NRMCA e-news
   WAM USA, Inc.       CarbonCure Technologies Inc.    
Association & Industry News

The estimated ready mixed concrete produced in June 2021 is 37 million cubic yards, unchanged from that in June 2020. The estimated production in the U.S. through June is 185 million cubic yards, approximately 5.1% higher than that during the same period in 2020.

Ready mixed concrete production is estimated from cement shipments reported by the U.S. Geological Survey. More detail, including production by state for the 2nd quarter, is available here for NRMCA members under “Production Statistics.”

NRMCA’s M2M Benefit Program (M2M) continues to provide more value to its members and is pleased to announce its newest Associate member, VehiCom Signs, to the growing list of M2M providers. VehiCom Signs provides construction grade signs for the ready mix industry to queue up trucks as soon as they are ticketed, providing better yard efficiency and on-time delivery. You can visit VehiCom Signs as well as many of the other M2M partners in the exhibition hall at this year’s ConcreteWorks being held September 30 - October 4 in Kissimmee, FL, or you can explore the NRMCA-dedicated services through the updated M2M webpage.

Neither membership in NRMCA nor participation in the M2M Benefits Program can in any way be construed as an endorsement, explicit or implicit, of any company, product or service by the Association. NRMCA accepts no responsibility in any dispute between supplier and customer. The M2M Benefits Program is intended solely as an informational service. Participating companies are responsible for insuring all M2M Benefit information is correct and up-to-date.

For more information, contact Jacques Jenkins at jjenkins@nrmca.org.

The MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub) has scheduled a webinar titled Addressing Climate Challenges with Cool Pavements: A Case Study of Boston and Phoenix for Thursday, September 23, at 11 a.m. Eastern time.

By mid-century, two of every three persons on the planet will be living in urban areas. These growing urban populations face two simultaneous climate challenges: extreme heat events attributed to urban heat island (UHI) effects and global climate change (GCC). In response, cities are seeking actions that address UHI without compromising progress toward global climate goals. This webinar will discuss CSHub research to understand to what extent and in what contexts cool pavements can actually provide both UHI and GCC benefits. The webinar will be presented by CSHub Co-director Dr. Randolph Kirchain.

The CSHub webinar series offers information of general interest to members of the building, paving and construction communities as well as to educators, students, journalists and law and policy-makers interested in the environmental and economic impacts of decision-making concerning infrastructure. Videos of past webinars are archived to the CSHub YouTube channel.

Click here to register (it is free) for the September 23 webinar and here to request more information.

The Concrete Industry Management Program's expansion to South Dakota State University became official earlier this month when state and industry officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony on the Brookings, SD, campus. SDSU joins California State University – Chico, Chico, CA; Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), Murfreesboro, TN; New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ; and Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, as locations that offer the CIM Program.

For more information, contact Nicole Maher at nmaher@nrmca.org.

The RMC Research & Education Foundation is collaborating with the NRMCA Research, Engineering & Standards (RES) Committee on the identification of industry research needs and a new process for referral of proposals for potential funding by the Foundation. A press release details the new RES Research Task Group that has developed a list of needed concrete materials research topics, available from the Foundation’s Submit a Proposal page. The list is not exclusive and only covers concrete materials research topics. The goal of the new task group is to generate more relevant and higher quality proposals and to review conceptual concrete materials research proposals and provide feedback, including throughout the research process and on interim and final reports of funded projects.

Click here for more information on the Foundation and here for more information on the RES Committee.

Government Affairs

On August 24, the House of Representatives voted along party lines to pass a budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2022 directing the various committees of the House to pass their respective provisions of a $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The Senate passed a similar budget resolution earlier in the month. Last week, House committees met to begin crafting their respective portions of the reconciliation package.

Committees are working toward a “soft deadline” of September 15 to complete all component pieces of the reconciliation package. Based on an agreement reached between Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and 10 moderate Democrats in order to proceed to passage of the budget resolution, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – the bipartisan infrastructure package negotiated and passed by the Senate – was guaranteed a vote by September 27, just days before the federal highway programs expire.

To consider its part of the House reconciliation package, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee met on Tuesday, September 14, and reported a $60 billion investment that provides funding for affordable housing access programs, transportation-related greenhouse gas reduction, high-speed rail corridor assistance, and neighborhood access and equity grants. The package also includes $300 million in FEMA grants to update and enforce hazard resistant codes and standards as well as $500 million for the hazard mitigation revolving loan fund.

NRMCA, in concert with a broad coalition of transportation construction stakeholders, is meeting with hundreds of Congressional offices to highlight our support for the bipartisan infrastructure package and the critical urgency of reauthorizing federal highway programs – avoiding a lapse or a short-term extension in authority for state departments of transportation.

For more information, contact Andrew Tyrrell at atyrrell@nrmca.org.

One of the first committees to report its portion of reconciliation, the House Education and Labor Committee reported its title last week. The proposal (text here, fact sheet here), which spends $800 million (more than half of which goes to child care and pre-K), included a number of pro-labor provisions, including funding for implementation of electronic voting, imposition of financial penalties on employers for unfair labor practices (ULP), personal liability for company directors and officers for ULPs, and prohibitions against employers permanently replacing strikers, employers locking workers out, captive audience meetings and arbitration agreements.

Ahead of the committee’s consideration of the package, the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) released a statement opposing the inclusion of the labor provisions. NRMCA is an active member and supporter of the CDW and serves on CDW’s Lobbying Committee.

The bill did not, however, include the full PRO Act despite the labor priority being included in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan. The exclusion of this policy is likely in recognition that it will not pass muster with the Senate’s Byrd Rule, much like the $15 minimum wage, which was included in the House-passed version of the American Rescue Plan but dropped in the Senate.

For more information, contact Andrew Tyrrell at atyrrell@nrmca.org.

The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace recently updated some labor policies:

New Abruzzo Memo Calling for “All Available Remedies” to Punish Employers for ULPs - On September 8, NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo issued a memorandum instructing regional offices to use “the full panoply of remedies available to ensure that victims of unlawful conduct are made whole for losses suffered as a result of unfair labor practices.” Abruzzo explained, “It is so important that we utilize every possible tool we have to ensure that those wronged by unlawful conduct obtain true justice. To do this, we need to examine all of the ways that workers have been hurt by unfair labor practices and seek remedies that will fully address them.”

The memo weighs in on cases involving unlawful firings, unlawful conduct committed during a union organizing drive and unlawful failures to bargain. As to the latter, Abruzzo instructed offices to “actively seek Gissel bargaining orders where appropriate.” Gissel bargaining orders force an employer to the bargaining table; they are rarely used and are considered an extraordinary measure. Abruzzo, however, is calling on regional offices to use these orders while her office reevaluates the use of Joy Silk orders, which are similar in nature but could potentially be issued solely on the basis of card check.

Letter Submitted to the US Conference of Mayors - On September 9, CDW sent a letter to the US Conference of Mayors expressing its concerns with the conference's decision to endorse the PRO Act. In the letter, CDW outlined some of the most egregious provisions of the bill, including repealing Right to Work laws, implementation of the failed ABC test, the expanded joint employer standard, employee privacy violations and elimination of secret ballot elections in favor of card check.

If you have any questions, please contact Andrew Tyrrell at atyrrell@nrmca.org or Kevin Walgenbach at kwalgenbach@nrmca.org.

The House Ways and Means Committee began meeting last week to consider the committee’s provisions in the reconciliation package. The committee will consider legislation relating to a wide-ranging array of policies, including paid leave, retirement, child care, trade adjustment, health care, expanding Medicare, infrastructure financing and tax revenue proposals. On Monday, House Democrats released the framework for their tax plan. The plan includes:

  • Changes to the corporate tax structure from a flat rate of 21% to a graduated corporate rate of 18% on the first $400,000, after which companies would pay 21%. Companies earning more than $5 million annually would pay a top corporate rate of 26.5%.
  • Increases the top individual tax rate to 39.6% from 37% and the legislation would impose a 3% surtax on incomes above $5 million
  • Increases capital gains rate to 25%
  • Repeal of the doubling of the estate tax threshold, reverting from $11.7 million to pre-2017 level of $5 million
  • Additional funding for IRS to increase audits on companies and wealthy individuals

Thanks in large part to the opposition the Family Business Council and the Family Business Estate Tax Council, consisting of NRMCA and a broad coalition of business groups, the president’s proposal to end step-up in basis for estates was not included in the legislation. Similarly, floated changes to 1031 exchange rules were not included in the tax package.

Left outstanding was the thorny issue of the restoration of the state and local tax (SALT) exemption which was capped in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act and has been a priority of Members of Congress from both parties – while getting an uneasy reaction from progressives. Reps. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) and Jared Gottheimer (D-NJ) have pledged to oppose any tax package that does not include a repeal of the SALT cap. As of Tuesday, it was reported that the SALT issue would get a “meaningful” fix, though there was no clarity on what that might be.

You can find summaries of the policies here.The politics of reconciliation make it unclear whether the House – let alone the Senate – can pass the package under consideration. Regardless of what the House passes, the Senate is all but guaranteed to significantly pare down the tax and spending package.

For more information, contact Andrew Tyrrell at atyrrell@nrmca.org.

Upgrade Every Workday
Dell Inc.®
NRMCA Members save an extra 5%-10% on powerful business solutions. To access this promotion, reach out to Sidney_Duckworth@Dell.com or call in to speak with a Small Business Advisor at 855-900-5548.
Access Your Dell Member Savings
Advertisement
   Euclid Chemical Company       Con-Tech Manufacturing, Inc.    
Buildings

Climate change predictions are driving much of the discussion around the need for increased resilience in our communities and buildings. Although recent events have shown that current design standards may not be adequate to address the actual environmental loads placed on buildings, code development bodies are not keeping up with the changes. In an article in Engineered Systems magazine, NRMCA Senior Vice President, Structures and Codes, Scott Campbell discusses the role of building codes in enhancing resilience, and the relationship between the codes and a changing climate. The column is part of an ongoing series where Dr. Campbell lays out various aspects of security and resilience for a technical, but not specialist, audience and advances the concept of resilience as envisioned by NRMCA.

Build With Strength is a coalition led by NRMCA that promotes concrete building systems through communications, project promotion, education and advocacy. To learn more, contact Scott Campbell at scampbell@nrmca.org or 502-552-5034.

Last week, more than 50 attendees at NRMCA’s latest Build With Strength roundtable event learned about the ownership and construction benefits that insulating concrete forms (ICFs) provide to multifamily owners and contractors, reports Senior Director, Building Innovations, Donn Thompson. Held just west of Milwaukee in Waukesha, WI, the event was organized around the ongoing construction of The Den at Fox Run (pictured here), a new multifamily project featuring three all concrete low-rise buildings, each with lower-level parking and two stories of residential units.

Project owner Ryan Bedford shared the history of business strategies that have led to all of Bedford Development’s facilities now being built with concrete. Speed of construction, energy savings and quieter living environments are making Ryan’s projects far more profitable than frame projects they built in the past. Greg Rosenthal of Rosenthal Brothers Insurance described the increasing cost volatility of builders’ risk insurance for wood frame construction, where fire hazards are driving up costs dramatically relative to the premiums charged for non-combustible concrete solutions.

Members of the Insulating Concrete Form Manufacturers Association presented the basics of ICFs and answered questions posed by the developers, contractors, installers and designers in attendance. The ICF installer, KB Walker, shared innovative approaches it continues to investigate to move many of the ICF cutting and assembly steps off site, helping to further improve quality, efficiency and speed of installation. A tour of the construction site where these various innovations are being implemented concluded the event.

For more information, contact Donn Thompson at dthompson@nrmca.org or Frank Gordon at fgordon@nrmca.org.

   Master Builder Solutions US LLC       Sika Corporation    
SEO

Late last week, President Biden announced new measures his administration will undertake to continue to combat COVID-19. Included in those measures with an aim of “vaccinating the unvaccinated,” the president stated the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that “will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work.”

This mandate is of particular importance to the ready mixed concrete industry, as concrete plants fall under the jurisdiction of OSHA. While there remain a lot of unanswered questions, what we have heard from OSHA is:

  • The ETS and pertinent details will be published within the coming weeks (no specific date);
  • When the ETS is published, it will become effective immediately;
  • OSHA will NOT be allowing stakeholders to provide input before the ETS is published/effective;
  • The ETS will become effective immediately in states that are under OSHA jurisdiction, but the 22 states that run their own safety plans will have 30 days to implement;
  • The 100 employee threshold is applied companywide, NOT by individual facility/location;
  • The ETS will likely NOT cover remote/physically isolated employees (no specifics yet);
  • Testing details, timing, verification, payment, paid time off (PTO), refusals, boosters, etc. will be addressed in the ETS;
  • The mandate and testing requirements will mesh with any current requirements and laws already in effect; and
  • OSHA plans to publish a final rule on the issue within six months, which will take into consideration stakeholder comments.

Click here to read the president’s remarks from last week and here to review the president’s six-pronged COVID-19 action plan. NRMCA will continue to monitor this issue and advocate for beneficial industry outcomes with the Administration and OSHA.

For more information, contact Kevin Walgenbach at kwalgenbach@nrmca.org.

Last week, NRMCA’s Safety, Environment and Operations staff met with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new Smart Sectors Program staff. NRMCA discussed its positions and concerns on a host of issues while encouraging continued open lines of communication and working toward arranging a concrete plant tour for EPA’s staff. The program, created during the Trump Administration and now carried into the Biden Administration, aims to engage “at the national and regional levels with industry trade associations, individual companies, and other stakeholders to pursue opportunities for improved environmental performance.”

NRMCA’s continued partnership with the Smart Sectors Program will ultimately help the ready mixed concrete industry to better communicate its messaging to EPA on regulatory burdens, industry best management practices (BMPs) and industry environmental stewardship. NRMCA continues to advocate with EPA and through the EPA Smart Sectors Program on issues of concern to the ready mixed concrete industry.

Click here for more on the Smart Sectors Program. For more information, contact Kevin Walgenbach at kwalgenbach@nrmca.org.

Control Your Total Cost of Ownership
McNeilus Truck & Manufacturing, Inc.®
Help limit variability in loading, mixing and delivering. You can help reduce operational error and enhance the efficiency and longevity of your mixer. There are six FLEX Controls - Enabled Packages designed from working closely with our customers and targeted to meet individual needs – Awareness, Mix Quality, GradeMaster, Fuel Saver, Drum Saver and Time Saver. Take control of your bottom line with the most awarded system in the industry.
Find out more.
Advertisement
   Xypex Chemical Corp       MAPEI    
Engineering

NRMCA has announced the winners of its 2021 NRMCA Excellence in Quality Awards. Winning producers have demonstrated that they followed and exceeded quality management principles over a broad range of activities from commitment to quality, materials management, managing production facilities, product quality control while maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction. The winners below will be honored on October 3 during the awards ceremony at NRMCA’s ConcreteWorks in Kissimmee, FL. 

  • Anderson Concrete Corp.
  • Argos USA LLC - Carolinas Division
  • Argos USA LLC - Florida Division
  • Bayou Concrete, LLC
  • Buckeye Ready-Mix, LLC
  • CalPortland – Oregon - SW Washington
  • CalPortland – Washington Division
  • CalPortland – Central Coast Division
  • CalPortland – Nevada Division
  • CalPortland – Arizona Division
  • CalPortland – Southern California Division
  • CEMEX – Florida Region
  • CEMEX – San Francisco Bay Area Region
  • Cemstone Products Company
  • Chandler Concrete Co., Inc.
  • Concrete Supply Co.
  • Conewago Ready Mix
  • Dolese Bros. Co. - Oklahoma City Metro Division
  • Dolese Bros. Co. - Tulsa Division
  • Irving Materials, Inc. – Tennessee Region
  • Martin Marietta – Southwest Division
  • Martin Marietta – West Division
  • Maschmeyer Concrete
  • MMC Materials, Inc.- Hattiesburg Area
  • MMC Materials, Inc.- Central Area
  • MMC Materials, Inc. - Memphis/North MS Area
  • MMC Materials, Inc.- Golden Triangle Area
  • Preferred Materials, Inc. – a CRH Company
  • S&W Ready Mix Concrete Company
  • Thomas Concrete – Charlotte Division
  • Thomas Concrete – Coastal Division
  • Thomas Concrete – Raleigh Division
  • Thomas Concrete – Upstate South Carolina Division
  • Thomas Concrete – Georgia Division
  • Titan America LLC – Florida Business Unit
  • Titan America LLC – Titan Virginia Ready Mix
  • United Companies – a CRH Company

The criteria for this award were established by NRMCA’s Research Engineering and Standards Committee to recognize the commitment to quality of NRMCA member companies. Companies applied either as a single entity or a division within a company and responded to a multiple-choice type application form that generated their scores; a minimum score of 75% with supporting validation qualified a company to receive an award.

For more information, contact Karthik Obla at 703-706-4863 or kobla@nrmca.org.

Workforce Development

Concrete 101 (CCSP I) will now be held online October 18 - 22, with the online exam on October 25. Registration is open for this once-a-year class. The curriculum introduces concrete fundamentals to those who need a broad overview of technical and operations essentials. It is appropriate for sales reps, dispatchers, administrative/home office and mid-level staff as well as those in executive functions whose jobs do not relate to concrete per se, but should have knowledge of the industry. This class is NOT appropriate for technical ready mixed concrete personnel or plant managers and batch personnel.

For those working toward their NRMCA STEPS® CCPf certification in Sales and Marketing Track, this is a required class. For others working toward CCPf certification in other STEPS tracks, Concrete 101 is prerequisite or an elective.

Click here for more information, including registration and staff contact information.

Last Friday, the Workforce Development Committee informed NRMCA members with relevant industry news, including updates about the ongoing revision of the Concrete Delivery Professional certification program, two pending industry checklists for HR professionals, out-of-the box initiatives hiring initiatives and, finally, asking for thoughts about how HR departments will deal with President Biden’s vaccination employee mandate of November 9 (see related E-NEWS item under the SEO section).

The committee invites company HR and workforce staff to actively participate in its work. Not only will their efforts support the industry-at-large, it presents an opportunity for terrific peer networking.

For more information, contact committee liaison Eileen Dickson at edickson@nrmca.org.

   GCP Applied Technologies       Penetron USA    
Calendar

Please note that e-mail and direct links to each event listed below can be accessed from NRMCA's Web site. 

September 29 - October 3, Kissimmee, FL
NRMCA’s ConcreteWorks 2021
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

October 13, Free Virtual Conference
2021 Global Concrete Summit: High Performance
Sponsored by NRMCA, Grey Matters, Build With Strength and Pave Ahead
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-922-7995

October 18 - 20, Orlando, FL
Ready Mixed Concrete Safety Course
Email: Mason Jean, 703-706-4853

October 19 - 22, Dallas
CCSP Module I (“Concrete 101”- Technical/Product Knowledge)
Email: Mason Jean, 703-706-4853

November 9 - 11, Dallas
Effective RMC Supervisor Course
Email: Mason Jean, 703-706-4853

November 17, Free Virtual Conference
2021 Global Concrete Summit: Resilience
Sponsored by NRMCA, Grey Matters, Build With Strength and Pave Ahead
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-922-7995

November 30 - December 2, Orlando, FL
NRMCA Environmental Certification Course
Email: Mason Jean, 703-706-4853

December 7 - 10, Orlando, FL
Plant Manager Certification Course
Co-located with Florida Concrete & Products Association
Email: Mason Jean, 703-706-4853

December 7 - 9, Dallas
CCSP Module II (Understand the Concrete Contractor Business: Customer Business Knowledge)
Email: Mason Jean, 703-706-4853

December 15, Free Virtual Conference
2021 Global Concrete Summit: Low-Impact Development/Responsible Sourcing
Sponsored by NRMCA, Grey Matters, Build With Strength and Pave Ahead
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-922-7995

   Kryton International       BCMI Corp.    
   Allen-Villere Partners       Fritz-Pak Corporation