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Building PA Podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

The Building PA Podcast serves the construction industry throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in brief, downloadable segments. Hosted by Chris Martin, President of Atlas Marketing, and Jon O’Brien, Executive Director for the Keystone Contractors Association, the Building PA Podcast covers topics such as safety, workforce development, insurance, legal, legislation, business development and much more.


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The Building PA Podcast serves the construction industry throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in brief, downloadable segments. Hosted by Chris Martin, President of Atlas Marketing, and Jon O’Brien, Executive Director for the Keystone Contractors Association, the Building PA Podcast covers topics such as safety, workforce development, insurance, legal, legislation, business development and much more.






The real value of working in the building trades with Dave Iannucci, EAS Carpenters

In today’s installment of the Building PA Podcast, co-hosts Jon O'Brien and Chris Martin continue their fascinating field trip to the Eastern Atlantic State's Regional Council of Carpenters Dive School in Sicklerville, New Jersey. Positioned on a serene lake, the hosts are joined by Dave Iannucci, the Special Projects Coordinator for the EAS Carpenters. They delve into the school's unique offerings and recent certifications, exploring its evolution from the Philadelphia Carpenters JAC and the Northeast Carpenters Apprenticeship Training Fund to the newly formed EAS CTC. The episode unfolds with a discussion about the school's commitment to eliminating apprenticeship stigma and its groundbreaking plans for accreditation and degree conferment in the future, among several other topics.


Prefab Chronicles: Navigating the Evolution with Steve Powers of Novinger's

In this episode of the Building PA Podcast, co-hosts Chris Martin and Jon O'Brien take a field trip to Novinger's in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. They are joined by Steve Powers, the Vice President of Sales at Novinger's, who is hailed as the cleanup hitter and the go-to person for all things related to panel construction and exterior panels. Steve shares insights into the evolution of prefabrication, from a curious construction method to a financial necessity driving project efficiency. The episode promises a fascinating exploration of the history, challenges, and advancements in prefabrication, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the industry with a seasoned expert.


Harnessing Innovative Technologies in Construction with Brian Skripac of the DBIA

In this podcast episode, Brian Skripac, the Director for Virtual Design and Construction with the Design Build Institute of America, shares insights into the evolving landscape of construction technology. Having transitioned from architecture to the realm of BIM leadership, Skripac discusses the excitement of leveraging new technologies to enhance productivity and efficiency in construction. He emphasizes the need for professionals in the industry, from contractors to architects and engineers, to tell their stories in the face of declining media coverage. Skripac also delves into the strategic integration of technology into project management, highlighting the benefits of a collaborative design-build approach. The conversation concludes with a glimpse into the future, exploring the potential impact of augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning on the construction industry. Stay tuned for a dynamic discussion on the ever-evolving intersection of technology and construction practices!


Dive into the Carpenters' newest training school

Dive into the depths of underwater construction with the latest Building PA Podcast episode in our field trip series featuring guest Don Gibbons, a Commercial Dive Instructor at the EAS Commercial Dive School. Explore the unique skillset of commercial divers who undertake tasks like underwater inspections, and learn about the extensive training and education opportunities at the EAS Commercial Dive School in Sicklerville, NJ. From offshore wind farm maintenance to high-risk environments, discover the strength, determination, and persistence required for this profession. Don also discusses the various training and ongoing education opportunities available at EAS Carpenters to get paid training and accreditation by the Association of Diving Contractors. This episode is guaranteed to teach you something new about the vast and diverse needs within the construction industry.


Panel prefabrication and the impact on various project types

In the latest installment of the Building PA Podcast, co-hosts Jon O'Brien and Chris Martin conclude their field trip series with a visit to Novinger's in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Accompanied by Jim Novinger, the owner of Novinger's, the hosts delve into the company's evolution and extensive expertise in panelization dating back to the 1920s. Jim shares captivating insights into Novinger's history, emphasizing its shift to panelization in the 1970s and its unwavering commitment to quality and innovation. The conversation takes an intriguing turn as the hosts recount a chance encounter with a building featuring Novinger's panels near Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. Jim elaborates on the unique architectural challenges they've embraced, such as a building shaped like a question mark with curved panels, showcasing the company's dedication to realizing architects' imaginative visions. The episode further explores Novinger's national footprint, spanning projects from New Jersey to Arizona, and delves into the complexities and strategies associated with managing projects across diverse geographical locations. Join Jon, Chris, and Jim for a compelling discussion on Novinger's rich history, diverse projects, and innovative solutions within the realm of exterior panels.


Our 2023 Recap!

Join Chris and Jon as they welcome 2024 with a reflection of the past year. Our co-hosts discuss the impact Building PA Podcast has had within the PA construction community and beyond, and also touch on their favorite interviews of the year. No lookback would be complete without also looking ahead at the future, so listeners can expect to hear about plans for the upcoming year as well. Thank you for another exciting year at Building PA Podcast and stay tuned for even more in 2024. Listen to our 2023 recap, out now!


How to strengthen relationships among GCs and subcontractors with Dan Myers

In this episode of Building PA Podcast, co-hosts Jon O'Brien and Chris Martin embark on a field trip to Novinger’s in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – a leading specialty contractor specializing in unitized exterior wall panels, fireproofing, structural framing, drywall installation, and ceiling work – to delve into the world of prefabrication. A lively discussion unfolds as they explore Novinger’s' shop, joined by Dan Myers, Project Manager from Alexander Building Construction Company. This episode provides a unique perspective on prefab and design assist, shedding light on the collaborative relationship between Alexander and Novinger. Listeners can anticipate an engaging conversation on the intricacies of prefabrication, the value of early involvement, and the innovative approaches to streamline construction processes, ensuring a well-rounded exploration of the topic with our knowledgeable guest.


Insight from Ollie Olsen - EAS Carpenters

In the latest episode of Building PA Podcast, co-hosts Jon O'Brien and Chris Martin bring the audience to Sicklerville, New Jersey, to explore the fascinating setting of the Carpenters Dive School. As they share insights from this unique location, including humorous moments and unexpected turns, they're joined by Ollie Olsen, the council rep for the Pile Drivers, Divers, and Dock Workers for the Eastern Atlantic States Carpenters. The episode offers a firsthand look into the innovative initiatives led by the Eastern Atlantic State Regional Council of Carpenters under the visionary leadership of Executive Secretary-Treasurer, William Sproule. Listeners can anticipate a captivating discussion on the progressive approaches to training, recruiting, and addressing industry challenges, demonstrating the council's commitment to excellence and the well-being of its members.


Strengthen Your Sales Approach

In the latest episode of Building PA Podcast, co-hosts Chris Martin and Jon O'Brien set the stage for an engaging discussion on how to strengthen sales. This week we introduce an exciting guest, Steve Heroux, Founder and CEO of The Sales Collective, offering a sneak peek into Steve's unconventional journey from a guy in Boston with a unique upbringing to becoming the number one seller of Cutco knives in the country. Tune in for a captivating conversation about sales, the sales revolution, and the unfiltered truth about Steve's experiences that shaped his approach to the industry.


Determination turns a dream into reality - Tabb Construction

In this Building PA Podcast episode, Chris and Jon interview Lorenzo Tabb, owner of Tabb Construction LLC in Reading, PA. Lorenzo shares insights from his fourth-year apprenticeship with the Carpenters Union, details his shift to commercial contracts, and discusses managing large projects like the State Police Barracks in Hershey. The episode covers Lorenzo's experiences, the importance of certifications, and the challenges of being a business owner in the evolving construction industry. Topics include union partnerships, the role of Lorenzo's mother in the company, and Tabb Construction's certifications as a woman-owned business. The focus on interior systems projects, challenges in estimating jobs, staff expansion, and the company's exciting prospects are also explored.


PSU Student finds internship in construction a promising option for the future

Bridget Austin, a junior studying Civil Engineering at Penn State University shares her summer internship experience at Mascaro Construction. Austin talks about her positive journey this summer and some of the challenges she faced that naturally come along with being a newcomer to construction. Like learning industry-specific terminology and software programs. She also highlights the importance of communication and person-to-person contact in her role. Bridget discusses her positive experiences working with female engineers and project managers at Mascaro Construction, emphasizing the value of mentorship and guidance from experienced professionals. The podcast delves into Bridget's aspirations for the future, her desire to find a company that values her skills and offers growth opportunities and her excitement about the evolving construction management program at Penn State. Overall, the episode showcases Bridget Austin's enthusiasm for the construction industry and her determination to pursue a successful construction and construction management career.


Building Success - From Apprentice to Commercial Contractor

Lorenzo Tabb from Reading, PA, and owner of Tabb Construction, joins us on the podcast to discuss his journey as a fourth-year apprentice with the Carpenters Union and his transition into commercial contracting. Tabb shared his experiences, challenges, and the certifications his company holds, such as EDWOSB (federal) and minority business certifications. He emphasized he is currently focused on interior systems projects, including framing, drywall, doors, and hardware. Tabb also highlighted the support and encouragement he has received from the industry and expressed his determination to succeed. The conversation concluded with optimism about Tabb Construction's future and its growth within the commercial sector.


Construction companies win when their insurance broker is construction-centric!

What makes your insurance broker invaluable? One that knows the construction safety side and the insurance risk side and uses that knowledge to find solutions for construction clients. We sat down with the Director of Construction Risk Partners, Joe Poliafico, an industry veteran with over 30 years of experience in construction risk management. Joe shares insights into his journey from the contractor side of the construction business to his current role at Construction Risk Partners (CRP). He provides a glimpse into CRP's unique approach to insurance brokerage, focusing primarily on the contracting space and helping contractors enhance their businesses through a risk-oriented lens. Joe's storytelling takes us through the pivotal moments of his career, highlighting the importance of safety and risk management in the construction industry. He emphasizes how safety isn't just about following textbook guidelines but also about practical implementation in the field. Joe candidly recounts his early experiences, where safety was viewed as a mere formality to secure insurance coverage, and how he turned that perspective around to become an integral part of the organization's success. The conversation delves into Joe's journey from being a figurehead for insurance compliance to a genuine advocate for safety and risk reduction. He shares anecdotes and challenges he faced along the way, showcasing his dedication to improving safety standards in the industry. Joe's passion for helping contractors succeed shines through as he discusses CRP's construction-centric approach and its commitment to understanding and enhancing clients' businesses. This episode is a must-listen for anyone in the construction industry or those interested in the intersection of safety, risk management, and business growth. Joe's insights offer valuable lessons on how safety and success can go hand in hand, making it a compelling and informative conversation.


Director of Safety and suicide survivor shares how his experience is helping others in construction

This podcast highlights the importance of addressing mental health issues, especially in the construction industry. The conversation with Marko Kaar, director of safety operations at BBE Incorporated, emphasized the need for open communication, resources, and support. Kaar touches on the nationwide prevalence of mental health challenges in the industry and encourages people to seek help through the 988 helpline. Kaar shared his personal journey of recovery from alcoholism and early exposure to suicide, highlighting the need for compassion and understanding. The challenges in Connecticut, including the opioid crisis and workplace stressors, were discussed. "While progress has been made in raising awareness, there is still work to be done to reduce occupational exposures and suicides," said Kaar. The importance of communication at all levels of the industry was emphasized to effectively address mental health challenges.


Chris Lalevee with Operators Local 825 Opens Up about Mental Health and Paying it Forward

To further acknowledge Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month, we reached out to Chris Lalevee, a business agent affiliated with the Operating Engineers Local 825. In an exclusive one-on-one interview, Chris opened up about a period in his life when he faced significant challenges, including anxiety, depression, and resorting to self-medication as a means of coping. Lalevee recognized that at that time when he turned to his health plan for resources in psychiatry and for mental health nothing existed. Fast forward to today, Lalevee shares how he turned his personal struggles into a personal mission to help fellow Operators and people in construction find the help they need. We're inspired by the support he's received from his union and the initiatives Lalevee has been able to put into place so others do not have to feel the burden or struggle Lalevee felt over a decade ago. Share this episode with a fellow co-worker or friend. If you or someone you know needs help, call or text 988.


Reducing Stigma

In recognition of Suicide Prevention Month, we have a well-respected thought leader in the mental health and wellness space, Senior Director of the National Stigma Initiative at Shatterproof, Rachel Cooper. This episode its all about stigma and how it is one of the key drivers and main barriers to treatment and recovery. The national nonprofit organization Shatterproof was founded over 10 years ago. The organization is focused and is grounded on three main components: Cooper notes "Stigma means different things to different people." We delve deeper into the conversation of substance misuse, mental health, and how they are connected. This powerful episode gives each of us tools we can use to help reduce stigma not only in the world of construction but in the world around us. Click on the link to learn more about Shatterproof.


Podcast Replay - Kicking off Suicide Prevention Month with Mandi Kime

In recognition of National Suicide Prevention Month, The Building PA Podcast is sharing a powerful podcast replay with one of the construction industry's most notable individuals and advocates for mental health in construction, Mandi Kime, Safety Director for AGC of Washington. This podcast replay is worth sharing not only with those in the construction industry but also anyone in a stressful job or personal situation. Share your comments to let us know what you are doing to recognize National Suicide and Prevention Month! Be sure to listen to the The Building PA Podcast each week throughout the month of September for new podcasts on mental health and wellness. Take care! Original Content: According to the CDC, men working in construction have one of the highest rates of suicide compared to all other industries. A shocking statistic, but one not that can not be ignored. Today's podcast is all about shining a light on mental health and wellness in construction. We're kicking off this month with a candid conversation with the Director of Safety for the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Washington, Mandi Kime. Kime is an accomplished safety professional and leader within the construction industry on the topic of mental health & wellness. This podcast conversation is candid, bold, and thought-provoking. To learn that men are two and a half times more likely to die by suicide than homicide is jaw-dropping. That statistic is worth repeating, MEN ARE 2 1/2 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO DIE BY SUICIDE THAN HOMICIDE, and the only way to move the needle on this statistic is to talk, engage, educate, and build awareness. This podcast is filled with tips to help recognize the signs of depression or distress. We've included resources and links to help you gain access to private mental assessments. If you are in the construction industry, take a moment to listen to this episode. Do it for yourself, your staff, a coworker, or a friend. If you or someone you know needs immediate help, text or call the Suicide and Crisis hotline at 988. Check out for a private mental health assessment. This is a great resource and starting point if you are dealing with anxiety, depression, and/or substance abuse.


A Field Trip to the First Union-Operated Diving School in The United States.

On the road again... Co-hosts John O'Brien and Chris Martin took the show on the road. This time their field trip landed them at the Carpenter's Dive School in Sicklerville, NJ. After touring the facility they sat down with Tim Waring, the training coordinator at the Sicklerville Dive School. This school is the first UBC (United Brotherhood of Carpenters) dive center. Waring explains that commercial diving involves tasks such as welding, burning, and piling underwater. It's like being an underwater pile driver, where the skills used in above-ground construction are transferred to underwater projects. The Dive School allows for the training of both divers and pile drivers. It's seen as an additional skill to enhance a pile driver's capabilities, providing more opportunities for work. Listen to learn more about what the school has to offer young individuals interested in becoming carpenters or pile drivers. To learn more about the partnering opportunity heard at the beginning of the episode, Brand Builders, email for more information.


Let's Build Construction Camp for Girls.

We invited co-founders Kristen Fallon and Jon Lattin to the Building PA Podcast to share more about Let's Build of Lehigh Valley. This unique hands-on experience for girls aged 12-18 opens up the world of AEC. The mission of Let’s Build Construction Camp for Girls was founded with a goal to ignite the spark within girls to explore the built environment through architecture, engineering, construction, and building materials manufacturing (AECM) related careers. Listen and share this podcast with the young females in your life. Click on the link to learn more about Let's Build!


Podcast Replay - Improving Company Culture through WELL Building

The primary goal of the WELL Building Standard is to prioritize the health and well-being of occupants. By incorporating features that enhance indoor air quality, lighting, acoustics, and ergonomic design, buildings can create environments that support physical and mental health, productivity, and overall comfort. This podcast replay with guest Chip Desmone, CEO of Desmone Architects is the epitome of WELL Building which is expressed through his business practices, WELL Gold Certified Building , and commitment to the WELL Building process. Original Content: WELL Building. What is it? How does it differ from Lead building and is this the wave of the construction future? These questions and many more are answered by Chip Desmone, CEO of Desmone Architects. Desmone and his team of architects designed the first WELL Gold Certified Building in Pittsburgh, PA. They are one of just six WELL certified spaces in Pennsylvania. Listen and learn how WELL intersects design with human health. Desmone shares his journey through WELL certification and the continued commitment, and dedication it takes to maintain this certification status. Desmone comments that their “accidental brilliance” has led them to have a healthy, productive workspace environment focused on their employee’s mental health, fitness, and positive workplace culture.