Construction employment declined in 164 out of 337 metropolitan areas between August 2011 and August 2012, increased in 130 and was stagnant in 43, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said that construction employment in many areas was suffering as government and business officials delay projects in the face of federal tax and funding uncertainty.

“The looming fiscal cliff is already contributing to construction employment declines in many parts of the country,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “We are just not seeing the kind of private sector momentum that the industry experienced earlier this year.”

 

Among all markets nationwide ranked by AGCA, the one it identifies as “Springfield, Mass./Connecticut” suffered the highest percentage decline in the nation — down 31 percent, reflecting a loss of 3,700 construction jobs year over year. Statewide for Connecticut alone, the construction industry shed five percent of all construction jobs over the same period. The New Haven Labor Market Area lost 7.0 percent of construction jobs.

 

The largest raw job losses during the same period were posted in Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Marietta, Ga., which lost 7,200 jobs over the past year doe to the slowdown.

There are Goddard Schools in most of the United States, including Connecticut. Tony Padulo, vice president of franchise development, would like to see even more established here. It makes sense from a business perspective, he says.

 

Padulo asserts that opening more Goddard facilities in the state would be an effective way to foster job creation and economic independence, while providing youngsters with what he considers top child care and educational services.

“Our concept is based on the philosophy that the franchisee is the operator of the school,” says Padulo. “Every school is managed by the franchisee.”

 

Currently there are 388 Goddard schools in 36 states, according to Padulo. “We provide services to children six weeks to six years old,” he explains. “It’s a premium child-care concept, based on the principle of learning through play. Our services are curriculum-based.” There about a dozen different curricula from which to select, Padulo says. Languages are among the concentrations, he adds.

 

Headquartered in King of Prussia, Pa., the company is seeking to expand its footprint. In Connecticut it has three schools: in Glastonbury, Orange and Brookfield. A fourth school soon will begin construction in Farmington, and the site-selection process is getting underway in Hartford and Stamford, Padulo adds.

 

“The biggest challenge in the Northeast has been finding suitable locations,” he says.

 

The school doesn’t necessarily have to be near a major thoroughfare, says Padulo. But there must be adequate physical space — about 1.5 acres of land that can accommodate an 8,000-square-foot building and two dozen parking spaces, he says. Each school accommodates between 130 and 140 children.

 

“The key is having the space and having outdoors,” says Padulo, adding the Goddard Schools are usually established in communities where the median family income is about $75,000.

 

Among the community benefits of Goddard franchises is job-creation, Padulo stresses.

 

“You have the business owner, and typically that owner does not have a child-care background. [He or she] typically has a business background,” says Padulo. “The owner runs the business, and the owner hires a diplomaed director. The director hires certified teachers.”

 

A typical school employs 20 to 25 people, with on average two employees per classroom, Padulo says.

For someone who has “financial stability” and wishes to enter into an educationally based entrepreneurship, a Goddard School might be something to look into, says Padulo.

 

“Connecticut is important to us because the demographics are very solid,” he says. “There are a lot of areas [in Connecticut] that have the criteria we’re looking for.”

 

NEW HAVEN — Four more members have been named to a search committee formed to identify a successor to Yale President Richard C. Levin. The newest members are Yale faculty members Judith Chevalier, Amy Hungerford, Richard Lifton and Anna Pyle. They join eight trustees previously named to the committee. The 12-person body is chaired by Charles Goodyear. Levin announced in last month that he will step down from his post at the end of the current academic year, after what will have been 20 years serving as president of Yale.

 

ROCKY HILL — Military veterans will be able to obtain assistance with employment and other needs at the annual Stand Down event on September 21. Presented by the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs, the event will take place at 287 West Street from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to employment help, there will be assistance with and information about medical screenings, educational choices, veterans benefits and legal and motor vehicle concerns. Veterans should arrive no later than noon to take advantage of the on-site services. Free bus transportation will be available. For more information or to obtain a registration form, call 860-616-3802.

 

As a new school year begins, adults who wish to enhance their technical abilities or learn-brand new job skills are reminded that the Connecticut Technical High School System offers full-time adult programs. Fields include health services (dental assistant, certified nurse assistant, surgical technology), aviation maintenance, electronics technology, welding and metal fabrication, culinary arts and more. Part-time evening extension and apprentice courses also are offered. To learn more phone 800-822-6832.

 

WALLINGFORD — The Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce seeks nominations for its Athena Leadership Awards. Employers are encouraged to suggest outstanding employees and/or colleagues. The award honors business and professional women who show creativity, excellence and initiative in their chosen fields; help improve the quality of life in their community; and encourage other women to realize their full leadership potential. All nominations will be reviewed by a selection committee consisting of a variety of community leaders. The  award recipient will be announced at an October 18 luncheon. To obtain a nomination form or to learn more, call 203-269-1358. The Quinnipiac chamber serves the North Haven and Wallingford business communities.

 

ROCKY HILL — Lean manufacturing has been a buzz phrase for improving workforce efficiency for years, but proponents say it also can — and should — be applied to front-office workers. That will be the focus of a September 20 workshop presented by the Connecticut State Technology Extension Program (CONNSTEP). Titled “Lean for the Front Office,” the session will emphasize that to reach optimal effectiveness lean principles have to be implemented across the entire organization. Workshop participants will learn how to apply lean tools to administrative-sector duties and responsibilities. The session will take place from 8 to 10 a.m. at the CONNSTEP offices at 1090 Elm Street. It is free to anyone to attend, but registration is on a first-come basis. Organizers request a maximum of two attendees for any single organization. The workshop will be repeated December 6. To learn more call 800-266-6672.