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The Associated General Contractors of America | Quality People. Quality Projects.
www.agc.org November 4, 2014
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AGC WORKING FOR YOU
AGC of America, Oregon Chapter Educate Public and Media on Construction Worker Shortages
Area Construction Firms Report Having a Hard Time Filling Available Positions
 

Local contractor and President of the AGC Oregon-Columbia chapter addresses media.
 
On Wednesday, Oct. 22, AGC of America released new data showing the severity of construction worker shortages in Oregon and nationwide during a visit to a local construction-focused charter high school. During the event, officials toured the school and saw a demonstration of how students are learning vital construction skills as part of their curriculum. Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, released the new worker shortage data and identified measures public officials should take to increase the supply of qualified workers. ACE Academy Director Mark Clifford spoke about how the school helps train future architecture, construction and engineering professionals. Local contractor Steve Melany and AGC Oregon-Columbia Chapter Executive Director Mike Salsgiver addressed local market conditions and the availability of qualified construction workers. Is your city or firm facing similar shortfalls? Contact Brian Turmail at turmailb@agc.org to see what AGC of America can do for you – and don’t forget to visit the AGC website for workforce development resources for AGC members.
It’s Election Day – Go Vote!
 

 
Make the construction industry’s voice heard loudly and clearly today by voting. Find your polling place at www.ConstructionVotes.com. After all, America works better when ConstructionVotes!
AGC Annual Convention Early Registration Deadline Ends Today
 
Today, Tuesday Nov. 4, is the early registration deadline for the 2015 AGC Annual Convention, March 18-20, 2015, in San Juan, PR. Save $150 off standard registration rates and register today!
AGC IN THE NEWS
Eighty-three Percent of Construction Firms Report Having Trouble Finding Qualified Workers
Nationwide Survey Finds Most Firms Are Having a Hard Time Finding Craft Workers to Hire
 
Most construction firms report they are having trouble finding qualified craft workers to fill key spots as the industry recovers from its years-long downturn, according to the results of an industry-wide survey released late last month by AGC of America. Association officials called for new career and technical school programs, as well as other workforce measures to offset the labor shortages. “As the survey results make clear, many construction firms across the country are having a hard time filling available positions,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors.  “Considering how much the nation’s educational focus has moved away from teaching students career and technical skills during the past few decades, it is easy to understand why the construction industry is facing such severe labor shortages.” Read the full release, listen to the media conference call, and find national, regional and state results and analysis here.
Construction Employment Increases in 236 out of 339 Metro Areas Between September 2013 & 2014
Construction Spending in September Slips for Second Month in a Row
 
Construction employment expanded in 236 metro areas, declined in 53 and was stagnant in 50 between September 2013 and September 2014, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by AGC of America. Association officials said that as firms expand their payrolls, many are finding a limited supply of available qualified workers. In addition, construction spending decreased for the second consecutive month in September as declines in public and private nonresidential construction, as well as multifamily projects, offset growth in single-family home building. New spending figures underscore how challenges current market conditions are for many firms. “It is good news that construction employment gains have spread to more than two-thirds of the nation’s metro areas,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the association. “But there is a growing risk that contractors in many of these regions will have trouble finding qualified workers to complete the rising volume of projects. And spending data show that construction gains remain fragmentary and volatile.”
ENVIRONMENT
Are You Ready for the 2nd Annual AGC Hard Hat Recycling Challenge?
Accepting Pledges Now Through November 10
 
AGC has renewed its commitment to holding an annual Hard Hat Recycling Challenge as part of America Recycles Day this November 15.   Will you accept the challenge? Here is how it works.  America Recycles Day is on Saturday, Nov. 15.  Make your pledge to AGC by (or before) Monday, Nov. 10 so that we know which members to highlight.  Start collecting your hard hats for recycling, then circle back to AGC by Nov. 17 with information on how many hard hats your company collected for recycling.  Be sure to take some photographs of your efforts, as AGC will be highlighting these efforts through various news outlets.  AGC will identify those members who have pledged to participate in the challenge as part of the notices surrounding America Recycles Day.  Afterwards, AGC will report on the hard hats recycled and further highlight members’ recycling efforts. Learn more here.
AGC Webinar: What Stormwater Compliance Requirements Are Headed to Your State?
Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 | 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET
 
Registration is now open for an AGC Federal Stormwater Update webinar on Dec. 15, 2014.  As many of you know, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets construction site stormwater requirements for the entire country.  This webinar will allow you to hear straight from agency staff what contractors need to do to stay in compliance and what you can expect down the road.  Get the latest on the rules, tools, and technologies headed to your state.  We will also discuss what industry experts are seeing “in-the-field,” as well as the dos and don’ts to meeting stormwater permit requirements. Click here to register now.
SAFETY
AGC Joins Coalition on Revising OSHA’s Crane Operator Certification Requirements
 
The Coalition for Crane Operator Safety (CCOS) was formally launched on Oct. 30 – it is comprised of 10 of the nation’s leading construction industry organizations representing both labor and management, along with equipment manufacturers, insurance underwriters and accredited certification organizations, in support of asking OSHA to revise and finalize the crane operator certification requirements within OSHA’s Cranes & Derricks in Construction Standard. Specifically, AGC and the coalition are working together in calling on OSHA to rescind the crane capacity certification requirements, as well as a provision that essentially equates employer certification with qualification. Earlier this year, OSHA announced they would be going through the rulemaking process on these provisions with a target of finalizing them in 2017. The final rule was initially scheduled to become effective next month, but the enforcement of these narrow provisions was ultimately delayed until 2017. Regarding the broad coalition and needed revisions to the rule, AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr was quoted as saying, “Adjudicating operator certification requirements based on capacity would add significant new complexity for employers and their employees without yielding any discernible improvement in safety.” He added, “As significant, no national safety study has found any additional safety benefits beyond certification by type, and OSHA has not analyzed the costs, benefits or other consequences of certification by capacity.” For more information, please contact Jim Young at (202) 547-0133 or youngj@agc.org.
EDUCATION
Lean Unit 6: Lean Design and Pre-construction Instructor Guide and Participant Manual
 
The goal of Lean Design and Pre-construction is to broaden the participants' awareness of applying lean practices in the project design and pre-construction phase to minimize waste and maximize value to the project. One of the goals of lean principles is to standardize as many of the project operations as possible for greater reliability and consistency. Following this course, participants will be able to: distinguish between the varying definitions for design; define value and commonly used methods to maximize it; discuss waste and commonly used methods to minimize it; differentiate between traditional project methods and lean design; and explain the various lean tools used in design and how to deploy them. All instructors for this program must be pre-approved to deliver the class. Visit www.agc.org/LCEPfor details - and purchase the Lean Unit 6 Instructor Guide here.
MEMBER NEWS
AGC of Missouri and AGC of St. Louis Announce Merger
 

 
After a year of discussion, the Jefferson City-based Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Missouri and St. Louis-based AGC of St. Louis announced last week that they are joining forces to form the state’s largest construction industry organization, effective Jan. 1, 2015. The newly expanded AGC of Missouri will maintain full-time staff and operate offices in both Jefferson City and in St. Louis. The new AGC of Missouri will represent approximately 550 member firms located in 110 Missouri counties. Contractor member firms and affiliate member companies that work in support industries are spread across 133 Missouri State House districts and 29 Missouri Senate districts throughout the state. Leonard Toenjes, CAE, president of the AGC of St. Louis, will serve as president of the new organization. In making the announcement, he said, “This greatly expanded organization allows us to become an even stronger voice for Missouri construction. Also, our members will benefit from enhanced training, networking and business services. Together, we will be stronger than ever.” Read more here.
AGC Nevada Celebrates 75th Anniversary
 
The Nevada chapter of the Associated General Contractors celebrated its 75th Anniversary in October. The AGC chapter has been representing Nevada construction companies since 1939. Those contractors built the Mt. Rose Highway in the 1940s and the McCarran loop in the 1980s. They have also built many of our hospitals, casinos, and schools. Justin Ivory, vice president of the AGC Nevada chapter, says their goal is to help make changes that will help the people of Nevada. "They've been our life line, really," Fred Reeder, president of Reno-Tahoe Construction said. "They keep us involved in, not only the networking opportunities, but we're always current on what new regulations, what new hoops we have to jump through." AGC also lobbied the legislature to allow charter schools in Nevada and helped start ACE High School, 13 years ago. The charter school offers students a hands-on education for a variety of trades. "They're really great to ACE High School because we're an engineering/construction high school and they do a lot for us," Leigh Berdow, director of ACE High School said. "But they really support all of education." Read the full story here.
TECHNOLOGY
AGC of America and Construction Open Software Alliance Combine Efforts to Improve Technology Integration in Construction
 
To remedy the construction data integration gap, in 2012, the Associated General Contractors of America reintroduced its 2008 agcXML effort to develop open source integration standards that industry technology providers could build into their software. These standards would allow independent software to ‘communicate’ with each other - simplifying data transfer and collaboration for the end user. That same year, the Construction Open Software Alliance (COSA), an organization of construction software providers eager to support efforts like agcXML, was established to develop complementary standards and became a voluntary test group for standards developed by agcXML. As of November, COSA officially took over stewardship of the agcXML effort, dedicating resources from member firms to develop and deliver open source integration standards that industry technology providers can build into their software.  
 
With the groundwork laid by the agcXML initiative, COSA plans on pioneering a new generation of construction software development that meets the integration needs of builders. It’s time technology providers put their differences aside and realized that the majority of contractors no longer employ a one-stop software suite. “By optimizing their applications for integration with complementary software, technology providers can increase their competitive advantage by meeting end users’ integration needs,” stated James Benham, president of JBKnowledge and a co-founding member of COSA. “We are always interested in identifying, leading and promoting initiatives that benefit our members and the industry as a whole,” said C. Fara Francis, AGC’s chief information officer.  “Establishing interoperability standards for construction software is the best way to make sure the industry can get the most out of available construction technology.” For more information, please contact Fara Francis at francisc@agc.org.
AGC STORE
Diversity Rules DVD: Harassment, Sensitivity & Correction Training for Construction Workers & Supervisors
 
Created exclusively for the construction industry, Diversity Rules is one DVD with two training videos, each designed to aid construction employers with harassment prevention, sensitivity and proper correction training and techniques. Short enough to be presented during an on-the-job toolbox session, the video for workers includes seven video vignettes that address issues such as sexual harassment (including sexual orientation and transgender status), age harassment, gender harassment (including family responsibilities), racial harassment and religious harassment. The video for supervisors includes all of the scenarios in the worker video, plus three additional scenarios that demonstrate how supervisors can handle tough conversations with workers about harassment and how to avoid inadvertently discriminating against workers. You can find the DVD today at the AGC Store.
EVENTS
Free Construction Economics Webinar: Is the Pace of Construction Investment Set to Quicken?
Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 | 2:30 - 4:00 p.m. ET
 
Will 2015 see further steady progress, or will it be sidetracked by the likes of material and labor shortages, commodity prices surges, further political bickering in Washington or military turmoil in hot spots around the world. Join an amazing team of economic experts for an insightful, informative and interactive account of the outlook for construction in the upcoming months. Chief economists from CMD, AGC of America and AIA will combine forces for a lively, fast-paced economic webcast. Learn more and register today.
The Role of Communication in Supporting the Development of a Lean Culture
Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 | 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. ET
 
Implementing Lean Construction as a business operating system in an organization represents a powerful improvement opportunity, and requires company-wide change, especially for top management. Excellent two-way communication is the cornerstone for the development of organizational teamwork and the accomplishment of company goals. Everyone pulling in the same direction toward the company goals is the ultimate destination of teamwork. Additionally, great verbal and visual communication provides the benefit of: eliminating rumors and gossip which can negatively affect morale, productivity, and culture; promoting the Continuous Improvement (Kaizen) process; supporting the elimination of the eight types of waste in the construction process; building vulnerability-based trust; and supporting the development of future Lean Leaders by modeling the power of an effective communication process. This webinar will provide an organizational-wide communication plan and checklist to support the development of a Lean culture, with a real-life example from an AGC member firm to be discussed. Learn more and register today.
CONSENSUSDOCS
ConsensusDocs Offers 100+ Contracts Free for Educational Use
Request a Complimentary Copyright License Today
 
As part of its mission to educate future leaders in the design and construction industry, ConsensusDocs provides complimentary educational access to its 100+ standard contract documents. Access can be either through hard copies or a subscription to the collaboration platform so that students can practice negotiations and modifications for classroom use. ConsensusDocs are the first and only contracts written and endorsed by a coalition of more than 40 leading design and construction industry associations, including AGC. The contracts are written in clear language that provides a superior contractual foundation by incorporating best practices and fair risk allocation. To request complimentary educational use, please fill out the ConsensusDocs Copyright License Application located at https://www.consensusdocs.org/Support.For additional information on ConsensusDocs’ Educational Programs, please visit www.ConsensusDocs.org or contact Carrie Ciliberto at (703) 837-5367 or cilibertoc@agc.org.

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