Are You Demographically Delusional?

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Remember the DeLorean?


If the name doesn’t conjure up an immediate mental image, this will: Remember the car from Back to the Future?


That’s a DeLorean. Doc Brown and Marty McFly’s dream machine. In early 2013 the car is making a comeback – as an electric car.


The most interesting thing about this news is the commentary coming from the DeLorean C-Suite. Speaking to Fast Company magazine, VP James Espey said, “We’ve tried to distance ourselves from Back to the Future…. We don’t want to be known as the makers of the Back to the Future car.




Well… too bad, James.


That comment places you in the Delusional Hall of Fame. As Michael Jackson, a fellow delusional Hall of Famer, sang, “You are not alone.”


The Portland Trailblazers tried to distance themselves from drafting Sam Bowie instead of Michael Jordan. Ben Affleck has tried to distance himself from the worst movie of all-time, Gigli.


No bueno.

No bueno.


Don’t be delusional, gents.


It’s done.

The verdict is in.

The fat lady sang.


In DeLorean’s case, the delusion was so apparent Fast Company titled the piece, Self-Delusion of the Month.



What about you?


Around the country, many construction professionals are just as delusional when it comes to jobsite demographics.


Answer these four questions:


Uno: Which demographic is the fastest growing in the US – and the jobsite?


Dos: Which demographic is disproportionately more likely to be injured or killed on the jobsite?


Tres: Which demographic has the highest rate of construction entrepreneurship?


Cuatro: Which demographic is expected to perform 74% of all new jobs created from 2010-2020?  



If you answered HispanicHispanicHispanic and Hispanic…. you’d be right.

If you didn’t get these right, don’t panic.


Here’s some context around the four questions:




From 2000 to 2010, the growth of the Hispanic demographic outpaced the White population by a factor of 10 (41% to 4%). Hispanics outpaced Blacks 4:1 (41% to 11%). Note: The US Census uses the terms Hispanic, White & Black… so I do too.



Hispanics are nearly 2x as likely to be injured or killed on your jobsite. Why?

They work some of the most dangerous jobs, they struggle with the language barrier and Hispanics have different cultural norms that impact the jobsite.



The Kaufmann Foundation recently released information on entrepreneurial activity by demographic and industry. Hispanics in construction led the way.



The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 74% of all labor-force growth will come from Hispanics.



Regardless of how this makes you feel – it’s reality.



There is no DeLorean – electric or otherwise – that can transport you back in time to a jobsite where these facts aren’t relevant.


Your jobsite is bilingual.

We’re in this together.

Our productivity, safety, and profits require adaptation.


So let’s get on with it….

Sí, se puede.


This is my inaugural post for Housing Zone. In the posts to follow, I’m excited about starting a conversación about our bilingual jobsites and sharing ideas to minimize rework and recordables while maximizing production and profits.



NOTE: This RedAngleSpanish blog will also be posted on Professional Builder’s Housing Zone from here on out. We are excited about joining the HZ thought leadership team!
Bradley Hartmann is founder and El Presidente at Red Angle (, a  training and consulting firm bridging the English-Spanish language gap in the construction industry.

Categories: Jobsite Leadership

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