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www.agc.org August 6, 2013
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What Do You Know About the agcXML Initiative?
AGC Creates Advisory Board to Help Make Construction Software Interoperable

Watch the video above to learn more about the agcXML initiative.

The agcXML Advisory Board was specifically developed to provide a collective view of the construction industry.  Board members are the people within their chosen fields who can rally to advocate for adoption of agcXML in their offices, communities and on the jobsite. The board is comprised of contractors and software vendors – it is not often that industry competitors – whether software vendors or general contractors – are willing to put aside the interests of their respective businesses for the sake of the betterment of an industry. However, that is exactly what the agcXML Advisory Board is doing. Members include software sponsors Blue Book Construction Network, COINS Global, Maxwell Systems, Sage, Viewpoint Construction Software, and Stratus Vue; senior IT leaders from several leading AGC member companies, including The Weitz Compan, Swinerton, Brasfield and Gorrie, and Colas, Inc.; and Kurt Koenig and Bill Cobb, representing AGC’s IT Steering Committee.  In addition to providing advice and experiences, the board will work with AGC to drive standards, push for interoperability with construction software, and promote the adoption of agcXML across the country. Please don’t hesitate to contact AGC Chief Information Officer Fara Francis at francisc@agc.org with any questions.

Tell Us About the Current Supply of Skilled Workers in Your Area
Is Your Construction Company Facing Worker Shortages?

Over the past several months, we have received a number of reports, most of which were anecdotal, about sporadic shortages of skilled construction workers in certain parts of the country.  At the same time, overall construction employment, while rising steadily, remains well below peak employment levels.  As a result, we are having a hard time gauging the extent of worker shortages and if and where those shortages may be impacting construction projects.  If you haven’t already, please take a few brief minutes to complete the following survey so we can conduct a more complete and accurate assessment of if, where and to what extent there are actual shortages of skilled craft workers and/or qualified construction professionals.  Your input will help us correctly calibrate our messaging to elected officials and the media and will also guide our efforts to support workforce development. Thank you in advance for your time and support. Take the survey here.

Construction Unemployment Hits 9.1 Percent, Lowest July Mark Since 2008
Decline in Unemployment Exceeds Hiring by Contractors in Past Year as Workers Leave Industry

The unemployment rate for construction workers fell to the lowest July level in five years last month, even though employment has stagnated in the past four months, according to an analysis of new government data by AGC of America. Association officials urged Washington leaders to act on stalled infrastructure funding measures to help jump start construction hiring. “Although the unemployment rate for experienced construction workers came down to 9.1 percent in July, many of those workers have left the industry for other jobs, school or training programs, or retirement,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “While the industry has added workers in the past year, employment growth has been negligible recently.” Read the full press release here.

Construction Employment Increases in 191 out of 339 Metro Areas Between June 2012 & 2013
Number of Metros Adding Jobs Rises for Fifth Straight Month to Highest Total Since March 2012

Construction employment increased in 191 out of 339 metropolitan areas between June 2012 and June 2013, declined in 97 and was flat in 51, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by AGC.  Association officials welcomed the construction employment gains but cautioned that demand remained spotty amid continued efforts to cut federal investments in vital infrastructure projects, including for clean water systems. “Although construction activity remains extremely spotty, with strong residential activity offsetting lackluster private nonresidential investment and shrinking public construction spending, workers are being hired in more and more metro areas,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist.  “There is widespread good news for now but the industry remains far below previous employment peaks in most markets.” Read the full press release here.

AGC Chapters and Members Urge Action on Guest Worker Bill in House
Work Continues to Oppose Restrictions on Construction Industry in Immigration Bill

Last week, AGC chapters and members in Texas and Arizona signed onto letters delivered to certain members of the House urging support for the Poe-Labrador guest worker bill. The House may consider the bill sometime this fall.  The letters were also signed by companies, associations and individuals from agriculture, education and the broader business community. AGC is encouraging its members to take the upcoming congressional recess to meet and speak with their Representatives on the need to pass immigration reform. The five-week break is the perfect opportunity to use AGC’s Legislative Action center, attend town hall meetings or make in person visits. In conjunction with the annual recess AGC will be providing grassroots toolkits for members to be effective advocates of immigration reform. For more information, please contact Jeff Shoaf at (202) 547-3350 or shoafj@agc.org.

OFCCP Moves Forward With Persons with Disabilities and Veterans Rules
AGC Continues to Work to Highlight Lack of Need, Real Costs of Proposed Rules

Last week, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) sent two final rules to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on revising the regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act. This marks the last step in the regulatory rulemaking process. Typically, final rules are under OMB review for 30 to 90 days and after that allotted period of time, the far reaching rules could be finalized and published. The two rules would apply to companies with a direct contract (as opposed to federally-assisted contracts) or subcontract with the federal government. The rules would expand the obligations of federal contractors toward veterans and individuals with disabilities.  The proposed changes will increase the affirmative action burdens of federal contractors and the cost of doing business with the federal government, despite the fact federal data shows no need for the rules. Read more.

NLRB Returns to Full Slate of Confirmed Members
Dissenting Opinions Likely from Split Board

As expected, the Senate confirmed four new appointees to be members of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) on July 30 and reconfirmed the current chairman for a new term.  This brings the Board to a full complement of confirmed members for the first time in a decade.  The Board had been operating with only one confirmed member (Chairman Mark Pearce) and two arguably invalid recess appointees – all three Democrats – since December. The new members include two Democrats and two Republicans.  The Democrats are Nancy Schiffer, recently retired associate general counsel of the AFL-CIO, and Kent Hirowaza, chief counsel to NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce.  The Republicans are Philip Miscimarra and Harry Johnson, III, both management-side labor lawyers with large law firms.  Along with Pearce, a democrat, this gives the president’s party a three-to-two majority, as is traditional with a full Board. Read more.

AGC Co-Chaired Transportation Construction Coalition Weighs in on Highway Trust Fund

Late in July, the AGC-led Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) urging them to address the pending Highway Trust Fund (HTF) revenue shortfall as they work to finalize a comprehensive tax reform package. It has been estimated by the Congressional Budget Office that, in fiscal year 2015, the Highway Trust Fund will be unable to meet its obligations, which will result in a 100 percent cut to federal highway and transit programs for that fiscal year. The HTF will need an additional $15 billion to avoid the programs being zeroed out in 2015. AGC and our other transportation stakeholders are continuing to educate members of Congress  about the fiscal cliff that the Highway Trust Fund is facing and urging them to address the revenue shortfall sooner rather than later. All AGC chapters and members are encouraged to contact their Representative or Senator today – for more information on this issue, visit AGC’s Legislative Action Center. Please contact Sean O’Neill at (202) 547-8892 or oneills@agc.org with any questions or comments.

Building America’s Future Releases Free App for Commuters Across the Country
New App Will Allow Delayed Commuters to Contact Their Member of Congress in Real Time

The free I’m Stuck app, made by Building America’s Future, will allow delayed commuters around the country to directly and immediately email their U.S. Representative or Senator to share their frustration. Every day, millions of Americans waste precious time, money and energy stuck in traffic, stuck on a tarmac, delayed on a subway or train. The I’m Stuck app – available for download on iOS and Android devices – will empower citizens to tell their member of Congress that it is time to reinvest in America. The policies put in place, or the lack of a coherent long-term infrastructure plan, directly affects the daily experience of Americans trying to get around their communities. This app gives commuters and passengers an avenue to voice their frustrations. This innovative, real time communications tool is a new method of grassroots advocacy.  Members of Congress are going to hear daily from their constituents about how a lack of transportation and infrastructure funding is keeping America stuck in gridlock. Read more.

Early-bird Registration Rate for CLC Fall Working Weekend Ends Next Week
Registration Rates Increase Monday, Aug. 12

If you’re planning to attend the 2013 CLC National Working Weekend, to be held Sept. 12-14 in St. Louis, the time to register is now! Registration rates will increase on Monday, Aug. 12. That’s also the date that the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark ends our special $140/night sleeping room rate for the event. Most events take place at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark and attendees must make their own hotel reservations directly with the hotel. The annual Fall Working Weekend starts on Thursday evening with a reception and closes with a jobsite tour of the 1,500-foot New Mississippi River Bridge Project on Saturday morning. Throughout the vent, there will be many opportunities to connect and network with other young- and mid-career professionals and attend powerful professional development sessions. Complete information, including an agenda, brochure and registration are available online. Time is running out to register at the early-bird rates so why wait? Register today.

Register and Save Now for the 17th Annual AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference
Oct. 23-25, 2013 | Las Vegas, Nev.

Jointly sponsored by AGC and the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA), the 17th Annual AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference offers programs and workshops designed specifically for financial professionals in the construction industry. Register by Friday, Sept. 6 for special “Early Bird” discounts.  Additional discounts are available for subsequent registrations from the same firm.  Register now and save up to $210 – or 25 percent – off the standard registration fee. The three-day conference features 36 interactive sessions covering the latest industry issues and their financial implications.  Participants may earn up to 19.5 continuing professional education (CPE) credits. Owners, chief financial officers, controllers, treasurers, certified public accountants, auditors, consultants, bankers, sureties, and others interested in the construction financial management will greatly benefit from this conference. For more information, and to register online, visit www.agc.org/AGC_CFMA.

AGC Provides Shared Savings Clause to ConsensusDocs 500 CM/GC Contract

AGC has just posted Guidebook comments that provide a shared savings clause to the ConsensusDocs 500 standard construction management at-risk contract document. The shared savings clause is a great example of a win-win for construction projects, which is a primary reason why owners and contractors alike are making the move to ConsensusDocs contracts.  Shared savings provide an incentive for a Construction Manager (CM) At-Risk General Contractor to reduce costs on a project that benefits both the Owner and CM. AGC members can find AGC’s comments to the ConsensusDocs 500 contract, as well as the entire library of 100+ ConsensusDocs contract documents here. You can also view the public version here. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact AGC Senior Counsel Brian Perlberg at perlbergb@agc.org.

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