Make us your home page
Instagram

Group helps jobless real estate workers rebuild

For Ron Weaver, Tampa power lawyer and big wheel in local development circles, the prick of conscience came when he learned about laid-off Tampa construction workers plying Colorado shale mines for work.

As the son of a father forced by the Great Depression to drive a truck through treacherous Appalachian passes, Weaver knows all about the philosophy of feeding families first. But an open pit in Colorado seemed like an unusually bleak and frigid destination for skilled laborers accustomed to working in shirtsleeves and sunshine.

Weaver is one of the co-founders of Real Estate Lives, which seeks to find jobs for up to 300 out-of-work colleagues from the real estate industry. Its services are not just for manual laborers, but also for brokers who aren't brokering and civil engineers with nothing to engineer.

In some of these fields, it feels more like depression than recession. Florida has shed more than 70,000 construction jobs in the past year as the sickness that started in housing has bled into office and shopping center development.

The way Weaver sees it, all these people helped his law firm, with its 100 attorneys in three Florida cities, thrive during the real estate boom. Now it's his turn to return the favor.

The group's Web site, realestatelives.org, is already up and running. But before they start job placement in earnest, Weaver and his colleagues have been hitting the phones and the social circuit to scrounge up scarce employment opportunities.

Their efforts have borne fruit: at least 72 jobs, many in construction. Some positions demand a nomadic life. One cache of jobs entails repairing dikes on Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston and sinking pylons in Mobile, Ala.

The group hopes, perhaps overconfidently, that its services won't be needed after about a year. As Weaver puts it: "Our goal is to go out of business quick."

But the Web site could live on with a new name befitting more prosperous times: Real Estate Rocks.

Group helps jobless real estate workers rebuild 12/18/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 24, 2008 5:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Do you want Walmart in your home when you're not?

    Retail

    Delivery workers who drop off Walmart groceries may soon also bring them into your kitchen and unload them into your refrigerator, even if you're not home.

    Delivery workers who drop off Walmart groceries may soon also bring them into your kitchen and unload them into your refrigerator, even if you're not home.
[ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   Times file photo]

  2. Trumps travel ban to be replaced by restrictions tailored to certain countries

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries is set to be replaced as soon as this weekend with more targeted restrictions on visits to the United States that would vary by country, the New York Times reports, citing officials familiar with the plans.

    President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries is set to be replaced as soon as this weekend with more targeted restrictions on visits to the United States that would vary by country, officials familiar with the plans said Friday. The new restrictions, aimed at preventing security threats from entering the United States, could go into effect Sunday after the conclusion of a 90-day policy review undertaken as part of the administration's original travel ban. Though the restrictions would differ for each country, people living in the targeted nations could be prevented from traveling to the United States or could face increased scrutiny as they seek to obtain a visa. [Associated Press]
  3. In dollars: How valuable are Florida's university football programs?

    Business

    The University of Florida football program is valued in a new study at $682 million, making it the most valuable university team in the state but still worth far less than several college programs topping $1 billion. Four years ago, UF's program was valued at just under $600 million.

    The University of Florida football program is valued at  $682 million, making it the most valuable by far in the Sunshine State. Pictured are UF cheerleaders leading the crowd in a Gator cheer on Clearwater Beach last December during the Outback Bowl Beach Day on Clearwater Beach. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  4. After 22 years, it's last call for beloved Ybor venue New World Brewery

    Music & Concerts

    YBOR CITY — Steve Bird spreads his tools across a patio table. He has awnings to unbolt and paraphernalia to unpry, from the busted Bop City neon by the stage to the Simpsons "El Duffo o Muerte" mural in the courtyard. He'll uproot a fountain and dismantle a roof and attempt to keep his bar intact. The …

    Various decor and memorabilia fill the walls and shelves at New World Brewery in Ybor City.
Long time music venue and hangout New World Brewery in Ybor City will be closing it's doors and moving locations. Patrons enjoy one of the last events before New World Brewery changes its location to Busch Blvd in Tampa.  [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  5. Florida bought more Pasta Passes from Olive Garden than almost any other state

    Food & Dining

    Floridians would like their bowls of pasta to never, ever end.

    Florida was the No. 2 state with the largest number of Olive Garden Pasta Pass purchases, an unlimited pasta pass for $100. Photo courtesy Olive Garden.