March 11, 2014
Association Highlights
 
Rick Andritsch of VJS is New AGC-A Building Division Chair, Jason Schneider of VJS Chair for CLC

AGC would like to take a moment to recognize and congratulate two of our members who have been elected as Chairperson on National Committees at AGC of America.  Rick Andritsch, VJS Construction Services, is 2014 Chair of AGC of America Building Division, and Jason Schneider, also of VJS Construction Services, as Chair of Construction Leadership Council of America.  It is in AGC's Committees that new ideas are developed and legistlative policies are formulated within our association.  These committees also provide an excellent forum for discussion of key industry issues.  Among their duties is the organization of their Committee's respective major annual events.  Rick is putting together a great program for the Building Contractors Conference in Austin, TX in September, and Jason is working to drum up support for the CLC Leadership Development Conference in San Antonio, TX in October.  Congratulations to you both, and we wish you a productive year in your positions!

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AGC Leads the Construction Industry Forward with Education & Research Foundation Scholarship Program

The AGC of Greater Milwaukee’s mission is to Lead the Construction Industry Forward is to ensure we have a highly skilled and trained workforce, now and in the future.  As such, AGC has been providing scholarships to local universities through our Education & Research Foundation for over 10 years.  Our S.I.R. scholarships go to recipients who have demonstrated the Skills, Integrity and Responsibility that have come to be expected from quality contractors in the Milwaukee community.  These are given out to students on the Construction Management or Architecture & Engineering fields at University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Marquette University, and Milwaukee School of Engineering.  Additionally, every year a student at Marquette University is selected to receive the Robert Caspiri Scholarship.  Robert Caspiri was an alumni of Marquette, known for his tirelessly dedicated work in the construction industry.  This scholarship is given in his honor to a student who demonstrated these same qualities.  You can read more about each of our scholarships here.

Every year, each of these institutions receives $3,500 towards these scholarship efforts, and $7,500 is distributed to the student recipients.  If you know someone who may benefit from any of these scholarships and would like more information on qualifications, please contact us at AGC at (414)778-4100 and we will refer you to the appropriate educational representative.

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CLC Next Event: UWM's Interdisciplinary Research Center
Take a Tour of the First Academic Development on UWMs Campus in Nearly 20 Years!

UW Milwaukee is beginning a massive undertaking to enhance their campus to meet the growing needs of the University, as well as to increase its appeal as a top competitor  in the national education market.  This $80 million development phase of the project will become the largest building on campus, at about 150,000 gross square feet on six stories.

 

This project is the initial phase of a major redevelopment of the southwest precinct of campus. It will address urgent Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) needs on campus through the creation of research labs, core facilities, instructional & collaboration space, and office support space.  Two more buildings of similar size may be added at the site to create an interdisciplinary research complex of three connected buildings.  The total cost for all three buildings would be an estimated $225 million.    Afterwards, a Social Hour will be held at The Pizza Man, just 4 blocks south at 2597 N Downer Ave.  There is a parking structure, and Pizza Man validates!  Pizza light appetizers will be provided; cash bar.

 

Your help is always appreciated!  If you would like to sponsor this event, $100 sponsorships for the food for the at the Social Hour are available.  Your company will receive mention as sponsor in the announcements before and after the tour, and signage thanking you at the food table at the restaurant.  For more information, please contact Brian Eigenfeld at beigenfeld@agc-gm.org or (414) 778-4100.

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Multiemployer Pension Reform Update

Current Law: Without congressional action, the funding rules under the Pension Protection Act (PPA) for Multiemployer Plans (MEPs) sunset after December 31, 2014. The PPA passed in 2006 and encouraged a long-term approach to funding, and gives trustees tools to reach financial stability. The law required timely and extensive reporting on funding status, forced plans to take corrective action early, and allowed contributing employers to avoid excise taxes and onerous financial penalties. In some cases there could be reductions in accrued benefits for the plans in the worst shape. After 2014, if plans are under a funding improvement plan (FIP) or rehabilitation plan (RP) they will continue. However, after 2014 plans cannot enter into an FIP or RP regardless of the future financial health. The only tools available to them will be pre PPA methods, such as future benefit reductions, contribution increases, and possible mergers. Due to a lack of regulatory guidance regarding the impact of the PPA sunset, critical questions remain on several issues, such as the ability of plans to adjust their improvement and rehabilitation plans after 2014, as well the continuation of the excise tax penalty relief after the sunset.

Legislative Update: We hope to have a multiemployer pension reform bill introduced in the near future that, if enacted, would help stabilize the multiemployer defined benefit system for our contractors facing financial risks, and for the benefit of active workers and retirees as well (largely based off the Solutions Not Bailout (SNB) proposal –also known as NCCMP commission.)  No bill in either chamber has been fully drafted.  The initial timeframe we had hoped for has passed, partly because: 1. top Democrat leaders in both chambers announced they were stepping down (Senate Labor Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and House Labor Committee Ranking Member George Miller (D-CA)) are retiring at the end of the year, and the top Democrat on the House Subcommittee with primary jurisdiction announced he was leaving Congress altogether this month;  2. portions of the new plan design concept are more difficult to put into legislative language than initially thought; and, 3. some unfortunate opposition stemming from large labor unions on the potential for benefit cuts for retirees.  Despite the shake-ups, the House staff continues to move forward on a bill, but there is no timeline for public release of a bill.

Advocacy Update: AGC continues to work with other construction trade association stakeholders on lobbying the issue. AGC is coordinating the lobbying strategy with the Building Trades Lobbyists and will continue to make joint labor/management meetings with legislators and staff.

Public Opposition: Some organizations have expressed opposition to the SNB proposal, particularly with the proposed suspension of benefits for individuals in pay status and the precedent that the legislation may have on other entitlement programs. Opponents from labor are the Boilermakers, Steelworkers, Machinists, and Teamsters.  Their opposition makes passage more difficult, but not impossible. (Other labor organizations remain committed to the partnership’s proposal.) Non-labor opponents include the AARP and the Pension Rights Center. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports the proposal, but maintains that legislation should include further measures to address withdrawal liability. However, labor groups are absolutely opposed to this, and Congress is not expected to take up such measures given the lack of a “pay-for” and the financial implications.

PBGC: AGC met with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and its director on proposals the PBGC was entertaining that centered around a premium per participants around 1% of labor costs. In some cases, this would amount to an annual increase of 25 times the current level to address the financial viability of the agency. AGC and other management and labor groups immediately dismissed the possibility of this plan. While this plan hasn’t been publicized, premium increases will likely be an inevitable component to reform legislation, but at what level remains uncertain.

Media Outreach: AGC has been coordinating media outreach with a PR firm and other stakeholders. Activities include social media presence, initial rollout of the proposal, website development, OpEds, weekly meetings with AGC/NCCMP/BCTD on strategy, and preparing for ultimate introduction of legislation.  To read AGC-A CEO Steve Sandherr’s op-ed from Pensions & Investments magazine, please click here.

Grassroots/Local Lobbying Needs: To respond to the misconception of growing labor opposition or waning support, we need local chapters to help deliver the message to legislators that the business community and labor remains committed to reform. The best way to do this now is to have joint letters sent from local chapter leaders (executives) and local labor officials. A template for such a letter is largely based off an op-ed AGC of America did with the Building Trades president.

Questions We Will Need Answered: If the full SNB proposal isn’t politically feasible, and the deeply troubled plan provisions (benefit cuts for retirees) has to be jettisoned, would trying to have PPA extended with some technical corrections and the framework for New Plan Designs that are outlined in SNB be enough to satisfy the contractor community?

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Upcoming Trainings from the Knowledge Source
 
Global Harmonization System
March 17th, 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Corp. G.C. - $35, Associate - $45, ACEA/IAP - $55, Non-Member - $90
Dan Burazin, AGC of Greater Milwaukee

The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is now aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). This update to the Hazard Communication Standard will provide a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets. Employers are required by the standard to train their employees in the new labeling elements and the Safety Data Sheet format by December 1, 2013. This course will assist contractors in meeting their training obligation.

To register, please contact Kim Jalalian at kjalalian@agc-gm.org or at (414) 778-4100.

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Financing Incentives
March 19th (Webinar), 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Corp. G.C. - Comp, Associate - $20, Non-Member - $30
Angela Black & Lynda Templen, Whyte, Hirschboeck, Dudek, S.C.

The difference between a construction project that will happen and one that won’t is often the “financing gap.”  This session will address a variety of financing incentives and strategies that may help bridge that gap. 

To register, please contact Kim Jalalian at kjalalian@agc-gm.org or at (414) 778-4100.

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First Aid/CPR/AED Training
March 19th & 20th, 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Corp. G.C. - $60, Associate - $70, ACEA/IAP - $80, Non-Member - $120
Gert Grohmann, AGC of Greater Milwaukee

Medic First Aid, CPR and AED training is designed specifically for the occupational first aid provider.  This extremely valuable program will help employers comply with OSHA and other federal and state regulatory requirements for training employees on how to respond and care for medical emergencies at work.  Two-year certification cards are issued upon completion of this course. 
Intended Audience:  This course is for any adult who wishes to become certified in First Aid/CPR/AED, especially those charged with the responsibility to respond in an emergency. 

To register, please contact Kim Jalalian at kjalalian@agc-gm.org or at (414) 778-4100.

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Lean Construction Unit 2: Pull in Production
March 27th, 8 am to 12 pm

Corp G.C. - $100, Associate/BE Members- $175, Non-Members  - $250
Professor Mark Federle, Marquette University

Lean Construction challenges all project stakeholders to develop and apply better ways to manage the overall construction process.  Unit 2: Pull in Production is a half-day course that introduces the concept of pull as a means to reliable work flow.
•  Compare batch-and-queue and continuous flow production systems
•  Distinguish push systems from pull systems
•  Describe the impact of pull in production systems
•  Explain pull strategies in construction operations

To register, please contact Kim Jalalian at kjalalian@agc-gm.org or at (414) 778-4100.

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OSHA 30-Hour for Construction
April 1st, 8th, 15th & 22nd, 7:00 am to 3:30 pm

Corp. G.C. - $290, Associate - $365, ACEA/IAP - $415, Non-Member - $700
Dan Burazin, AGC of Greater Milwaukee

The OSHA 30-Hour training is designed for construction workers or managers with safety and health responsibilities.  Students learn to identify common hazards found on construction sites, and develop strategies to prevent injuries.  Although OSHA standards are discussed, this training emphasizes hazard identification, avoidance, control and prevention.  Upon successful completion of this course, you will receive and OSHA 30-Hour card as proof of compliance with OSHA mandates. 
Intended Audience: This course is intended for anyone within the industry who has a stake in jobsite safety, especially field crews. 

To register, please contact Kim Jalalian at kjalalian@agc-gm.org or at (414) 778-4100.

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Qualified Crane Signalperson Training
April 2nd, 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Corp. G.C. - $35, Associate - $45, ACEA/IAP - $55, Non-Member - $90
Dan Burazin, AGC of Greater Milwaukee

OSHA requires you to meet new requirements under the New Crane Standard for Construction Operations – Subpart CC.  Effective November of 2010, anyone performing crane signals on a construction site has to be “qualified.”  For your employees to fit into this category, they must:  be competent in the application of the types of signals used, have a basic understanding of crane operations and the limitations, know and understand the new crane standard as it applies to signaling, and demonstrate all of the above through testing.  This new course will help contractors meet their obligations under this newly revised standard. 
Intended Audience:  This training is intended for anyone who intends to perform signal person duties on construction jobsites. 

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Crane Rigging Training
April 3rd, 4 pm to 8 pm

Corp. G.C. $60 plus $20 for materials, Associate $80 plus $20 for materials, Non-member $150 plus $20 for materials.
Gert Grohmann, AGC of Greater Milwaukee

In addition to qualified signalpersons and certified operators, the new OSHA crane standard requires employees who perform rigging operations to be “qualified.”  This course has been developed by the Crosby Group to assist employers in qualifying their personnel as a “Qualified Rigger” as required in the new crane standards.  The standard also requires an experience component which is not provided in this course.  Note: This course is four hours in length. 

To register, please contact Kim Jalalian at kjalalian@agc-gm.org or at (414) 778-4100.

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STP 4: Contract Documents and Construction Law
April 7th, 9th, 14th & 16th, 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Corp. G.C. - $190, Associate - $275, ACEA/IAP - $330, Non-Member - $800
Gert Grohmann & Dan Burazin, AGC Safety Director

STP promotes an interactive training atmosphere among course participants and employs some of the most dynamic instructors in the construction industry.  Unit four provides information about contract documents and construction law to help supervisors recognize the roles and responsibilities of all contracted parties, to develop an understanding of how contract documents can be helpful to solve problems and resolve conflicts, and to develop positive relationships between all parties in the construction process.   
Intended Audience:  This course was specifically designed for superintendents, foremen, project managers as well as those who aspire to hold these positions in the future.

To register, please contact Kim Jalalian at kjalalian@agc-gm.org or at (414) 778-4100.

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Lean Construction Unit 3: Lean Workstructuring
April 10th, 8:00 am to 12:00 pm

Corp. G.C. - $100, Associate/BE Members - $175, Non-Members - $250
Professor Mark Federle, Marquette University

Unit 3: Lean Workstructuring is a four-hour course that will be offered at AGC Chapters across the country.  Following completion of this course, participants will be able to:

•  Apply the methods and tools utilized in pull planning
•  Describe the concept of Lean Workstructuring
•  Outline the desired products of Lean Workstructuring
•  Describe the characteristics and application of the Last Planner System

To register, please contact Kim Jalalian at kjalalian@agc-gm.org or at (414) 778-4100.

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In the News
 
Money for North End project OK'd

Milwaukee’s Common Council gave the final OK for $2 million to build infrastructure around a new Fresh Thyme Farmers Market and apartment building in Mandel Group Inc.’s North End project.

The building is planned for undeveloped land between North Water Street and the Milwaukee River at East Pleasant Street. The city money will help pay for dockwall repairs, a riverwalk extension and a road around the property.

As the third phase of its broader North End project, Mandel Group in June will start construction on a five-story building with the Fresh Thyme grocery on its first floor and 168 apartments on its upper floors.

Milwaukee officials in 2006 committed $7.66 million in tax incremental financing for infrastructure to help Mandel Group redevelop a former tannery into the North End. The $2 million approved by the Milwaukee Common Council on Tuesday is part of that broader agreement.

Reporter Sean Ryan covers commercial and residential real estate for the Milwaukee Business Journal and through the Real Estate Roundup blog on the website. He also covers construction, highways and public transit.

 

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In This Issue
Association Highlights
Rick Andritsch of VJS is New AGC-A Building Division Chair, Jason Schneider of VJS Chair for CLC
AGC Leads the Construction Industry Forward with Education & Research Foundation Scholarship Program
CLC Next Event: UWM's Interdisciplinary Research Center
Multiemployer Pension Reform Update
Upcoming Trainings from the Knowledge Source
Global Harmonization System
Financing Incentives
First Aid/CPR/AED Training
Lean Construction Unit 2: Pull in Production
OSHA 30-Hour for Construction
Qualified Crane Signalperson Training
Crane Rigging Training
STP 4: Contract Documents and Construction Law
Lean Construction Unit 3: Lean Workstructuring
In the News
Money for North End project OK'd
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