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www.agc.org September 17, 2013
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Seventy-Four Percent of Construction Firms Report Having Trouble Finding Qualified Workers
Nationwide Survey Finds Most Firms Worry There Are Not Enough Craft Workers Available to Meet Growing Demand for Construction

Doug McMurry, executive vice president of the San Antonio Chapter of AGC, talks about the need for more skills-based education programs during the release of the construction worker survey results at a local construction career academy.

Seventy-four percent of construction firms across the country report they are having trouble finding qualified craft workers to fill key spots amid concerns that labor shortages will only get worse according to the results of an industry wide survey released by AGC of America.  Association officials called for immigration and education reform measures to help avoid worker shortages. “Many construction firms are already having a hard time finding qualified workers and expect construction labor shortages will only get worse,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America.  “We need to take short and long term steps to make sure there are enough workers to meet future demand and avoid the costly construction delays that would come with labor shortages.” Find the full press release, AGC analysis and survey results here.

Construction Employment Stalls in August but Jobless Rate Drops as Firms Report Hiring Difficulties
AGC Points to Need for Education & Immigration Reform

Construction employment stagnated in August, while the industry unemployment rate fell and a majority of companies reported difficulty finding workers, according to an analysis of new government data and an industry survey by AGC of America. Association officials called for education and immigration reform measures needed to ensure an adequate supply of skilled workers. “After a strong rebound in 2012, construction hiring and spending have been stuck in neutral through most of 2013,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Yet the unemployment rate for former construction workers hit the lowest August level in five years, suggesting that experienced workers are leaving the industry rather than returning to it. As a result, firms are already having trouble finding workers.” Read the full press release here.

Construction Spending Hits Four-Year High in July
Private Spending Gains Outweigh Decreases in Public Infrastructure and Education Investment

Total construction spending hit a four-year high in July as private residential and nonresidential activity increased while public spending declined, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by AGC of America. Association officials urged lawmakers in Washington to make infrastructure investment a top federal priority before funding runs out at the end of September. “The patterns seen earlier this year reappeared in July, with strong year-over-year gains in single- and multifamily building, a range of results for private nonresidential categories, and deepening downturns in most public segments,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “These trends are likely to hold for the remainder of 2013.” Read the full press release here.

House Introduces Water Resources & Development Act
Take Action Today

Watch the video above to learn more about the legislative importance of WRRDA.

On Sept. 11, House Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) joined with Committee Ranking member Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) to introduce the Water Resources Reform & Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA), which authorizes approximately $10 billion for new construction projects through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Civil Works program (i.e., navigation, flood control, locks, dams, and environment restoration).  For more information on WRRDA and how it will affect you and your business, check out the great video above. Take action and urge your U.S. Representative to support H.R. 3080 today. Read more.

Funding Bill Faces Uncertain Future
Government Shutdown Possible Over Differences of Opinion about How to Defund Obamacare

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee introduced a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the daily activities of the federal government, from the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1 through Dec. 15, 2013.  The CR will fund the government at current post-sequestration levels of $986 billion, which is nearly $20 billion more than House-passed budget levels for FY 2014 and nearly $70 billion lower than the budget levels passed in the Senate for FY 2014.  The CR is necessary because the House and Senate have failed to enact any of their 12 annual appropriations bills.  The length of the bill is intended to allow congressional leaders and the president to deal with the need to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and other budget issues without the threat of a government shutdown. Read more.

Recent Price Stability Ė The Calm Before the Calm, or Before the Storm?

There has been little price movement overall in the past few months for either construction materials or bid prices, at least as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ producer price indexes (PPIs). However, the situation could change abruptly. On Sept. 13, BLS reported that the PPI for inputs to construction industries—a weighted average of the selling price of all materials used in construction plus items consumed by contractors, such as diesel fuel—climbed 0.3 percent from July to August and just 1.4 percent over the past 12 months. August was the 16th consecutive month in which the year-over-year change in the index was 2 percent or less. Read more.

Feds Finalize Long-Anticipated Veterans and Disabilities Rules
AGC Resources Available Soon

Late last month, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced two final rules that will expand the affirmative-action obligations of direct federal contractors and their subcontractors with regard to veterans and individuals with disabilities.  The rules update regulations under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Both rules will be effective 180 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register.  Publication is expected to occur within two weeks. Read more.

California Receives EPA Permission to Enforce Off-Road Diesel Engine Emissions Standards
Other States May Now Adopt Identical Rules

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced late Friday that it has received authorization from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to enforce its statewide In-Use Off-Road Diesel Vehicle Regulation, including the rule’s engine emissions targets and related requirements, such as turnover requirements and restrictions on adding Tier 0 and Tier 1 vehicles. As previously reported by AGC, dozens of other states have been closely following California’s controversial effort to implement and enforce first-time emission limits for in-use “fleets” of off-road diesel equipment. Now that CARB has received a Clean Air Act “waiver” from EPA, California is allowed to enforce the rule’s engine emissions limits and other states can then adopt and enforce standards “identical” to California’s regulation. Read more.

Donít Miss Webinar on Newly Released SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors
Regulated Community Should Expect an Increase in Number of SPCC Compliance Inspections in Near Term

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has just released its revised SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors to assist regional inspectors when they review a site’s compliance with the federal Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule.  The guide spells out how EPA intends to implement the SPCC rule nationwide and is likely to be a useful tool for the owner/operator of any jobsite or facility that may be subject to these regulations.  EPA will present two private webinars for AGC contractors to learn about and ask questions concerning what’s in the new inspector’s guide and what companies can expect during an inspection. Read more and find out how to register for one of two EPA webinars here.

Foundation Deadlines Coming Up This Fall

The AGC Education and Research Foundation scholarship and awards programs, as well as its research initiatives, have quickly approaching deadlines this fall.  Listed here are the deadlines for each of the programs.  The scholarship deadline for applications is Nov. 1; the deadline to submit James L. Allhands Essay submissions is Nov. 15; Outstanding Educator nominations are due Nov. 15; Case Study proposals are due Nov. 15; and Faculty Internship applications are due Dec. 6. For additional information on any of these programs, contact AGC Foundation Director Melinda Patrician at patricianm@agc.org or (703) 837-5342.

Six-Part AGC Webinar Series: Beating the Competition: How to Find & Win Federal Work - Sponsored by Deltek
Sept. 25 Ė Nov. 21, 2013

Attend this six-part webinar series to develop and improve your federal procurement processes and win more jobs. During this series, you’ll hone your skills – from learning how to anticipate and stay on top of RFPs to understanding the federal procurement rules of the game. In federal contracting, every word on your proposal, regulation applicable in the field and in your office, and every past job counts. It’s essential that your team understand contracting variances among different agencies – and how to play by the rules. All webinars take place from 2:00 – 3:30 pm ET. For more information, please click here.

Donít Miss the Highway and Utilities Contractors Issues Conference
Nov. 7-9, 2013 | Phoenix, Ariz.

The 2013 Highway and Utilities Contractors Issues Conference will be held Nov. 7-9, 2013, at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, Ariz.  Industry professionals from companies involved in building highway, bridge, utility and underground construction, transit, airport runway and rail projects will benefit from this conference.  Presentation and discussions on major trends in highway and utility construction will be featured. To learn more about the schedule and to register for the conference, please visit www.agc.org/highway_utilities. For more information, please contact Brian Deery at (703) 837-5319 or deeryb@agc.org or Scott Berry at (703) 837-5321 or berrys@agc.org.

Register for the ConsensusDocs Workshop at the Construction SuperConference Today
Dec. 11, 2013 | San Francisco, Calif.

Earn an additional 5.75 CLEs at the Construction SuperConference by registering for the ConsensusDocs Pre-Conference Workshop! Presentations include: Why Settling Construction Disputes Costs Too Much and How to Get Better Results; Level of Development (LOD) Specification — a Redefinition of Construction Contract BIM Deliverables; What You Need to Know About Lean Project Delivery and IPD; and Recent Construction Case Law Blitz. Take advantage of early bird pricing today with the promo code LCF743. Read more.

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