Federal Contractor Report
September 2019
Federal Government
Encourages Senate to continue work on WRDA reauthorization
On Sept. 19, Jamey Sanders, Vice President of Choctaw Transportation and Division Chair of AGC of America’s Federal and Heavy Construction Division, testified before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the importance of water resource infrastructure to the U.S. economy. This is the first of a series of Senate hearings that will be held as Congress considers reauthorization of the Water Resource Development Act (WRDA).
On Sept. 12, AGC attended the unveiling of a final rule to repeal the 2015 definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rulemaking. AGC has criticized the federal overreach in the 2015 WOTUS rule, which treated many traditionally state waters as federal -- triggering federal approvals and permits for construction projects. Recently two federal courts have remanded the 2015 rule back to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to fix. Prior to the repeal, the 2015 rule was on hold in 27 states causing a patchwork of regulation nationwide.  AGC provided feedback to the agencies on the proposed replacement rule earlier this year.  A final replacement rule is anticipated by the end of 2019. For the pre-publication version of the repeal and more information on WOTUS, go to EPA's website or contact Melinda Tomaino at melinda.tomaino@agc.org.
AGC urges the FAR Council and SBA to issue significant revision
On August 26, AGC of America submitted comments to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Prime Contractors to receive credit for lower-tier small business subcontracting goals. The association noted its concerns about the proposed requirements and urged the FAR Council and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to significantly revise the proposed rule to align with Sec. 1614 of 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and not create a second additional small business goal for lower-tier subcontractors. 
On Sept. 16, the Department of Labor announced that Scott Ketcham has been selected as the new director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) Directorate of Construction (DOC). For more than a year, Scott has served as acting director of DOC. Over his 19 years working for OSHA, he has held various positions such as an OSHA acting deputy regional administrator, area director, assistant area director, and compliance officer and manager in offices in the Seattle, Dallas and Philadelphia regions. AGC looks forward to continuing working with Scott in his new role as director. For more information, contact Kevin Cannon at kevin.cannon@agc.org or (703) 837-5410.
Federal Agencies
Included in all DOD solicitations starting Fall 2020
On Sept. 4, the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition released Version 0.4 of the draft Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) for comment. Under this model, Defense contractors, including subcontractors, will be required to be certified among the different CMMC levels (1-5) in order to be eligible for contract award. The level of security is determined based on the security requirements needs for each defense contract. This differs from previous cybersecurity mandates as CMMC will require contractors to obtain a third-party certification. AGC will submit comments on or before the September 25 deadline.
Smith, Currie & Hancock, LLP
Build Better Pavements with Tensar
Tensar International Corporation
Stability. Longevity. Expertise. Tensar International is a manufacturer of proven geosynthetic products and full provider of engineering services. Backed by extensive research and thoroughly tested, Tensar’s world-renowned geogrid products have set the industry standard. Tensar’s TriAx Geogrid helps build long-term performing pavements capable of improving site access and constructability as well as reducing maintenance costs and extending pavement life. Together we can build better pavements.
Build Better Pavements
Firms are boosting pay and benefits, adding new training programs and adopting new technologies to cope, but labor shortages threaten broader economic growth as officials outline federal measures to help
Eighty percent of construction firms report they are having a hard time filling hourly craft positions that represent the bulk of the construction workforce, according to the results of an industry-wide survey released recently by Autodesk and AGC of America. Association officials said the industry was taking a range of steps to address the situation but called on federal officials to takes steps to assist those industry efforts.
On August 26, AGC of America submitted comments  on the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed rule to establish a new system for government approval of apprenticeship programs that would operate in parallel with the existing registered apprenticeship system. The new system would provide for recognition of “Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs” through an expedited and streamlined process. The proposed rule states that the construction industry would not “initially” be eligible to participate in the new system.
Upcoming Events
AGC News
This is the first in what is expected to be an annual series of special Constructor issues looking at how the industry is evolving and sharing what contractors need to know to keep pace with those changes. The transformations coming to our industry will be sweeping, and we want to make sure that member firms understand what is happening and how to benefit from those changes.
On AGC’s latest podcast episode, we speak with two industry experts on how construction firms can best prepare for and handle the aftermath of a crisis. We discuss the logistical implications of crisis preparedness as well the imperative to address the psychological and emotional repercussions of job site accidents. Additional resources and customizable tools – developed by our guest speakers Tyler Henson with J.E. Dunn Construction and Patricia Kagerer with Gallagher – are available on AGC’s website here. Search for ConstructorCast in your podcasts app, or stream and download all available episodes here. If you’d like to suggest a topic or speaker for an upcoming episode, please contact AGC’s Leah Pilconis.
Texas and North Dakota have biggest number and percent annual job gains, while Louisiana and Vermont lag; Florida and Nevada experience largest one-month gains as Tennessee and Wyoming have worst declines
Thirty-nine states added construction jobs between August 2018 and August 2019, while construction employment increased in 29 states from July to August, according to an analysis by AGC of America of Labor Department data released recently. Association officials said that construction workforce shortages identified in a survey the association released last month may have kept more states from adding construction jobs this past month.



We would appreciate your comments or suggestions.
Your email will be kept private and confidential.