2020 has already arrived and across North America, people are vowing to eat healthier, exercise more, spend less on frivolous purchases, and more on meaningful interactions.

This time of year encourages reflection and goal setting, and with that spirit in mind, here are five resolutions the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) would like to suggest for the coming year:

One: Mentor!
In the United States alone, there are 311,000 vacant construction jobs (as of October 2019). Mentoring is one way that you can personally challenge this statistic, by transferring your love of the industry, knowledge, and skills to students or young people at your company, ensuring they develop a passion for work in the industry and find success. Great organizations to work with include SkillsUSA, Go Build, and Power Up Loud. Within your company, setting a small amount of time aside each week to meet with young and new employees at your company can ensure your valuable experience is shared with the next generation of workers and creates a positive work environment that great employees won’t want to leave.

Two: Safety!
One in five worker deaths in the United States in 2018 occurred during a construction job. Until that number is zero, there is still work to be done. In 2020, make it your personal mission to focus on safety. Big picture, only work with companies that share your safety vision. Within your company, know your numbers and those of the rest of the construction community. Accessing the Safety Benchmarking Portal enables you to tap into decades of safety data and experience so that you can evaluate how your company measures up against others in the industry. Finally, whether you manage trades or work as a tradesperson yourself, focus on reporting near misses. A near miss that’s not reported is a near miss that’s not corrected, and this could result in a future death. Open and encouraged communication at all levels is vital to prevent future fatalities.

Three: Do Business Better!
Decades ago owners led the charge, insisting that the companies they were doing business with were operating safely. In 2020, we would like to encourage owners to take the lead in two other areas – workforce development and productivity gains. If owners demand change, it will happen. Check out the owners’ Labor Risk Management program, which is a full-service pre-qualification and analytics system that owners can use to evaluate contractors for workforce training and development, and the High-Level Productivity Calculator, which enables a project and its craft disciplines to be benchmarked against a validated project index. Both programs arm users with information that will support their advancement in both areas.

Four: Never Stop Learning!
We get it – your “to do” list is about a mile long. Adding a workshop or seminar to the mix may seem like piling on, but the truth is, making time for new knowledge is very important. We’re not suggesting you attend an event just for the sake of going; no, if you’ve never signed up for an industry workshop then your best bet is to find one that is interesting and relevant to you. If you’re having difficulties building overseas, find an event that is focused on combatting common problems at international locations. If your company’s leaders are demanding more output for fewer dollars, then look for topics on Lean construction and improving productivity. If you are dealing with safety challenges, then target an event that features construction safety experts and their advice for turning the tide. You’re never too old or too knowledgeable to turn down new learning opportunities. Check out what CURT has lined up for the new year.

Five: Connect!
Last, but not least, connecting with the industry in 2020 should be high on your priority list. While we’d love for you to connect with CURT (we obviously think we’re the best!), there are a lot of great industry associations with various foci. One of the biggest ways you can contribute is by lending your expertise and ideas to an association’s committees or research teams; this is a great way to give back to the industry, learn from peers, and discover other peoples’ thoughts on industry dilemmas. CURT’s Committees focus on various topics, including safety, productivity, workforce development, and new technologies.

While not officially on this list, we’d like to add one more resolution to your list for 2020. Join CURT! We have membership options for construction owners, contractors, and associations, and we’d like to welcome you to the team. Join existing members, like Google, Procter & Gamble, and Merck & Co., Inc., and get ready to learn, advance, and create meaningful change for the construction industry.