough water throughout the day to stay properly hydrated, especially in hot weather.
7.) Set Realistic Goals. Establish achievable goals for your projects and tasks to prevent overwhelm and reduce anxiety.
8.) Ergonomic Practices. Follow proper lifting techniques and ergonomic principles to minimize the risk of workplace injuries.
9.) Time Management. Use effective time management techniques to prioritize tasks and reduce work-related stress.
10.) Adequate Rest. Ensure you get enough sleep each night. Quality rest is essential for physical and mental recovery.


Self-care is an ongoing process. Everyone's approach to suit their individual needs and circumstances. By incorporating these suggestions into your daily routine, you can better your mental and physical well-being and thrive in the demanding field of construction.

Mental and physical well-being are not luxuries; they are foundational elements of success. By nurturing these aspects of your health, you not only improve your personal quality of life but also enhance your performance, safety, and longevity in the industry. Whether making strategic decisions in an office or laboring on a job site, your commitment to both your professional and personal well-being is an investment in your success.

Make plans to join MBEX and the Women's POWER series for the annual Fall Social and the first-ever Self-Care Health Fair on October 10 at Pinstripes. There will be a variety of mental and physical well-being experts present and ready to share their knowledge and tips from chiropractic CARE to mental health services to nutrition. Bonus: if you visit each Health Fair station, you'll be entered to win a very special self-care-focused giveaway to continue improving your overall well-being following the event. Register now to join us on October 10!

PS - This event is open to both MBEX members and non-members across the construction industry. Tell your friends!

Labor & Workforce

Celebrating Labor Day

posted on 08.29.2023

Labor Day is just around the corner (it's on Monday, September 4!), and it's not just an excuse for a three-day weekend or the last hurrah of summer. It's a day that pays homage to the backbone of our society: labor. Let's put on our hard hats and take a stroll down the history lane of Labor Day.


Why Labor Day Matters
Labor Day is a grand salute to workers, the champions who construct our world – quite literally. From towering skyscrapers to humble homes, bridges that span gaps to tunnels that connect, every brick, beam, and blueprint finds its way to realization through the dedication of construction workers of all trades and specialties. This day celebrates their tenacity, their skills, and their contributions to the progress we enjoy today.


The Origins: Back to the 19th Century
Travel back with us to the late 1800s, a time when a 12-hour workday was more common than an iPhone. Labor unions began to form, advocating for better working conditions, reasonable hours, and fair wages. Then, in 1882, New York City hosted the first Labor Day parade – a nonchalant, yet revolutionary, demonstration of workers' rights and unity.


How Labor Day Became a National Holiday
Fast-forward to 1894, and picture this: the Pullman Strike halted railroad operations, leading to a nationwide standoff between workers and their corporate leaders. The U.S. government (likely with an eye on avoiding more rail-related drama) quickly passed Labor Day as a national holiday, designated for the first Monday of every September. Clever, right? It was a gesture that said, "We see you, workers, and we respect your contributions."


The Parades: Not Just For Candy
Labor Day parades are not just an opportunity to toss candy to kids. These parades originated as demonstrations of solidarity, showing the world that workers were a force to be reckoned with. Today, they're still a nod to the historical struggle, but also a celebration of achievements (and an excuse to show off some snazzy floats). So, put on your construction-themed costumes and join the parade – safety vests optional.


The Ultimate Weekend
We can't finish this post without addressing what everyone *really* looks forward to when Labor Day rolls around: the long weekend. Labor Day isn't just about barbecues and pool parties (although, no complaints there). It's a reminder to pause, take a breath, and acknowledge the value and dignity of labor. It's about taking a well-earned break and recognizing the hard work and hard workers that underpin our modern society. Thank a construction worker today!




As the final days of summer slip away, let's raise our glasses to the workers, the unsung heroes who turn architectural dreams into concrete realities. Whether you're in a hard hat or a corner office, we're celebrating the essence of progress and prosperity that's built on the shoulders of dedicated labor. Cheers to you on this Labor Day!

Member News & Events

5 Reasons to Dive into MBEX Events

posted on 08.08.2023

Minnesota Builders Exchange events are the gathering spots for those who know they every connection can lay the foundation for success.

Whether you're new to MBEX or have been a member for decades, if you haven't dipped your toes into these networking waters yet, here are five rock-solid reasons why you should jump in, hard hat and all:


Forge Lucrative Relationships
Who needs traditional networking events when you can bond over blueprints and structural strategies? MBEX events bring together a community of like-minded professionals who are as enthusiastic about trusses as they are about trending construction software. Mingle with architects, generals, subcontractors, and suppliers who could be the missing pieces to your next big project puzzle.


Uncover Emerging Trends
In an industry that's always evolving, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. When you attend an MBEX event, you're not just mingling and collecting contact information; you're tapping into a live feed of emerging trends. From the latest in sustainable materials to cutting-edge construction tech, you'll hear firsthand from your peers about new methods and practices they might be utilizing to advance their businesses as well as the commercial building sector in Minnesota (and beyond). 


Expand Your Toolbelt of Ideas
The power of networking lies in the many perspectives you encounter. Think of MBEX events as a market place, where you can exchange thoughts on innovative materials, fresh design approaches, and the latest sustainability trends. You never know what will spark the solution to a design challenge or if another event attendee has the answer to your downed fleet hurdle.


Share Tales of Triumph and Tribulation
Every project experience is overflowing with stories ranging from hilarious to hair-raising. At our events, you'll find fellow constructors who've triumphed over logistical nightmares and tackled projects that would have left others scratching their heads. Whether swapping stories about navigating frozen ground during a winter build or proudly showing off photos of a recently finished project phase you're currently on the crew for, you'll bond over the shared experiences that only construction can offer.


Cultivate Collaborative Magic
There's an electric energy that comes from connecting with those who share your passion. The Minnesota Builders Exchange isn't just about finding and posting commercial construction projects; it's also about igniting partnerships that can transform the construction landscape. Whether brainstorming ways to incorporate more sustainability practices into your firm's day-to-day business or pondering new ways to mix traditional training methods with more technologically advanced ways, the networking opportunities available to our members can lead to beneficial collaborations for years to come.




So there you have it —five unbeatable reasons to dive headfirst into the networking pool found at each and every Minnesota Builders Exchange event.

From creating invaluable connections to boosting your industry know-how, swapping project mishap stories to project collaborations, our events are key to building camaraderie throughout the construction community in Minnesota and past its borders. Fun fact: if you're an employee of a current MBEX member company and that company is in good standing with the Exchange, you are welcome to attend each and every event! Check out our Events Calendar, see what's yet to come in 2023, and save the dates in your calendar.

Whichever event is up next, grab that business card, don your construction swagger, and let's build not just structures but a network that will support your career for years to come.

Member News & Events

7 Simple Ways to Enhance your Business Website

posted on 08.01.2023

A professional and user-friendly website is a crucial element for any business' success, including construction companies.

A business' website is often the first point of contact with potential clients, and it plays a big role in shaping their perception of your brand and can also play a huge part in one's marketing plan. To make the most of your company's online platform, take advantage of seven simple but effective ways to improve your business' website. Take a few minutes to read our blog, and apply them to your website today.


(1) Streamline Navigation
A user-friendly website is critical in keeping visitors engaged. Make sure your website is intuitive, clear, and easy to follow. A great rule of thumb is make the customer's experience on your site as easy as possible. Use a logical menu structure that categorizes your services, projects, and other essential information. Avoid overwhelming website visitors with too many menu options or excessive drop-down menus. Again, keep it simple. Think about the possible journey your customer may make on your site, and navigate it like you're visiting your own site for the first time. If it takes too many steps, make changes to simplify it. 


(2) Showcase Projects with High-Quality Visuals
Construction is a visually appealing industry. Make them work to your advantage by showcasing your projects (in all phases of construction, not just the final product!) through high-quality images and videos. It's worth the money to invest in professional photography to capture your completed projects, but don't be afraid of taking quick photos or videos on your phone. Many cell phones these days take fantastic quality photos and video. This not only impresses potential clients but also demonstrates the quality of your business' workmanship.


(3) Incorporate Testimonials
Ask satisfied clients for testimonials and feature them on your website to build trust and credibility with future clients. Client testimonials not only highlight successful projects, but also your team and the full process. Genuine feedback adds authenticity to your business and helps further potential clients see the benefit of working with you.


(4) Mobile-Optimization
Having g a mobile-responsive website is essential. We live in a digital age; it's hard finding an individual who doesn't have a cell phone on their person at all times! Ensure that your website is optimized for different screen sizes, such as desktop/laptop, tablets, and mobile devices, and and that it functions seamlessly from device to device. It should be just as easy to navigate your website on a phone or tablet as it is on a desktop or laptop computer. A mobile-friendly website also positively impacts your search engine rankings.


(5) Clear Call-to-Actions (CTA)
Help website visitors to taking their next step by providing clear and prominent calls-to-action, such as 'Register Now,' 'Call Now', or 'Request an Estimate'. Whether it's requesting a quote, scheduling a consultation, or signing up for a newsletter, a strong CTA helps guide visitors towards (what else?) taking action and contacting your company to get down to business.


(6) Highlight Safety and Compliance
Construction companies have to prioritize safety and adherence to industry regulations. Use your website as an easy to access showcase of your company's commitment to safety standards, certifications, and compliance. This creates a sense of reliability and professionalism that clients seek when choosing a construction partner.


(7) Implement Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
To help ensure your business can be easily found online via Google, Bing, or another search engine, optimize your content with relevant keywords, meta tags, and descriptions. If your website has a blog, regularly update it with informative articles related to your business' specialty, services your business offers that others do not, and the construction industry. SEO practices can significantly improve your website's ranking, driving more organic traffic to your site and helping it be seen by more prospective clients.




Improving your company's website doesn't have to be a complex undertaking nor does it have to cost a lot of money. By implementing these seven simple yet powerful strategies, you can create a digital presence that captures the essence of your brand, impresses potential clients, and drives business growth.

Remember, your website is an ever-evolving platform, so continue to monitor its performance, gather feedback, and make necessary adjustments to stay ahead in the ever competitive construction industry.

Feature on Home Page

10 Reasons Why Your Crew Should Hire Veterans

posted on 07.25.2023

When looking to add exceptional talent to your construction company or firm, don't overlook the immense potential of one particular group that stands above the rest --- veterans.

These brave men and women bring a unique set of skills and qualities to the table, making them exceptional hires and top-notch members of your team. As today is National Hire a Veteran Day, let's dive into 10 reasons why veterans are the perfect fit for your construction crew.


Veterans have undergone rigorous training, instilling in them a sense of discipline and leadership. Using their communication skills, they know how to take charge and inspire their team to work together efficiently towards a common goal. Veterans also don't give up easily since they are used to high stakes. The building industry needs leaders to ensure projects are completed on time. In fact, 17.4% of veterans work in management, business or financial operations.


Service in the military can be unpredictable and with its number of difficult challenges, so veterans must think on their feet and find creative solutions. Their resourcefulness and adaptability allow them to handle sudden changes and pick up new information quickly, making them invaluable in the ever-changing world of construction. In fact, adaptability is one of the top skills companies need the most.


Veterans understand the importance of hard work and dedication, holding themselves accountable for their part in the group's mission. They are no strangers to putting in the extra effort to get the job done right and on time. Their determination could also be inspiring to their crew mates to work harder. Self-discipline is an important trait when dealing with tight deadlines.


Many business procedures involve careful planning and workload management. With any construction project, there are a dozen moving parts. Ordering of supplies, meeting with clients, creating design blueprints...the list goes on. Thankfully for a veterans' employer, precision is a hallmark of military training. Veterans carry this strategic thinking and attention to detail into every aspect of their work, ensuring that construction projects are executed with accuracy and quality.


Collaboration is second nature to veterans who have worked in close-knit military units; everyone knows their role and works together. They understand how to take orders and are used to working with a diverse group of people, allowing them to seamlessly integrate into construction teams.

The military relies on debriefings, analyzing a mission afterward by assessing what happened and determining what could have been done to make things better for the next time. Veterans are able to take criticism and apply it to their work for improvement, to stay on top of their end goal, and ensure its a quality job completed.


Veterans are used to working with advanced machineries, such as bulldozers and cranes. A veteran's knowledge of operating procedure, maintenance and regulation are an incredibly valuable asset. When regular upkeep of machinery allows for it to last longer, for example, this is a huge advantage for a business (especially if you're a small operation!). 


Safety is paramount in the military, and service members have had extensive training and are aware of safety protocols for both themselves, the welfare of their team and others. Veterans will bring this safety-first mindset to a working construction site. Their respect for precaution and protocol helps ensure the protection of employees, equipment and materials.


The military teaches individuals how to handle high-pressure situations. A tight deadline or unexpected change to a projects' plans is plenty stressful, and veterans have been trained to remain calm under pressure, making them reliable and composed even during the most challenging of situations.


When you hire a veteran, you gain a committed team member who will go the extra mile to achieve project success. They understand their actions impact others, and with this mindset, they are better at taking accountability when unexpected situations arise. 


The military is a diverse environment, and veterans bring a wealth of experiences and perspectives to the construction industry. Embracing this diversity leads to enhanced creativity and innovation on the job.




Leadership, problem-solving skills, work ethic, and focus on safety can contribute significantly to the success of your projects. Moreover, a veterans' team-oriented approach, stress management, and unwavering integrity create a positive work environment that fosters productivity and job satisfaction.

So, if you want a construction crew that operates like a well-oiled machine while upholding the highest standards, consider hiring our nation's veterans. Not only will you be making a smart business decision, but you'll also be giving back to those who have already given so much for our country. As labor shortages continue, contractors and construction companies should consider hiring and benefiting from all a veteran has to offer. It's a win-win situation for everyone.

Construction Technology

Paving the Path Forward with Advancements in Smart City Construction

posted on 07.19.2023

In today's fast-paced world, the building and advancement of smart cities has emerged as a path forward for progress and efficiency. These interconnected urban areas, driven by digital technologies, present huge opportunities for the commercial sector.

As a builders exchange serving the needs of Minnesota's construction industry, we understand the importance of staying up to date with the latest industry trends. Here, we'll explore the cutting-edge advancements in smart city construction that hold great potential for commercial sector contractors.


Connectivity and Infrastructure
Connectivity is a key enabler when it comes to the world of smart cities. Commercial contractors continue to play a pivotal role in building the digital infrastructure required to support these cities. The deployment of 5G networks is quickly changing the landscape, relaying real-time data readings and powering the Internet of Things (IoT). This presents exciting opportunities for constructing smart buildings with integrated sensors and systems, for areas such as:

• Traffic flow, congestion detection at intersections, and parking lot availability;
• Environmental monitoring for air quality, humidity, temperature control, and noise pollution in different parts of a city;
• Smart meters for a building's electrical grid energy consumption patterns, peak demand periods, and overall performance; and
• Water management in water supply networks and irrigation systems for quality monitoring, identifying leaks, and measuring water consumption patterns.

These types of interconnectivity throughout a smart city, among others, create an environment where businesses can thrive through streamlined operations and enhanced productivity.


Sustainable Urban Planning
Smart cities prioritize sustainability, aligning perfectly with the industry's growing focus on environmental, sustainability, and responsible construction practices. Forward-thinking urban planning techniques focus on energy efficiency, waste management, and integration of renewable energy sources, such as solar power, wind power, geothermal heating, and capturing biogases.

Commercial contractors can contribute to the construction of green buildings equipped with such energy-saving technologies, supporting a more sustainable future that will also attract environmentally-conscious businesses and tenants.


Data-Driven Decision Making
Data holds the key to unlocking the potential of smart cities, and the commercial sector can greatly benefit from its insights. Contractors can leverage the vast amounts of data generated by smart city infrastructure and systems (as explored in the section titled 'Connectivity and Infrastructure') for predicting repairs and a city's needs in the future

Data-driven decisions can also keep jobsites connected and continually striding towards a project's completion by leveraging real-time data to improve project management, enhance safety, streamline operations, and increase productivity. Tracking equipment usage and location, material expected delivery dates, identifying potential project delays, assessing potential environmental risks, and sharing the latest project updates are all examples of how construction companies can stay on top of a project's progress while also delivering intelligent, efficient, and cost-effective buildings.


Citizen Engagement and Inclusion
Citizen engagement and inclusivity are also vital considerations. Commercial contractors have the opportunity to create spaces that foster community engagement and enhance the urban experience for residents and businesses alike.

By including smart technologies and design principles that prioritize accessibility, such as smart digital and interactive signage, real-time language translators, smart wheelchair systems for navigating urban landscapes autonomously, and voice-guided navigational assistance (to name a few), contractors can help in developing inclusive spaces that meet the needs of a widely diverse city. The more inclusive a commercial project, the higher the appeal to creating vibrant and thriving urban centers. 




Commercial contractors can become a strong backbone in shaping and building technologically advanced cities. By embracing connectivity, sustainability, data analytics, and citizen engagement, there's no end to the transformative possibilities ahead for the urban landscape. 

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