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February 1: AGC Houston Annual Chapter Meeting & Networking Breakfast
February 13: AGC Advocacy Sporting Clays Tournament
February 15: AGC Membership Orientation
March 1: AGC Membership Mixer - NEW LOCATION! Cafe Adobe
March 23 & 24: AGC Houston Barbecue Cook-Off & Fair
Feb. 2: CM-Lean Credentialing Exam
Feb. 2: CM-BIM Credentialing Exam
Feb. 14: First Aid / CPR / AED Training
Applications are now being accepted through January 31, 2018. We've streamlined the application process; don't miss out on this opportunity to apply! For specific information related to the application process, please click here.
Complimentary AGC Webinar January 30 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Register today for this complimentary AGC webinar. Congress recently passed the most far-reaching tax reform legislation since 1986. No matter what your construction market—public or private—or construction firm—C-corporation, S-corporation, LLC, LLP, or partnership—the new tax reform law will have an impact on you.
During this webinar, you will hear tax and accounting firm CBIZ’s Cord Armstrong, a CPA and leader in the firm’s National Construction Industry Practice Group, AGC’s lead infrastructure and tax lobbyists and policy experts on Capitol Hill and with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Sean O’Neill and Matt Turkstra, respectively, and AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson.
Jan. 22-26: MS 901: Management System Design for EHS
Jan. 29-Feb. 1: OSHA 510: Occupational Safety/Health Standards, Construction
Jan. 30-Feb. 1: OSHA 3015: Excavation, Trenching and Soil Mechanics
Jan. 31-Feb. 2: OSHA 503: Update for General Industry Outreach Trainers
Feb. 5-9: SH 385O: Health Requirements & OSHA Construction 30-HR Card
Feb. 6-8: OSHA 3115: Fall Protection
The AGC Texas Building Branch has instituted a new online submittal process for the awards.
•General Contractors and Specialty Contractors can submit projects in 30 categories.
•No entry fees!
•Winning projects will be recognized at the AGC TBB Annual Convention, June 6-9, 2018 at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, PA.
According to survey results released January 3, 2018, by AGC of America of America and Sage Construction and Real Estate, 75 percent of construction firms plan to expand their payrolls in 2018 as contractors are optimistic that economic conditions will remain strong as tax rates and regulatory burdens fall. Despite the general optimism outlined in Expecting Growth to Continue: The 2018 Construction Industry Hiring and Business Outlook, many firms report they remain worried about workforce shortages and infrastructure funding.
On Jan. 5, AGC urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to remove the goal of "net conservation gain" from the Service’s Mitigation Policy and Endangered Species Act (ESA)–Compensatory Mitigation Policy, finalized in late 2016. AGC asserts that that the "improvement" goal is not supported under the ESA; the goal fails to provide a clear limit on how much mitigation is necessary and blurs the line between recommendations and requirements.
Have you explored the Construction Industry Compliance Assistance (CICA) Center yet? The AGC-supported CICA Center is a free online resource on environmental compliance and sustainability that is open to the entire U.S. construction industry. The Center is an online clearinghouse of resources on the top rules you will need to keep track of during your construction projects.
December Brought Significant Changes In NLRB Positions and Composition, Including AGC-Supported Reversal of Joint Employer Ruling
Republicans’ brief control of the National Labor Relations Board ended with the expiration of Chairman Philip Miscimarra’s term on Dec. 16, 2017. In anticipation of the change, the Board issued several employer-friendly decisions with significant impact. The most high-profile among them is a ruling in Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors that overturns the controversial, AGC-opposed joint-employer standard established in Browning-Ferris Industries.
On February 7, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at The Forest Club, Peckar & Abramson will host its Rising Star Educational Program, geared toward up-and-coming leaders. The upcoming program will address document control on construction projects, which is critical to success and risk mitigation.
A panel of industry professionals will discuss the importance of efficient and effective document management for successful construction projects.
To register, click here.
AGC members are eligible to participate in more than 20 discount programs specifically designed to meet the needs of contractors. Whether you are looking to purchase a new vehicle for your fleet or for ways to cut costs on fuel and shipping, AGC programs can save you money. Enroll and maximize the value of your membership. Discover more.
Check out the digital version of Cornerstone
AGC Members and Chapters can now save up to 20% on the first $500.00 of orders, get free two-day shipping, and can also access exclusive discounts on Amazon Business items. Amazon Business users are able to set up accounts free of charge and then control and monitor who has access to make purchases, plus run reports.
Here's Looking at You
Tommy Lee, W. S. Bellows Construction Corp.; Terry Buza, Slack & Co. Contracting, Inc.; Paul Johnson, Reliant Safety Solutions; and AGC Houston Director of Safety Services Kim Mason headed to Long Beach, California for the annual AGC of America Safety & Health Conference, January 10-12. Pictured are Lee, Buza and Johnson hearing about regulatory activities and the latest initiatives from Scott Ketchum, OSHA directorate of construction.
News you can Use
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards plans to borrow $600 million from the federal government for interstate expansion projects, including widening Interstate 10 for $350 million. The state Legislature and the federal government must approve the plan.
On December 22, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Columbia rejected challenges to OSHA's 2016 silica rule made by industry groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A spokesperson for the U.S. Chamber said the chamber still is reviewing the decision, "but we continue to believe that OSHA lacks substantial evidence to support its rule." In 2016, OSHA published a final rule regulating workplace exposure to silica, Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica (29 CFR 1910, 1915 and 1926). Read the full article here.
Read "D.C. Circuit Rejects All Industry Challenges to OSHA’s New Silica Standards" here.
AGC Houston Silica Task force members spent more than a year clarifying the hard questions that aren't specifically addressed in the silica standard for construction. View more information and resources here.
Looking to enhance your workforce?
NextOp is hosting a luncheon on February 8, 2018 to showcase how companies can get connected with prescreened, qualified veterans who are looking to enter the workforce in construction.
On January 5, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reissued 17 previously withdrawn opinion letters addressing a wide range of topics under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 15 of the 17 letters were originally signed off on during the final days of the Bush administration, but were withdrawn by the Obama administration "for further consideration by the Wage and Hour Division" on March 2, 2009, and stated that it would "provide a further response in the near future," but never did.
AGC Of America released the following metrics in the construction industry employment and unemployment rates:
Construction employment increased by 24,000 jobs in November to the highest level since November 2008, according to an analysis of new government data by AGC of America. Construction employment totaled 6,955,000 in November, a gain of 24,000 for the month and 184,000, or 2.7 percent, over 12 months.
Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of AGC of America, released a statement December 1, 2017 in connection with the proposed Senate Tax Reform measure: "The association has long advocated for comprehensive tax reform, especially considering that construction employers pay the highest effective rate of any industry at 30.3 percent. The Senate tax reform bill has been substantially improved over the course of the past few days and we support its passage.
"It is important to note that most construction firms are organized as pass-through entities, such as S corporations and partnerships that are taxed at personal rather than corporate tax rates. While the Senate proposal has wisely increased the pass-through deduction from 17.4 percent to 23 percent, the fact that the cut is temporary is concerning. We also remain disappointed that infrastructure was largely overlooked in the tax reform process. This is a missed opportunity."
Microsoft recently announced that a HoloLens hard hat accessory is in the works and will be released early 2018. In addition to the accessory, the HoloLens has also passed some important safety and durability tests. These tests have recently confirmed that the headset meets the requirements of ANSI Z87.1, which allows them to be used as safety glasses, and it has also been rated IP50 for dust protection.
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