84 Lumber looking at trades training program
National pro dealer 84 Lumber is exploring the idea of a construction trades training program in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge, La. markets, according to an article in The Advocate.
The pilot program would be in partnership with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southern University. Training would cover not only what happens on the jobsite, but also things like how to submit a bid and handle payroll, according to Roy Lindsey, sales manager at 84 Lumber’s Baton Rouge location.
Although still in the early planning stages, Lindsey said he hoped the program could contribute to the quality of the local labor pool and also help delevop a loyal customer base for 84 Lumber.
Sales inch upwards at Builders FirstSource
Builders FirstSource, the Dallas-based chain of lumberyards and component plants, reported sales of $162.8 million for its first fiscal quarter, a 1% increase from sales of $161.4 million in the same period a year ago. Net income for the quarter, which ended March 31, 2011, was $21.2 million, compared to a net loss of $31.4 million a year ago.
“We are encouraged by our first quarter financial results, especially in light of continued housing market challenges, the difficult pricing environment and the overall state of the economy,” said Floyd Sherman, CEO at Builders FirstSource . “As we anticipated, quarter-over-quarter comparisons will be very difficult through the first half of this year due to the temporary momentum created by the expiration of the federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers during the first half of 2010.”
Sherman pointed out that actual U.S. single-family housing starts for the first quarter of 2011 were 89,900, a decrease of 21.4 percent compared to the first quarter of 2010. “In the South Region, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, and which includes all of our markets, we saw similar trends as actual single-family housing starts were 52,700, down 19.3 percent, and single-family units under construction were 110,800, down 14.6 percent compared to the first quarter of 2010.”
Builders FirstSource operates 52 distribution centers and 46 manufacturing facilities in 9 states, principally in the Southern and Eastern United States.
Home remodeling to slow, says Harvard study
Remodeling activity is expected to move at a sluggish pace this year due to the stalled housing market and economic recovery, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The center’s Remodeling Future’s Program predicted annual growth slowing throughout the year with spending up only 0.2% in 2011.
“Recent softness in the housing market and continued pessimism among remodeling contractors point to a slowdown in the remodeling market toward the end of the year,” said Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center.
The Remodeling Futures Program, initiated by the Joint Center for Housing Studies in 1995, is a comprehensive study of the factors influencing the growth and changing characteristics of housing renovation and repair activity in the United States. The program seeks to produce a better understanding of the home improvement industry and its relationship to the broader residential construction industry.