Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org September 25, 2014
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On the Inside
2014 ELECTIONS
Employee Voter Registration Week Coincides with the Beginning of Early Voting and Registration Deadlines in Some States
SAFETY
Crane Operator Certification Deadline Extended to 2017
TRANSPORTATION
DOT Set to Release DBE Rule Revisions
AGC Weighs-in on FY 2016 DERA Funding
ENERGY
Report Details Growth in Energy-Related Supply Chains
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Free Webinar: Best Practices Webinar on Hiring and Recruiting Veterans
Please Tell Us If You Are Having a Hard Time Finding Qualified Workers
2014 ELECTIONS
Employee Voter Registration Week Coincides with the Beginning of Early Voting and Registration Deadlines in Some States
 

Employee Voter Registration Week (EVRW), September 22-26, 2014, is a national initiative supported by AGC and about 90 other business groups to highlight the importance of employee voter registration. When the employees of AGC member companies vote, the voices of the construction industry are heard.

Your company is encouraged to participate. Becoming involved in this effort is as easy as notifying your colleagues about the 2014 EVRW initiative using the information provided in this toolkit. Feel free to copy, paste, and use this content as your own.

With more than 6 million individuals working in construction, our industry has a tremendous opportunity to impact the 2014 election. To be successful, it is critical you encourage your colleagues and employees to register to vote and then cast a ballot on or before Nov. 4.

Visit ConstructionVotes.com for more information.

For more information, please contact David Ashinoff at (202) 547-5013 or ashinoffd@agc.org Return to Top

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SAFETY
Crane Operator Certification Deadline Extended to 2017
OSHA to Publish Final Rule Tomorrow
 

In tomorrow’s Federal Register, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will publish its final rule extending the compliance date for crane operator certification by three years from Nov. 10, 2014, to Nov. 10, 2017. This rulemaking was in response to industry concerns over OSHA’s determination that two of the four certifying organizations currently offer certifications that do not specify capacity, and therefore, are considered non-compliant. Additionally, OSHA will address the issue of certification by “type and capacity,” as well as what an employer’s responsibilities should be to ensure that only competent and qualified individuals are operating the equipment in a subsequent rulemaking.

AGC was very active in working with OSHA on this rulemaking as it would have negatively impacted contractors and crane operators who were proactive in obtaining certification in advance of the original effective date.

For more information, please contact Kevin Cannon at (703) 837-5410 or cannonk@agc.org Return to Top

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TRANSPORTATION
DOT Set to Release DBE Rule Revisions
 

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is about to release revisions to its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise utilization (DBE) rules. The new rules were first proposed in September 2012 and while considered by DOT to be “minor” adjustments at the time, they would have had a significant impact on the highway construction industry. Among the changes, that AGC considered major as proposed, prime contractors on federal-aid highway contracts with DBE goals would be required to submit with their bid a list of all DBE subcontractors to be used on the project, including the scope of work to be performed, the value of the subcontract, and a letter from the DBE verifying these facts. In addition, if the prime contractor did not meet the contract’s DBE goal, information on all quotes from both DBE and non-DBE subcontractors would have to be submitted with the bid to demonstrate “good faith efforts.” AGC objected vocally to these proposed changes, submitted extensive written comments for the record, and held several meetings with top DOT officials to explain the real world impact of these changes, if adopted.

AGC has been informed that the new rules will move away from this onerous requirement by allowing a 5-7 day window following bid submittal for the apparent low bidder to submit the list of proposed DBE utilization. The final rules have been presented to Secretary Foxx for his signature, which is expected, and will then be published in the Federal Register within the next two weeks. Contractors can expect to see these new requirements show up in bid solicitations in the coming months. AGC will provide a detailed explanation of the rules when they are formally released. 

For more information, please contact Brian Deery at (703) 837-5319 or deeryb@agc.org Return to Top

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AGC Weighs-in on FY 2016 DERA Funding
 

AGC, along with a broad-based diesel coalition, sent a letter the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) encouraging them to restore funding in their fiscal year 2016 budget for grants, loans, and rebates made possible by the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA).  The administration’s fiscal year 2015 budget included no funding for DERA.  The House and Senate Appropriations Committees have indicated a willingness to provide continued funding for DERA in fiscal year 2015 despite the administration zeroing out the program.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program has awarded and distributed funding provided by DERA through a competitive grant program to incentivize and support many clean-diesel projects.  AGC chapters and members – working with AGC of America – have voluntarily applied for and won millions of dollars in EPA diesel retrofit grants, in addition to leveraging millions more in matching and in-kind contributions to help their members afford the high cost of reducing emissions from construction equipment.

Future federal funding for the DERA program remains uncertain.  AGC is focused on ensuring both the administration and Congress recognize the importance of the program and that they provide greater financial assistance to the many equipment owners who seek a fair and effective way to reduce emissions from existing fleets of off-road equipment.

For more information, please contact Sean O’Neill at (202) 547-8892 or oneills@agc.org Return to Top

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ENERGY
Report Details Growth in Energy-Related Supply Chains
 

Yesterday, the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA) released a study, “Supplying the Unconventional Revolution: Sizing the Unconventional Oil and Gas Supply Chain,” which for the first time measure’s the full scope of job creation and dollar output generated by companies directly attributable to supplying construction, equipment, materials, services and logistics to shale and gas related operations.  IHS Global prepared the study for EEIA – of which AGC is a founding member.

The study found that jobs supported by supply chain activity in energy and non-energy producing states totaled almost 524,000 in 2012 and are expected to increase to 757,000 jobs by 2025.  In energy-producing states, construction and support activities for oil and gas operations provide the highest source of employment contributions.

The study also looked at the impact of unconventional energy production on supplemental construction, such as infrastructure, housing and commercial/industrial building activity that occur in addition to direct spending by oil and gas operators.

According to IHS Global, supplemental construction spending should amount to nearly $4 billion in 2014 and support more than 15,000 workers. The cumulative impact of supplemental construction spending is expected to total more than $49 billion through 2025, supporting an annual average of 12,300 jobs over the period. Supplemental construction for housing is expected to have the largest impact, representing nearly $3 billion in 2014 spending and peak at more than $5 billion in 2021.

AGC and our coalition partners in EEIA will use this report in our continued push for robust shale energy production and consumption.

For more information, please contact Sean O’Neill at (202) 547-8892 or oneills@agc.org Return to Top

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WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Free Webinar: Best Practices Webinar on Hiring and Recruiting Veterans
 

It’s a reality.  For construction employers, a workforce shortage is just around the corner and with many returning veterans and military spouses seeking employment, making a connection is a win for all.  As part of the construction industry’s effort to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years, the Associated General Contractors of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation have partnered to provide construction employers a free 90-minute webinar on Hiring Our Heroes: Best Practices for Construction Employers.

During this webinar, participants will learn to:

  • Identify activities they can engage in to successfully recruit veterans;
  • Connect with organizations that can assist them in creating a pipeline to veterans; and
  • Identify resources that will assist with matching military work experience with construction industry job classifications.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Sarah Gallegos at gallegoss@agc.org. Click here to register.   Return to Top

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Please Tell Us If You Are Having a Hard Time Finding Qualified Workers
Is Your Construction Company Facing Worker Shortages?
 

Since we conducted our first survey to gauge the extent of workforce shortages last Fall, we have heard from many of you that the labor market has only become tighter in the intervening 12 months as demand continues to grow for many types of construction in many parts of the country.  While it is clear that worker shortages are a growing concern, and in some cases a significant problem, for many contractors, we feel it is important to better quantify where these shortages are taking place, how severe they are, and what steps firms are taking to both cope with tight labor markers and improve the supply of new, qualified workers. That is why we are asking you to take a few minutes to complete the following workforce survey.

Please contact Brian Turmail if you have any questions or comments about the survey. He can be reached at (703) 837-5310 or turmailb@agc.org Return to Top

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