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Howard Street Charter School
Opens Ahead of Schedule

"Before, we were living in
a 1927 building for 20 years,
now we get to live in a space that is new!
- Christina Tracy, Teaching Principal

    "The new home of Howard Street Charter School! So exciting to see this project open its doors, and sad to close-out with the team as the project is coming to an end. We're going to miss the highs that were shared during the execution of this build.
    This was originally built as a grocery store, over half a century ago! The marks of previous construction work & multiple re-models were evident everywhere, and to make it the new home of a desirable educational facility came with challenges. However, the team delivered. Applying lean construction principles, 40+ companies came together to work as a well-oiled machine to complete this project.
    What started out as being a 9 1/2 month project to complete was delayed due to constraints outside of the control of any of the team members. The new start date meant that there wouldn't be a place to hold classes for about 8 weeks, and the school was then tasked with looking for temporary classrooms. The well-oiled machine came through, and the project met substantial completion 11 weeks ahead of schedule! This meant no temporary classrooms, and a new home for the students as soon as they were required to evacuate their old location."
    "This project is a great example of what can be achieved with a great team that shares a vision to transform an existing building into a new, productive environment for a creative purpose." John Sladick - Project Superintendent was asked in a recent interview for this article, "How were you able to finish this project 10 weeks early?" "Everyone working on the job had amazing team spirit." "A project like this just doesn't happen on its own" The collaboration between the Rich Duncan Construction team and the subcontractors was integral. John always made sure that everyone's voice counted.
    "Setting weekly and daily goals was always important." There was a meeting every morning at 7 am with the Rich Duncan Crew and the temp workers working on the job in order to keep everyone on the same page. The project had a daily goal completion average of 87% and a weekly goal completion average of 79%. "Everyone always had a clear sense of what the goal was."
    "Finishing early was a win-win for everyone - there was a period of two weeks after the school was supposed to move out of the South Salem High School annex, where they didn't know where they were going to house their students. The school stood a chance of being homeless, but I was going to make sure that wouldn't happen."
    "All of the big players involved in the project were all on the same page - from the architect and the suppliers, to the owners and Rich Duncan Construction itself." Expectations and standards were always made clear to everyone working on the job. John always kept a clean and organized job site.
    "It pays to plan, and it pays to execute!" "Everyone always worked with a sense of urgency." It's all just a part of the Rich Duncan Construction's award winning dedication to excellence.

Why Are Baby Boomers So Angry?


    Regularly, the PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) publication Strategies & Tactics reports trends in the industry. The Jan. 2020 issue suggests that people are growing angrier. They cite a 2018 Gallup Poll of more than 150,000 in 140 countries reporting feeling more stressed out, worried, and angry than ever. For business, this trend is worthy of consideration. As a baby boomer myself, I also wanted to know why we are so angry.
    Baby boomers are the 76 million people born between 1946 and 1964. We saw our parents and grandparents struggle, fight in wars, and work very, very hard. According to AARP, Boomers, though they are getting older (late '50s to early '70s), are still holding on to their jobs and assets and are wielding a good bit of economic control. Around 80 percent of the country's personal net worth belongs to boomers. However, his does not mean all Boomers are doing well, far from it. A 2017 Economic Policy Institute reports that 48 percent of the elderly are economically vulnerable with 5.5 million seniors facing food insecurity. The situation only gets worse for women and minorities.
    Besides being tired of hearing young people saying "OK boomer," when you try to share a story about what happened "back in the day," there seems to be some genuine irritation (although possibly propagated by the media) directed toward millennials and probably at life in general.
    In an extremely informal poll, here are some of the reasons we think boomers are angry. You may have your own: Missing out. Fun, vacations, and buying nice things had been delayed until there was enough money to help children with school and pay off bills. Now Boomers are faced with their own health issues, elderly parents, and/or young adult children in need--- further delaying dreams.
    Being blamed for the condition of the world. Of course, as we know better, we do better. Boomers are playing catchup with a lot of science and changing behaviors. Protests and awareness is fine if it comes with a change in behavior for everyone. Anger may come from bearing the brunt of criticism from people, like entitled celebrities, who take jets to the Oscars. What's happening with technology.
    We love all the gadgets and Facebook, but they are getting more and more complicated and people don't seem to be happier. In Luke Fernandez and Susan J. Matt's new book titled Bored Lonely Angry Stupid, they examine how previous generations embraced solitude. Today, we can't bear to be alone and social media is making people more anxiety-prone and stressed-out than ever. The fragility and short attention span can be difficult to deal with.
    Lack of discernment in media consumption. The days of "thinking for yourself" or "researching other points of view" or even being able to tolerate hearing another point of view seems to be over. Youth are surrounding themselves with people and news sources that do not challenge their world view. It can be frustrating when it seems like everyone is offended by every opinion. This makes it almost impossible to develop diverse relationships with people of differing opinions.
    So how do we avoid contributing to the creation of an angry society?
    Check out Keenan Emery's article on millennials in this publication. It's essential to consider how you would choose to live if you grew up in their world; with oppressive and ever-available technology. Try to meet people where they are and listen to those varying opinions. Be open to learning and managing your use of new technology. Be equally critical of the news sources you consume. When your kids say, "OK boomer," laugh and tell them the story of how you played outside all day and there were only three TV channels anyway.
Mary Louise VanNatta, APR, CAE is the CEO of VanNatta Public Relations, a PR, event planning and consulting firm in Salem, Oregon.

Why Are Millennials So Angry?


    Millennials are the 71 million people born between 1981 and 1996.
    They are entering the workforce, becoming parents, and experiencing life differently than generations past. And they are angry. At least that is what pollsters are telling us. But why? For most, it appears to stem from financial, environmental and personal challenges.
    Many feel that baby boomers and earlier generations are leaving behind a damaged planet. Furthermore, millennials are often criticized by the media and boomers alike for "having too many tattoos," taking days off work, being lazy, switching jobs too much, playing video games, etc.
    Obviously, there are several reasons millennials are angry, but let's focus on the big ones:
    DEBT & UNFAIR EXPECTATIONS: No, millennials didn't walk 75 miles to school uphill both ways. Rather, they took out loans to cover $50k - $100k for school, just so they could land an entry-level job making minimum wage. How much was college when boomers were 18? According to Yahoo Finance, public college in 1982 cost $4,000. Total.
    Furthermore, there is a societal expectation that young people get married, buy a house, and start a family. However, due to massive debt and lower pay scales, millennials cannot afford marriage or children, much less a house.
    CLIMATE CHANGE & PLANET NEGLECT: Climate change was ignored and doubted for years. Forests were cleancut, animals hunted to extinction, and now the oceans are churning like the garbage chute on the death star. Millennials are angry because they are left to clean up the mess of past generations.
    WORKPLACE VALUES: Previous generations worked long hours, sacrificed family time, and stayed in jobs they hated to "live the American dream." Now, people are eschewing this mentality in favor of maintaining a healthy, happy balance between work and home life. Unfortunately, the media and older people are vilifying millennials for being soft, less work-oriented, and less motivated. To some extent, they may be right.
    But millennials do have skills! They are educated and tech-savvy. They know how to type with both hands because they didn't learn on a "typewriter" (whatever that is).
    Heck, they even know how to silence their phones and solve computer issues. "Help me with this computer, millennial, you're my only hope."
    Millennials are under steady scrutiny to perform at the high level of expectations set by the boomers. While they want to uphold the standards of previous generations, millennials are also striving to live healthy, balanced lives, focusing on what makes them happy and content.
    So how do we avoid contributing to the creation of an angry society?
    Check out Mary Louise VanNatta's article on boomers in this publication. It's essential to consider how you would choose to live if you grew up in their world; with wildly different work expectations and values. Keep in mind that each generation is doing their best and working toward a common goal: a better world and a happier life.
    Keenan Emery works at VanNatta Public Relations, a PR, Event Planning and Strategic Communications firm located in Salem, Oregon.,