A message from Amy Rohrer, your new Executive Director

I am so excited to be back with VCE! Longtime members (our very favorite kind!) may remember me as Executive Director in the early 2000’s, and I find it’s like riding a bike. So much has changed, yet so much remains the same.

Red-tape, bureaucracy and ever-changing building codes can be difficult to understand. Our industry consistently struggles to find dependable labor and skilled workers. The Camp Fire has only exacerbated the challenges, adding the uncertainty of the availability of materials and specialty contractors, making it all but impossible to accurately gage building costs beyond the immediate. Even if you’re not involved with the rebuild efforts, you should care deeply about it. Affordable housing is key to economic development and economic development is key to construction. Without affordable housing, you won’t be able to attract new labor to our community let alone retain the small pool of labor we currently have. Whether that labor is entry-level construction workers, skilled tradesmen, building inspectors, firefighters or police, they are all equally important to the fabric of economic development, AND CONSTRUCTION, in our community.

VCE is an active and engaged spoke in the wheel moving the post Camp Fire rebuilding efforts forward. We meet regularly and often with other community organizations focused on affordable housing, recruiting and training labor to the construction industry, and ensuring that rebuilding efforts are done the right way! This won’t be quick, or easy, but we must work together to get it done.

Construction hasn’t always had favorable public view. In times past, contractors were made out to be greedy developers, intent on ruining the environment, threatening agricultural land, endangering the poor defenseless frogs and meadowfoam, and destroying any tree that stands in the way. As it turns out, a firestorm is capable of doing all of this in just a few days. Now our community is looking to us to rebuild homes, businesses and infrastructure. So put on your capes contractors, lace up your magical boots and wield your gold hammers to the rescue! And just like any wise superhero must do, let’s not let it go to our heads. Realize one cannot do it alone. General Contractors, Specialty Contractors, and Suppliers must work together and be responsible stewards of our industry for the good of our community. And know that VCE is your trusty side kick, we’ve got your back! Go forth and rebuild, wisely!

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