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Why McCarthy is still the Captain America of contractors
Newsletter cover photo
The hammer was clearly product placement
Good morning,
Today we're covering the top 10 metro areas for construction workers, some DFW International news, and we've also got a slew of YouTube videos including Spot the robot construction dog and Robert DeNiro (sadly, not in the same video); it's time for this week's links—


Contractor Magazine
ranked the
10 fastest growing metropolitan areas in the US
that are powering their way through the recession, heating up when it comes to construction employment, and doing everything short of asking “COVID-Nint-
The top 5 (we’ll keep some mystery of the final 5 for the full slideshow above) are:
Austin-Round Rock, TX (72,367 construction employees; 7.5% total unemployment)
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ (133,433; 9.7%)
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (225,400; 8.4%)
Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN (48,433; 10.2%)
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL (81,400; 9.2%)
Texas and Florida dominate the list and it’s no wonder because both states’ booming commercial and residential markets—on top of two diverse economies attracting swarms of newcomers every year—make for giants too big to topple.
In an editorial in
D Magazine
, McCarthy has set the bar for savviness when it comes to jobsite safety,
thriving off a cocktail of softwares
to keep their projects safe for their employees.
For years, McCarthy’s safety protocol has stemmed from a workflow filtering Procore data through Origami. By analyzing this data they’ve amassed, McCarthy’s been able to predict potential safety issues and intervene before incidents occur, on top of the ability to modify and improve safety training practices on the fly.
McCarthy’s figured out a way to use Kwant—a wearable device meant for tracking jobsite slips and falls—to make sure workers are a safe distance apart.
In keeping with their status as the Captain America of contractors, McCarthy’s ingenuity reminds us of Cap adapting quickly in the present day after being unfrozen. By
Civil War
, you all but completely forget the guy was born when Babe Ruth was still on the Red Sox.
Fox 4 News
, Sean Donohue, the CEO of DFW International Airport, has confirmed that billions of dollars worth of renovations to DFW
will be put on hold
due to COVID-19’s effect on travel.
Pre-pandemic numbers of people flying out of DFW every day: 200,000. After? 12,500.
It’s not a real construction newsletter until the “guess what COVID did this time,” story pops up.
Terminal F’s suspended $3 billion plans are due to DFW being unable to predict the country’s recovery trajectory. Donahue noted that his efforts will shift from construction to helping passengers feel better about returning to air travel. It seems
flying is very low risk
for catching the virus, at least so far.
In similar news, the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL also put its
$900 million renovations on pause
Equipment World
, risk management expert Jim MacDonnell warns that
COVID-19 will add a wrinkle to the preparation and response
for workers on jobsites in Hurricane Laura’s path.
Social distancing and fetching required PPE once the storm’s passed become much more complicated than they’ve already been. MacDonnell notes that FEMA and the Red Cross will also have fewer workers than pre-pandemic times to help out, taking away a safety net.
The article includes a detailed ordered list of priorities to consider, including topping off fuel and securing/removing hazardous chemicals from jobsites. Be sure to check it out if you or your teams are in Hurricane Laura’s line of fire.
Hilti Group
dropped a trailer for
the snazzy exoskeleton
we mentioned a few weeks ago (you may recall
our totally non-photoshopped picture
of Iron Man and War Machine wearing hardhats). There is still no price tag, as one YouTube commenter “nuclear explosion” innocently queries under the video, “How much?” Unfortunately, nuclear explosion’s comment goes unliked and unreplied. Cue the sad violin music for nuclear explosion.
In honor of it being the eve of the NFL season and you're hurriedly putting together your Zoom fantasy draft in spite of nobody having done research yet except that one guy who cares a little too much—enjoy “
LA’s $5 billion Super Stadium
” by
The B1M
on the most expensive venue ever constructed: SoFi Stadium.
Many of you commented that we forgot to post about
Marques Brownlee’s
incredible review video on Boston Dynamics’ Spot the robot construction dog. We technically didn’t forget; we posted about it on Instagram (are you following
Buildr on Instagram
?) but
here it is in all its newsletter glory
. Spot moves like a Pixar character and is controlled by a Nintendo Switch-looking object. Give him to us yesterday.


Later gaiter
: Remember that Duke University study last week that said bandanas and neck gaiters may be worse than no mask at all?
Those guys kind of backtracked
, regretting that their study's main takeaway for most people was that they should ditch their neck gaiters.
Heavy lyfting
: If you find yourself this morning in the back of a Lyft on your way to work, you may have already started to piece it together:
Uber and Lyft still exist in California
Hit ‘em high, hit ‘em locust
: Did you know that during locust swarms, no two locusts collide due to their superior internal GPS? Did you also know that engineers are
attempting to mimic that same locust GPS
for use in robots, drones, and self-driving cars?
Robert DeAging
: Some random person who probably should’ve been in charge of the facial CGI in
The Irishman
did his own work on some scenes
and the results are pretty staggering.
Chill pill
: During these WFH times, do you find it a struggle to ever truly relax? Here are
11 tips from a therapist
that should help you out.
Under the chrome
: If you’re a Chromehead like us, you may enjoy
this rundown of the Google Chrome updates
including some cool new tab features.
Grease lightning
got rid of its “finger lickin’ good” slogan
because lickin’ fingers isn’t so good when there’s COVID. Cue the boomin' napkin sales.
2 bills
: Did you know a baby blue whale
gains 200lbs every day
its first year? Sounds like us last month when we discovered
Nestle’s funfetti chips
in the grocery store.
Big Movie. Big Screen
: Tom Cruise saw
in theaters (we’re jealous) and
really seemed to enjoy himself
: Some saint (or saints) decided to convert paid MasterClasses into free animated wikiHow’s.
Enjoy one by Gordon Ramsay
on “How to Make Perfect Scramble Eggs,” and enjoy the perfect scrambled eggs you make afterward.
That's it this week. If you've been forwarded this email and would like some news and notes in your inbox every Wednesday morning,
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Until next time.