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The Associated General Contractors of America | Quality People. Quality Projects.
www.agc.org January 27, 2015
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AGC WORKING FOR YOU
AGC Outlook Finds Eighty Percent of Construction Firms Plan to Expand Headcount in 2015
Contractors Foresee Growing Demand in Most Market Sectors
 

 
Eighty percent of construction firms plan to expand their payrolls in 2015 while only 7 percent expect to reduce headcounts according to survey results released last week by AGC of America. The survey, conducted as part of Ready to Hire Again: The 2015 Construction Industry Hiring and Business Outlook, indicates that most contractors are optimistic about the year ahead and ready to expand, but will have to cope with challenges including worker shortages and regulatory burdens. “Contractors are extremely optimistic about the outlook for 2015,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Indeed, if their predictions prove true, industry employment could expand this year by the most in a decade.” Read the full release and see national and state survey results here.
New Build America Investments Initiatives Will Boost Economy, Help Rebuild Aging Infrastructure
New EPA Water Finance Center, Rural Investments and Qualified Public Infrastructure Bonds Should Help Finance Needed Clean Water, Energy and Transportation Projects
 
The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in response to the Jan. 16 announcement of new Build America Investment Initiatives by President Obama: "The new Build America Investment initiatives outlined by the Obama administration today will help boost our economy and help rebuild aging infrastructure. The steps being taken by the administration should make it easier for state and local officials to finance a wide variety of projects designed to upgrade aging clean water systems, improve power transmission networks and keep our roads and bridges safe. While these measures will help, taken on their own they will not solve the growing challenge we face as a nation of maintaining and upgrading our aging water, energy and transportation infrastructure. That is why we will continue to work with the Congress and the Obama administration to identify and enact long-term measures that establish the sufficient and stable funding needed to rebuild and improve our aging infrastructure."
AGC IN THE NEWS
Fox News’ Money with Melissa Francis Gets Gas Tax Scoop Wrong
Museums Not Eligible for Federal Transportation Funding
 
Fox Business News’ Money with Melissa Francis erroneously reported that federal gas taxes can be used to finance the construction of museums and other non-transportation projects, officials with AGC noted in a letter sent to the show’s host Jan. 19.  Association officials added that the error is significant because it incorrectly leaves viewers with the impression that some portion of the federal gas taxes they pay are being wasted on projects that do nothing to improve the safety and reliability of their commutes, when in fact the opposite is true. “We understand that you and some of your Fox Business News colleagues have taken a strong stance in opposition to the many Democrat and Republican officials who have suggested raising the federal gas tax to bring our aging roads and bridges back into a state of good, and safe, repair,” said Brian Turmail, the association’s senior executive director of public affairs.  “Yet as a journalist, you must understand the need to rely on accurate information while reporting and providing on-air commentary.” Read the full release here.
TRANSPORTATION
AGC Participates in White House Conference on Veterans Hiring in Transportation
 

 
Last week, AGC President Al Landes participated in the “Joining Forces Veterans Transportation Employment Forum” at the White House, which focused on issues related to hiring veterans in various transportation sectors. President Landes was part of a panel moderated by the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Secretary, to highlight and promote best practices across the Transportation Industry. Landes was able to discuss the issue from the perspective of his own company, Herzog Contracting Corp., and with an overall construction industry perspective as well. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx participated in the meeting as well. Hiring veterans has been one of First Lady Michelle Obama’s priority projects and it seems that the administration has maintained that focus. Landes pointed out that AGC members have committed to hiring at least 100,000 veterans within five years.  To achieve this, AGC entered into a partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program. He pointed out that construction firms already hire a significant number of veterans, noting that veterans are more likely to be hired in construction than non-veterans, according to federal employment data.  But he added that many firms report having a hard time figuring out how to identify soldiers, sailors and airmen that are about to leave active duty and enter the private-sector workforce. Read more here.
Only a Few Days Left to Ask Your Rep to Sign the Bipartisan House Transportation Funding Letter
Visit HardhatsforHighways.org Today
 
Time is running out for members of the House to sign the bipartisan letter, authored by Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Members Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) and Dan Lipinksi (D-Ill.), along with Ways & Means Committee Members Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), and commit to supporting transportation funding initiatives.  The deadline to sign is Jan. 30. Thank you to those AGC members who have already contacted their representative and asked them to sign the letter. The letter seeks to build momentum and send a message to Republican and Democrat House leaders that passing a multi-year transportation reauthorization bill with a sustainable funding source is a high priority in the 114th Congress and calls for an end to the cycle of short-term extensions of transportation funding. AGC is working closely with Representatives Ribble, Lipinski, Reed and Pascrell, while leading the efforts of the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) in asking all members of the House to sign the letter. We encourage all AGC chapters and members to contact their representative and urge them to sign on through our Hardhats for Highways campaign.  If your representative has already agreed to sign the letter, a thank you letter will be generated for you to send. For more information, please contact Sean O’Neill at (202) 547-8892 or oneills@agc.org.
ENVIRONMENT
Environmental Compliance Website for Construction to Get Major Upgrade Thanks to New Public-Private Partnership
CICACenter.org Relaunched Jan. 22
 
Construction contractors will have an easier time learning how to comply with federal and state environmental guidelines thanks to a new partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the private sector. The partnership between AGC of America, EPA and the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) will allow for a significant upgrade to the Construction Industry Compliance Assistance website, or CICA Center for short, association officials noted. “Getting a construction project underway is challenging enough without having to figure out which environmental rules apply and how to comply with them,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America. “This newly revamped site will make it a lot easier for contractors to take the necessary steps to comply with all environmental regulations for their projects.” Read more here.
HR & LABOR
AGC-Supported Groups Sue NLRB Over “Quickie Election” Rule
AGC to Address Rule at Upcoming Convention
 
Two AGC-supported employer groups and other interested parties have jointly filed a lawsuit challenging the National Labor Relations Board’s new representation-case procedures rule.  The rule – often called the “quickie election” or “ambush election” rule – expedites the process in cases where a union files a petition for an election to become the exclusive collective bargaining representative of a unit of workers. The lawsuit was brought in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, both of which AGC is an active member, along with the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Retail Federation and the Society for Human Resource Management.  The complaint asserts that the rule violates the National Labor Relations Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and employers’ constitutional rights to free speech and due process.  Among other claims, the complaint challenges the rule as impermissibly limiting employers’ rights to communicate with employees about unionization by dramatically shortening the period between the filing of a union election petition and the holding of the election. Read more.
AGC CONVENTION
Students and Educators Invited to attend AGC Convention at Reduced Rates
Register by Feb. 20 to Receive Discounted Rates
 
AGC Student Chapter members and educators are invited to attend the 96th Annual AGC Convention, March 18-21, in San Juan, PR, at the Puerto Rico Convention Center at reduced registration rates of $75 for students and $150 for educators. In addition to such a world-class speaker as former Eric Greitens, Navy SEAL, Founder of The Mission Continues, and The New York Times Best-Selling Author of The Heart and the Fist; there will be great educational sessions focusing on processes, technology and innovations. Students and educators won’t want to miss the annual Student Chapters meeting, to be held from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Mar. 18. The meeting will feature presentations by the 2014 Outstanding Student Chapter Contest winners, a roundtable mentoring session with AGC’s Construction Leadership Council, and more. Students and educators who would like to register for the Convention should go through the regular AGC Convention registration process and toward the end of registration, where it asks for discount or coupon code, students should use SCMPR15; educators should use PREDU15. When the discount is entered, a student will be charged a registration fee of $75 and an educator, $150. Please note: the discount does not apply to the “additional ticketed events” that charge an additional fee for attendance. Please email meetings@agc.org if you have questions on the registration process or the hotel options. If you have not done so, please register by Feb. 20 to receive these special discounted Convention registration rates.
CONSENSUSDOCS
ConsensusDocs Contracts and Construction Law Course at the AGC Convention
 
ConsensusDocs is presenting a half-day educational event on Mar. 17, 2015 in San Juan, Puerto Rico on construction law and contracts. This practical event will give you critical information and insight to help you keep up to speed with leading industry trends and issues, in addition to the benefits and differences in standard construction contracts. Topics include: “Killer” Contract Clauses and Contract Negotiation Strategies; how state laws can override your contract; how to use standard construction contracts to your benefit; and hot topics including Design-Build, P3s, JVs, and IPD. Register today at http://meetings.agc.org/convention/agenda/ OR if you have already registered for the AGC Convention, please email meetings@agc.org and indicate that you would like to register for this course.
EVENTS
Registration Now Open for Upcoming Construction Project Manager Course
Mar. 29 - April 3, 2015 | Los Angeles, Calif.
 
Registration is now open for AGC's Construction Project Manager Course (PMC) being held March 29 – April 3, 2015, at Pacific Palms Resort which is set against the majestic San Gabriel Valley Mountains and only half an hour from downtown LA. PMC participants experience an interactive program that explores the critical areas of project management that seasoned project managers tackle on a daily basis. The course's curriculum builds on itself throughout the week, starting with the impact planning has on the overall project and moving on to cover scheduling, productivity and subcontractor/vendor management as well as legal issues and contract clauses, record-keeping and much more. This program is eligible for up to 40 hours of continuing education credit. In addition to credit hours toward licensing and other professional designations, at the end of the week PMC graduates leave the course with a new arsenal of techniques, an expanded network of professional mentors and colleagues, and the empowerment to bring their very best to their projects, their teams and their customers. Don’t delay; our last program was a sell out and there are limited seats available. Register by Feb. 16 and receive $500 off!  All-Inclusive Tuition: Fee includes tuition, hotel accommodations for five nights, catered meals and all course materials. Register today! For more information, please contact Sharon Means at Sharon.means@agc.org.
Free Webinar: Key Issues in Owner & Design Professional Agreements
Mar. 10, 2015 | 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
 
Our esteemed speakers will discuss key provisions in Owner and Design Professional agreements. Key differences between ConsensusDocs and AIA standard contracts will be reviewed and analyzed. Attendees will have an opportunity to submit questions for discussion at the end of the webinar. Topics include: ownership of documents; standard of care; indemnification; BIM; dispute mitigation and resolution; and termination. Learn more and register here at https://consensusdocs.org/webinars

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