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The Associated General Contractors of America | Quality People. Quality Projects.
www.agc.org October 7, 2014
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AGC WORKING FOR YOU
A New Way to Learn How AGC is Working for You
 

 
Today, we are launching a new video message that is designed to make it even easier for members to learn about how AGC of America is working for you.  Above is the first in a series of brief videos we will distribute each month providing you with the latest information about important initiatives, our successes in advocating on the industry’s behalf, and how you can take advantage of the many benefits of membership.  In this first video, AGC of America CEO Stephen Sandherr shares how AGC has become so successful in pushing back against new regulatory burdens.  He also details a new voter information website, www.constructionvotes.com, which was launched by the association to help members learn about pro-construction candidates up for election this November 4. We hope you find this video helpful and informative. Please don’t hesitate to share your feedback, suggestions and the types of subjects you want to learn about in future videos with Maggie Jaus at jausm@agc.org.
AGC IN THE NEWS
Construction Employers Add 16,000 Jobs in September, 230,000 for the Year
Sector’s Unemployment Rate Declines to Seven Percent, a Seven-Year Low
 
Construction employers added 16,000 jobs and the sector’s unemployment rate fell to seven percent, the lowest rate for September in years, according to an analysis released by AGC. Association officials said the construction employment gains come as more firms report having a hard time finding enough qualified workers to fill available positions, citing the lack of local vocational training programs, especially at the secondary level. “While we are eager to see even more construction employment gains, there is no denying the fact that the industry has been in recovery mode for much of the past three years,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “But the industry won’t be able to keep filling positions if there aren’t enough qualified workers available to fill them.” Read the full release here.
Construction Employment Increases in 220 out of 339 Metro Areas between August 2013 and 2014
Construction Spending Climbs Five Percent for the Year
 
Construction employment expanded in 220 metro areas, declined in 73 and was stagnant in 46 between August 2013 and August 2014, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by AGC of America.  Association officials added that construction spending climbed to $961 billion from $915.3 billion between August 2013 and August 2014, a 5 percent increase, according to federal data also released today. “Even as construction employment continues to rebound in many parts of the country, other areas continue to lose ground, or like Phoenix, backslide,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Similarly, while construction spending has been increasing overall in the past year, the gains remain uneven. The industry appears likely to experience very mixed results by segment and region for the rest of 2014 and into next year.” Read the full release here.
SAFETY
AGC to Provide Highway Work Zone Safety Training Program Thanks to New Federal Grant
Highway Work Zone Safety Programs to be Offered in 2015
 
AGC of America will provide highway work zone safety training classes next year thanks to a federal safety grant the association earned. The association will use the $135,000 Susan Harwood Training Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to offer the safety training classes designed to prevent injuries among highway, street and bridge construction workers, officials said. “No amount of safety gear will protect a worker if they get hit by a speeding vehicle,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “The best defense from crashes is teaching crews how to set up and operate safer work zones.” Read more.
TRANSPORTATION
Push Continues for Highway Trust Fund Fix
Meet with Your Members of Congress this Month
 
Last week, the AGC-led Transportation Construction Coalition(TCC) continued the push for Congress to pass new long-term surface transportation bill by issuing a press statement highlighting the fact that failing to pass a bill before the expiration of the most recent extension will lead to another self-imposed transportation funding crisis. Currently, the temporary extension of federal highway and transit programs will keep them operating until May 31, 2015. In addition, AGC leaders who participated in this week’s National Chapter Leadership meeting carried the message to Capitol Hill that Congress must fix the Highway Trust Fund. AGC remains focused educating members of Congress that without Congressional action in the coming months, the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money  in the beginning of next year’s construction season.  Congress is in recess now until after the November elections, but now is the time for them to hear from you.  Please contact your Representative and Senators and/orset up a meeting in their district or state and urge them to make fixing the Highway Trust fund a top priority. Please contact Sean O’Neill at oneills@agc.org for more information.
THE AGC ALTERNATIVE
AGC Members Can Save on Health Insurance
A Private Insurance Exchange Built Exclusively for AGC Members
 

 
In today’s marketplace, providing health insurance and benefits for employees is more complicated and confusing than ever. Now, with the AGC Alternative—a new private insurance exchange built exclusively for AGC members—the job of providing employee benefits is finally getting easier. Developed in collaboration with Willis North America, the global risk advisor, insurance and reinsurance broker for the program, every plan offered through the AGC private exchange meets the minimum standards of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The state-of-the-art online exchange provides employees with the step-by-step guidance needed to choose a benefits portfolio tailored to meet their individual needs, including: up to six medical plans; three dental plans; two vision plans; plus life, disability and legal service coverage. Discover how the AGC Alternative can help your company save money, take control of rising health care costs, reduce the administrative burden on your HR team, and attract better talent by providing employees more choice and flexibility.  To learn more or to request a quote, visit www.agc.org/exchange or call 1-800-210-5290.Please note: Discounts will vary by state and number of employees enrolled. AGC is not engaged in the negotiation, solicitation or sale of insurance.  Willis of Maryland, Inc., a licensed insurance producer, is the broker of record for all insurance products available on the AGC private insurance exchange.
ENVIRONMENT
EPA Extends Comment Period for Proposed Waters of the U.S. Rule
 
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have extended the public comment period on the proposed Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule through Friday, Nov. 14. The agencies decided to extend the comment period “to provide the public with the opportunity to comment on the SAB review and in response to requests for additional time to comment on the proposal.” To learn more about the rulemaking and submit your own comments to EPA and the Corps, visit AGC’s Regulatory Action Center. Please contact Melinda Tomaino at tomainom@agc.orgfor more information.
HR & LABOR
Final Rule for Federal Contractor Minimum Wage
DOL Adopts Several AGC Recommendations
 
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) released its final rule implementing Executive Order 13658 (EO), which establishes a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour for direct federal prime contractors and subcontractors at all tiers. That $10.10 minimum wage must be adjusted annually for inflation. The new minimum wage will take effect on direct federal agency contracts entered into on or after Jan. 1, 2015. Federally-assisted contractors are not affected. The final rule will be published in the Federal Register today, Oct. 7. Read more.
OFCCP Joins EEOC in Considering Gender Identity Discrimination Part of Sex Discrimination
 
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a new directive to provide guidance on the agency’s approach to employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity or transgender status.  In Directive 2014-02, OFCCP clarifies that it considers discrimination on the basis of gender identity or transgender status to be a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Executive Order 11246.  OFCCP’s interpretation is expressly intended to follow the position of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in its interpretation of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Read more.
AGC FOUNDATION
Scholarship Application Deadline is Quickly Approaching
Applications Must Be Submitted by Nov. 3, 2014
 
Just a friendly reminder that the deadline for the AGC Education and Research Foundation Scholarship applications for the 2015-16 academic year is less than a month away. The application period runs through midnight EST November 3, 2014. Full criteria for scholarship eligibility and the application may be found at http://scholarship.agc.org.Students in ABET or ACCE-accredited civil engineering or construction management programs are eligible for $2,500 scholarships, renewable for up to three years.  Students must be entering their sophomore, junior or senior year (or the final year of a five-year program) in the fall of 2015 in order to apply.  Graduate students are eligible for $3,750 annually for up to two years. For more information, please contact Melinda Patrician at (703) 837-5342 or patricianm@agc.org.
CLC
2014 AGC Outstanding Student Chapter Applications Due this Friday
 
The Outstanding Student Chapter award was designed to recognize and reward AGC Student Chapters for their dedication to community and public service projects. All AGC Student Chapters are encouraged to submit an application to showcase their work in the community during the 2013-14 academic year. The application deadline for the 2014 AGC Outstanding Student Chapter is Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. The original application date was May 23, 2014. If you have already submitted an application, you do not need to resubmit. All applicants should provide a brief description of one key activity undertaken between Aug. 15, 2013 and May 1, 2014, that was performed for the benefit of the local community.  Descriptions should convey the project’s impact on the community.  In past years, student chapters have submitted applications for such projects as working on an Extreme Makeover Home Edition; helping with post-Hurricane Katrina cleanup; making a house handicapped accessible; constructing a therapeutic riding facility; and building a greenhouse for a high school. Please note that you may only apply one time for one project; so if a project is begun during one school year and completed the next, you may choose only one year to apply. Complete guidelines and a fill-in PDF application are available on AGC’s website. If you have questions, please contact Sarah Gallegos at gallegoss@agc.org.
Now Accepting Applications for CLC Steering Committee
 
AGC chapters who have a Construction Leadership Council, Young Constructors Forum or other group for young- and mid-career professionals are encouraged to ask them to get involved at the national level by applying for the AGC of America Construction Leadership Council Steering Committee. The AGC CLC functions as a forum in which members can network, socialize, and exchange ideas on issues facing young- and mid-career construction professionals. To ensure direction and focus, the CLC has a Steering Committee, whose members rotate on a three-year basis. The Steering Committee responsibilities are as follows: serve a three-year term; attend two face-to-face meetings per year, at the AGC Convention and at the Fall Working Weekend; participate in monthly conference calls; participate in the committee mentorship program; and establish contact with selected AGC of America committee members and participate on other AGC of America committees. All young- and mid-career professionals who are interested in joining the Steering Committee must submit: 1) a member application form; 2) a recommendation letter from your AGC chapter executive director; and 3) a signed employer commitment form. Send completed application and all supporting documents to Sarah Gallegos at gallegoss@agc.org before Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014.
EVENTS
Webinar: Hiring our Heroes - Best Practices for Construction Employers
Oct. 8, 2014 | 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. EST
 
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 will be hosting a free 90-minute webinar on Hiring Our Heroes: Best Practices for Construction Employers.  Led by seasoned veteran recruitment experts, this webinar will provide construction industry employers with the insight necessary to find, recruit, and hire returning veterans and military spouses. 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. For more information, click here.
Register for the AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference
Nov. 5-7, 2014 | Las Vegas, Nev.
 
Jointly sponsored by AGC of America and the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA), the AGC/CFMAConstruction Financial Management Conference, held Nov. 5-7,2014, in Las Vegas, Nev., was developed in response to a need for programs and workshops designed specifically for financial professionals in the construction industry. The three-day conferenceis filled with 36 interactive sessions, covering the latest industry issues andtheir financial implications. Sessions are delivered “group-live” and are atintermediate, overview and update program levels. There are no prerequisites oradvanced preparation required. Information about the conference can be found at meetings.agc.org/agc_cfmaFor more information, please contact Brynn Huneke at (703) 837-5376 or brynn.huneke@agc.org.

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