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www.agc.org October 6, 2015
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House Passes AGC-Backed Procurement Reforms

On Oct. 1, the House approved the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, which includes several AGC-supported procurement reforms. These reforms would:

  • Help prevent fraud in the federal construction surety bond market by requiring that individual sureties back their bonds with real, easy to value assets—like U.S. Treasury bonds and instruments.
  • Mandate that Defense Department agencies—including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Naval Facilities Engineering Command—consider the past performance of the individual companies in joint venture/teaming arrangements that include a small business, not merely the past performance of the joint venture.  
  • Address a recent court decision that would require small business construction contractors to only purchase their materials and supplies—i.e., steel, furniture and equipment for the project— from other small businesses. The legislative reform provides an exclusion for construction contractors from what is called the “non-manufacturer rule” meant to prevent small business manufactures from merely acting as fronts for large manufacturers through small business set-aside contracts for goods. 

Read full article here

Veterans Affairs Projects Above $100 Million Will Go Through Army Corps

Both chambers of Congress recently approved the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2015 that will require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)—or other federal construction owners—to execute U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) construction projects over $100 million. AGC sent a letter urging members of Congress to support the act, which passed the Senate by unanimous consent on Sept. 25 and passed the House on a 423-0 vote on Sept. 30. The president is expected to sign the measure into law, which would apply only to new projects, not projects currently under development or construction.

The act also increases the authorized funding level for the Aurora, Colorado VA Hospital Project.  In conjunction with this increase in authorization level, the congressionally-approved continuing resolution that funds the government through Dec. 11 also includes a provision that provides the VA an additional $625 million. The project is expected to cost $1.7 billion, which is nearly three times what the agency planned to spend in 2011.

For more information, please contact Jimmy Christianson at 703-837-5325 or christiansonj@agc.org

Your Time is Now: Alliant Build America Awards Applications Due Oct. 30
The deadline to apply for an Alliant Build America Award is quickly approaching, but it’s not too late! These awards honor AGC members who build the nation's most impressive construction projects ranging across the building, highway and transportation, utility infrastructure, and federal and heavy divisions. If that sounds like you, we encourage you to apply online for some much-deserved recognition for your outstanding projects. As an added bonus, all entry fees are donated to the AGC Education and Research Foundation’s Alliant Build America Scholarship Fund and matched by Alliant to double the impact for young constructors across the country. Apply by Friday, Oct. 30, for full consideration. Learn more about AGC of America's awards programs at www.agc.org/awards.
Honor Your Outstanding Student Chapter

School is back in session, students are re-energized from the summer - it’s the perfect time to remind your student chapters about an opportunity to showcase the impact they have made in their communities!

AGC of America believes that community involvement is key to leadership in our industry.  Therefore, the AGC Outstanding Student Chapter Award is given to those Student Chapters that undertake projects that benefits the local community – whether it’s the school campus, a community organization or private person – and has a significant impact.  It is our expectation that by undertaking challenging projects, with help from their sponsoring AGC Chapter and/or local AGC member firms, college and university students will learn fundamental AGC tenets of skill, integrity and responsibility so that they will become outstanding industry leaders. For more information click here.

Fill out your application today!

Construction Unemployment Falls to Lowest September Mark in 15 Years as Hiring Slows Amid Growing Worker Shortages

The number of unemployed workers with construction experience dropped to the lowest total for September since 2000, as hiring continued to slow despite robust demand for construction, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials cautioned that the hiring slowdown most likely reflects a lack of available workers that could lead to project delays unless more students and workers join the construction sector.

“Growth in the construction workforce has been slowing throughout 2015, just at the time that construction spending has accelerated to a multi-year high,” said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. “Contractors would love to hire more workers but there aren’t enough qualified craft workers or supervisors available.” Read full press release here

AGC Helps Members Save on Health Insurance

AGC of America now offers a new, dynamic and cost-effective way for AGC member firms to provide quality health insurance and other employee benefits.  Discover how The AGC Alternative can help your company build a better benefits package – one that benefits you and your employees.

To learn more or to get a quote for your company prior to your renewal, visit www.agc.org/exchange or call us at 1-800-210-5290.

Register for the 19th Annual AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference
November 4-6 | Las Vegas, Nev.

AGC and the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) will jointly hold the 19th Annual AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference on Nov. 4-6, 2015 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. This three-day conference offers programs and workshops designed specifically for financial professionals in the construction industry. The 32 interactive sessions will cover the latest industry issues and their financial implications.

Participants may earn up to 20 continuing professional education (CPE) credits for attending. 

For more information, please visit meetings.agc.org/agc_cfma or contact Brynn Huneke at brynn.huneke@agc.org

Early Bird Rates End This Month for the Winter FIC Meeting

AGC has opened early-bird registration for the Winter 2016 AGC Financial Issues Committee Meeting at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, AZ on January 13-14, 2016. Meeting agenda and activities will be circulated in the coming weeks and available on the meeting’s site. Please visit the site to register as well as view presentations and agendas of recent meetings. Approximately 40 member company CFOs and other senior accounting professionals regularly attend the AGC FIC meetings.  The Committee is geared toward member company CFOs, Controllers, Tax Directors and other senior accounting professionals – in which attendees have an opportunity to learn as well as formulate positions on tax and accounting matters that directly affect AGC member companies. Attendees also have an opportunity to network and discuss a wide variety of topics, including: audit issues faced by construction companies; congressional action on tax policy; and an economic outlook for the industry.

Presentations and Segments include:

  • Overview of projects and operations with FASB                                      
  • Economic Update with AGC Chief Economist
  • Legislative & Presidential Update with AGC Government Affairs Staff              
  • CFO Discussion with Zurich North America on the Surety Perspective on Enterprise Risk Management. Moderated by D.A. Davidson & Kraus-Anderson Construction

For more information, please visit http://meetings.agc.org/fic/ or contact Brynn Huneke at brynn.huneke@agc.org

Registration Open for March Construction Project Manager Course
March 20-25, 2016 | Atlanta, GA

Registration is now open for AGC's Construction Project Manager Course (PMC) being held March 20-25, 2016 at the Dolce Atlanta-Peachtree in Atlanta, Georgia.

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 earning 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 November 27th 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

EPA Finalizes Rules on Ozone Levels, Sets New Standard to 70 Parts per Billion

EPA released its new stricter National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone pollution, dropping the permissible levels from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb. The new rule is drawing criticism from industry. As AGC’s comments on the proposed version of the rule point out, the 75 ppb standard was only recently set, back in 2008, and the implementing guidance was not finalized until February 2015. Under the new 70 ppb standard, 241 counties will be in violation, using 2012-2014 monitoring data. However, EPA notes that they will likely use 2014-2016 data when they designate areas of nonattainment.

Construction companies will feel the effects of tighter ozone limits, mainly via restrictions on equipment emissions in areas with poor air quality (direct impact), as well as additional controls on industrial facilities and planning requirements for transportation-related sources (indirect impact).  Notably, nonattainment counties that are out of compliance with CAA ozone standards could have federal highway funds withheld.

For more information, please contact Leah Pilconis at pilconisl@agc.org or Melinda Tomaino at tomainom@agc.org

Scholarship Application Deadline is Quickly Approaching
Scholarship Applications Must Be Submitted by November 2, 2015

Just a friendly reminder that the deadline for the AGC Education and Research Foundation Scholarship applications for the 2016-17 academic year is a month away. The application period runs through midnight eastern standard time November 2, 2015. 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. The scholarships for undergraduates are $2,500 per year and can be renewed 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 2016 in order to apply.  Graduate students are eligible for $3,750 annually up to a maximum of $7,500.

For more information contact Melinda Patrician at (703) 837-5342 or patricianm@agc.org or Ashley Schofield at 703-837-5356 or Ashley.schofield@agc.org.

Year-to-Date Collective Bargaining Deals Lead to Average First-Year Pay Increase of 2.5 Percent

The AGC-supported Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC) has released its second report of the year on collective bargaining settlements in the industry.  Settlements reported between January and September 2015 resulted in an average first-year wage-and-benefit increase of 2.5 percent or $1.25.  For newly negotiated multiyear agreements, the average second-year increase was 2.6 percent or $1.32, and the average third-year increase was 2.6 percent or $1.38.  The average first-year increase is higher in both percentage and dollar amount than that of recent years, but the second- and third-year increases are relatively flat, CLRC reports.  CLRC further observes that the most common first-year increase amounts to date in 2015 lie in the $1.21-$1.40 range, which is much higher than those of the prior two years, which lie in the $0.81-$1.00 range.  The percentage of settlements with no increase has significantly declined – from 8 percent in both 2014 and 2013 to just 2 percent so far this year.

Regionally, the highest average first-year increase reported so far this year came from the Northwest Region (AK, ID, OR, WA) at 2.9 percent or $1.57, while the lowest came from the Southeast Region (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA) at 1.4 percent or $0.50.  It is worth noting that data from the Northwest Region covers only six reported agreements out of the 165 total agreements analyzed in the report.  The greatest number of settlements, 109, came from the East North Central Region (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI, WV), which had an average first-year increase of 2.6 percent or $1.31.

Read full article here.

ConsensusDocs Celebrates Eight Years of Providing Fair and Balanced Industry Standard Contracts

The ConsensusDocs Coalition has been publishing industry standard contracts for eight years, and now offers all of its prequalification and bond forms for free.

ConsensusDocs are the only standard contracts written by 40+ associations, including AGC.  Written in plain English with best practices already incorporated, ConsensusDocs help you save time and money.  The Microsoft Word®-based technology allows you to take any ConsensusDocs contract and quickly customize it to meet your specific project requirements.  By fairly allocating risks and responsibilities, ConsensusDocs facilitate better project results. Simply put: ConsensusDocs help you build a better way!

For more information, visit ConsensusDocs.org.  AGC Members receive a 20% discount on all ConsensusDocs products simply by using Discount Code AGC100.

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