The ConstructorCast is AGC of America's monthly podcast covering all the news, views, and interviews relevant to your construction business. Below you will find our latest episodes – listen as contractors and industry experts discuss business opportunities and challenges facing today’s construction industry. Be sure to click the special editions tab to hear timely updates on notable happenings, and how AGC is involved and representing the interests of the construction industry (also watch this series on YouTube). For podcast ideas and collaboration inquiries, please contact Multimedia Communication Manager Suzanne Hitt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Build America, Buy America: What You Need to Know: In this episode, AGC's own Jimmy Christianson, Vice President of Government Relations, and Deniz Mustafa, Program Coordinator for the Building Division, take a dive into what Buy America/n requirements are, why we have them, and what we may be able to expect from new Build America Buy America Act regulations that come with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. As government agencies work through their individual processes and procedures, AGC would like to prepare members for imminent changes involving material procurement.
Assessing Design-Build Risk:Who’s on the hook for design defects in design-build projects? It may not always be who you think. In this episode, Dirk Haire, co-chair of Fox Rothschild’s Construction Law Practice Group, and David Hecker, group general counsel overseeing all claims, litigation, and investigations for Kiewit Corporation, share their wealth of knowledge on design-build risk. Find out when and why contractors do not always bear the risk of design errors or omissions on a design-build project. This episode explains design-builders’ liability standard and discusses certain types of overreach by owners that merit pushback from design-builders.
Winning the War on Talent: Struggling to find enough workers? In this episode, three young construction professionals share their insights about how they made a decision on a full-time position and why their selected firms stood out. Guests include Trent Fair, recent graduate of Pittsburg State University who landed a Superintendent role with Simpson Construction Services, Jack McGavran, also of Pittsburg State University, who will be joining McCarthy Building Services as an Engineer, and Collette LeManske of Kansas State University, who will be taking on a Project Engineer role with Brinkmann Constructors. These three new additions to the industry provide some great information about what they were looking for in their internships and permanent roles.
Environmental Highlights and Headlines: In this episode, we cover the steps the Biden Administration has taken related to construction and the environment. AGC’s Director of Environmental Services Melinda Tomaino walks you through the environmental highlights and headlines on WOTUS (waters of the United States), species-related issues, climate change policy developments and implications for projects, and environmental review and approvals. Find out how AGC is making timely decisions and setting priorities, the important role AGC plays in policymaking, and how you can get involved.
Preparing for Safety Week 2022: Construction Safety Week started in 2014, when more than 40 national and global construction firms comprising the Construction Industry Safety Initiative (CISI) group and the Incident and Injury Free (IIF) Forum joined forces with a single aim: to inspire everyone in the industry to be leaders in safety. On this episode, Ken Aldridge of Aldridge Electric, and Mike Burke of Alberici Constructors, both serving as chairs on the Safety Week committee, share some history of the tradition, what this annual campaign means to them, and how you can participate. This year’s Safety Week will take place May 2-6, 2022. Visit the website to find all the resources you need.
Buisness Development: The Challenge of the Chase: Business Development within the construction industry presents multiple challenges as competition levels rise, continued supply obstacles occur, and labor shortages pressure companies to do more with less. On this episode, members of AGC’s Business Development Forum – Chris Martin, President at Atlas Marketing and Tonya Byrd (Jackson), Business Development Manager at Gilbane Building Company – discuss these challenges and share best practices and methods to help your construction company grow. Get ready for some first-hand stories of techniques and proven approaches that you can apply to achieve revenue and profit growth in today’s market.
Material Price Escalation, Delays, and COVID-19: Construction firms are coping with a seemingly unending series of supply-chain disruptions that are compounding problems caused by record materials cost increases and pandemic-induced challenges to operations. It has never been more important for project participants to be prepared with strategies to mitigate the risk of material price escalation and delays due to material shortages -- in order to preserve the feasibility and profitability of the project. On this episode, Greg Sweeso of Tarlton Corporation, Jack Mumma of Michigan State University, and Ronald Ciotti of Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP share risk mitigation strategies available during the bidding, procurement, and contracting phases of the project.
AGC x Procore, HBCU Scholarship Program: In this episode, a panel discusses the partnership between AGC and Procore Technologies, and their efforts to raise money for the benefit of African American and disadvantaged students studying construction at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The scholarship program has already connected with seven HBCU's, and raised over $400,000, including a $250,000 contribution from Procore. B. Scott Holloway, President and CEO of member and donor company, Josam Co., joins in on the discussion, and encourages other members to donate to the effort. Other panelists include Sasha Reed, Director of Industry Advancement for Procore, and Darrel Gibson, Director of the Education and Research Foundation for AGC.
Building Inclusive Cultures & Company Success: Although inclusive cultures offer clear benefits, companies still struggle with knowing how to cultivate the right culture for all their employees. On this episode, Mark Havens talks about how his organization WMFDP | FDP Global (White Men As Full Diversity Partners) transforms mindsets and behaviors to help organizations sustain truly inclusive cultures. We also talk with President & CEO of Clark Construction Company Sam Clark on how he learned the skills needed to build strong relationships, navigate difficult conversations and become an ally. AGC’s Brynn Huneke shares what AGC is doing to provide companies with training and resources that translate learning to action.
Construction Site Security and Theft Prevention:Contractors may have millions of dollars of equipment, tools and materials stored on their job sites. On this episode, John Wallen of HUB International discusses how to position your firm to best manage the risk of theft. That includes being aware of the coverage details of your insurance policies, taking a multi-layered approach to keeping sites secure and deterring theft, and considering “Internet of Things” (IoT)-based solutions. Also hear tips and best practices on filing a theft report and insurance claim.
How Advances In Artificial Intelligence Are Benefiting Construction – Part 2:In part two of this series, we explore how artificial intelligence (AI) can streamline critical construction project workflows by automating time-consuming and repetitive processes like building a submittal log and tracking changes to specs over the course of a project. Bryan Rumple of Mortenson and Sameer Merchant of Autodesk Construction Solutions discuss document management challenges and how AI technology can improve productivity and reduce project risk.
How Advances In Artificial Intelligence Are Benefiting Construction – Part 1:On this episode, Josh Levy of Document Crunch, Paul James of BOND Brothers and Brian Perlberg of ConsensusDocs dive deep into how AI and Machine Learning are being used to assess contract risk and inform approaches to construction risk management. They discuss finding the right balance using technology versus operational discretion when bidding contracts, negotiating contracts, administrating projects, and managing insurance compliance. Hear their first-hand experiences on how AI powered contract review software for the construction industry can reduce costs, improve efficiencies and lead to a better industry understanding of what is fair and considered a best practice.
Committed To Holistic Safety:On this episode, President and CEO at Gilbane Building Company Mike McKelvy covers everything you need to know about Construction Safety Week 2021 – happening May 3rd through May 7th. Mike shares his excitement to be the chairman of this year’s event and his passion behind the “Holistic Safety” theme; walks through the wealth of planning resources and communication tools that firms can use to participate. Also hear from Kevin Cannon, head of AGC’s safety and health services, on what you need to know about OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, which is happening the same week.
Leading Women Lead In Construction: In this episode, leading women – Lori Dunn-Guion of Swinerton, Maura Hesdon of Shoemaker Construction Co., and Lauline Mitchell of BBI Construction and current NAWIC National VP – share their stories and insights on how to recruit, train and empower women in construction. Listen to find out what attracted them to construction, the skills that have helped them succeed in the industry, and the tools for building a more welcoming, safe, and inclusive workplace.
The Pro Act Legislation - Measuring True Impact On Construction: The Protect the Right to Organize (PRO) Act bill now making its way through Congress attempts to overturn decades of federal policy. Despite its name, the PRO Act does much more than protect an employee’s right to organize and engage in collective bargaining. In fact, the PRO Act would expand the economic weapons available to unions at the bargaining table, at the workplace, and beyond. While the union-favoring legislation presents obvious concerns for open-shop contractors, union contractors may not realize the detrimental impact it could have on them. AGC’s CEO Stephen Sandherr explains on this episode exactly HOW and WHY this bill has potential to cause significant disruption in the construction industry, both for firms and the workers they employ, and upset the delicate balance of rights and restrictions established over decades by the NLRB, courts, and Congress.
COVID-19 Is Transforming Construction Jobsites: This episode highlights some of the more unique and innovative aspects of how construction firms have adapted their operations and established new work routines to mitigate against the spread of the virus – so they can continue to work in a SAFE and ESSENTIAL manner. Learn from your peers as you hear Frank Baxter (Skanska USA Building), Mayone Sallows (Butz Family of Companies) and Felipe Serrano (The Beck Group) share how they are making use of technology advancements as well as some rudimentary systems to shift behaviors and change practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Construction 3D Printing In The Here And Now: There’s real potential that we will be printing large concrete buildings in the future. But on this episode, Ryan Shults of Gilbane Building Company and Steven Koehler of Linbeck hope to convince you that contractors can easily benefit from Desktop 3D printing technology right now. They share how they are using 3D printing in various construction applications to help them get, plan and execute projects.
Construction Safety Excellence Showcase: The 2021 competition is now open for one of the country’s most rigorous business safety competitions – AGC’s Construction Safety Excellence Awards (CSEA), sponsored by Willis Towers Watson. This episode highlights AGC-member Faith Technologies – the 2020 Grand Award Winner. Faith’s CEO Mike Jansen and their VP of Safety Rocky Rowlett talk about their safety program, their video series called Charged! and share some of their very own best safety practices. Also hear WTW’s Construction Safety and Risk Control Leader Mike Fredebeil discuss an incredible additional benefit of the safety excellence awards: the annual publication of a free document that includes hundreds of “Safety Management Best Practices” gathered from the competing companies’ submissions. AGC’s safety lead Kevin Cannon fills in all the details so you know how to get involved and benefit from the sharing of ideas and strategies.
GenZ’s Perspectives On Industry Engagement: Generation Z will be the future of construction work as baby boomers retire and a new crowd of young people enter the industry. On this episode, an 18-year old Gen Z expert Josh Miller and two AGC student chapter leaders Anna Bennett and Tyler Korte offer authentic insights on how to leverage their unique skills to improve your business. Discover how to target your construction firm’s training and recruiting strategies to better engage with the 16 to 24-year old demographic.
The Most Innovative Contractors In The Industry: On this episode of ConstructorCast, we feature three AGC companies that are pioneering tech solutions to challenges faced daily by the industry. As a result, they were named the 2020 winners of the AGC Construction Innovation Award. Listen and be inspired by their creations: Anne Brown -- “CopperWorks” by Christman Constructors Inc; Eric Cylwik -- “Slab Former” by Sundt; and Susan Heinking -- “Net Zero Trailer” by Pepper Construction.
Using Weather Data To Manage Project Risk: The weather is consistently rated as one of the most frequent and harmful causes of construction project delays. Weather-related claims are also a frequent source of dispute between contractors and project owners. On this episode, Athenium Analytics explains how contractors, their risk management departments, and even their insurance carriers can use hyper-local forecasts as well as historical weather data to manage and mitigate delays, lost weather days, and onsite damages from natural hazards.
Increasing Lean Construction Engagement On The Jobsite: In this episode, three “Lean” practitioners and advocates share their personal stories on how to increase Lean engagement on construction jobsites to reduce waste, improve workflow and add value for project stakeholders. Hear Henry Nutt of Southland Industries, Keyan Zandy of Skiles Group, and Joe Donarumo of Linbeck explain their unique approach to getting earlier and more Lean buy-in from the “boots on the ground” leaders in the field (superintendents and last planners), rather setting Lean performance goals by using a top-down approach. Discover how a “Builder’s Lean” model can produce immediate, positive change on your projects.
Building a Culture of CARE in Construction: AGC’s Culture of CARE initiative is challenging leaders to take a bold and visible step towards ensuring their workplaces are welcoming, safe and inclusive for an increasingly diverse and talented pool of workers. On this episode, our guests share how this important program got started, how it’s growing, how it’s benefiting contractors in the AGC family, and how more contractors can sign the pledge and get started.
Controlling Communication and Reputation: The harsh reality is that 30 years of work can be destroyed in 30 seconds. On this episode, Anthony Huey, president of Reputation Management and creator of CrisisDriver, shares communication tips, techniques and tools that any construction firm can use before, during and after any unfortunate incident to protect their hard-earned image and reputation.
Cybersecurity and Construction: Construction firms are vulnerable to many forms of cyberattack, including social engineering, ransomware attacks, wire fraud, and hacking. On this episode, Nikki Ingram, a cybersecurity risk engineer with Zurich North America, talks about what you need to look out for and shares some tips and preventative measures that will help contractors protect themselves.
Natural Disaster Impacts On Construction Projects – PART 2: We wrap up this two-part series with expert advice on how to navigate through a complex property and/or business interruption claim, common insurance policy coverage issues, and strategies to full recovery after a natural disaster. Our special guests – Tracy Alan Saxe of Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C., Frank Russo of Procor Solutions and Consulting and Joseph Poliafico of Interstate Restoration – share with us how they have worked through these tough issues. Check out Part 1 for best practices on preparing for and mitigating the impacts of a natural disaster.
Natural Disaster Impacts On Construction Projects – PART 1: We kick-off this two-part series discussing how natural disasters affect construction projects, insurance considerations and lessons learned in mitigating losses. Our special guests – Tracy Alan Saxe of Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C., Frank Russo of Procor Solutions and Consulting and Joseph Poliafico of Interstate Restoration – discuss how they have worked through these tough issues. Listen to Part 2 for their expert advice on how to present a natural disaster claim for insurance recovery.
2020 Outlook for Design and Construction: On the latest episode of the ConstructorCast, we speak with two leading economists covering the construction sector: Ken Simonson, chief economist for AGC, and Kermit Baker, chief economist for the American Institute of Architects to provide a fast-paced overview of what to expect in the coming year.
Using Virtual Design To Build Better: On the latest episode of the ConstructorCast, we speak with virtual design and construction (VDC) leaders from Barton Malow Company, Matt Hedke and Alan Todd, about the benefits of VDC, technology selection and how to ensure successful companywide integration.
Handling a Crisis: On the latest episode of the ConstructorCast, 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.
The Evolving Construction Risk Environment: In this episode we explore how the construction industry's risk environment is evolving and what it means for your business. Ryan Howsam, Principal at FMI Corporation, explains the results of the AGC/FMI 2019 Risk Study, highlighting key trends and takeaways.
Technology Changing the Construction Industry: on this episode we speak with a panel of industry experts on the most significant technological innovations changing the construction industry, including robotics, blockchain, BIM, interoperability, and more.
Special Edition - Ep. 12 – The Impact Of COVID-19 On Construction Workforce: Since the start of the pandemic, the construction industry has shed more than 400,000 jobs as demand for projects has stalled in many parts of the country. In this episode, Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist; Allison Scott, Autodesk’s Director of Construction Thought Leadership and Customer Marketing; and Steven Sandherr, the chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America will talk about the key findings of the 2020 Construction Workforce Survey, observations about how the coronavirus is impacting the sector’s productivity and what AGC will be doing to support the construction industry going forward.
Special Edition - Ep. 11 – Celebrate Construction - Built On Safety: In this episode, AGC’s Senior Director of Safety and Health Services, Kevin Cannon and Director of Safety and Health Services, Nazia Shah, showcase the events scheduled for September 14-18, 2020, (Construction Safety Week and OSHA’s Fall Safety Stand-down) and how contractors and their partners can take this opportunity to recommit to sending every worker home safe each day. Find out how to participate, access online materials and best practice resources, and be recognized for your efforts.
Special Edition - Ep. 10 – $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Investment Bill: In this episode, AGC’s VP of Gov’t Relations Jimmy Christianson lays out how the proposed House infrastructure package would provide needed investments in a broad range of aging infrastructure and support economic recovery by promoting demand for new construction careers, equipment and materials.
COVID - 19 Special Edition - Ep. 9 – PPP Flexibility Act: Get the key facts on how the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 makes significant improvements to the original program that will allow businesses more flexibility in using their loan funds. AGC’s tax, fiscal affairs and accounting expert Matt Turkstra walks through the notable changes regarding how borrowers can spend the funds, and how long they can take to spend the funds, and still qualify for loan forgiveness. This episode also covers new safe harbors for hiring or rehiring qualified employees, as well as changes in the terms of the loan and the repayment timing of any unforgiven loan amounts.
COVID - 19 Special Edition - Ep. 8 – Going Virtual: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on AGC educational programs. Since mid-March, all of AGC’s live events have been postponed or we’ve looked for a way bring the same caliber of information to contractors in a virtual format. On this episode, AGC staff goes over the changes AGC has made to move our programs and events online, including the upcoming Federal Contractors Virtual Conference and Construction Safety, Health & Environmental Virtual Conference.
COVID-19 Special Edition - Ep. 7 – Priorities for Phase 4 Coronavirus Relief: On this episode, we talk with senior AGC staff about Congress’ next coronavirus relief funding proposal, expected policy disagreements, AGC’s top priorities, and the great deal of outreach and advocacy work that the association is doing to keep workers safe and keep construction going. NOTE: As of press time, House Democrats released their recovery bill, and AGC is working on its analysis of the measure.
COVID-19 Special Edition - Ep. 6 - Small Business Loan Success Story: In this episode, Ali Mills from Plum Contracting Inc., talks about how the new federal Paycheck Protection Program has made a meaningful difference for her company, allowing her to rehire and retain employees and endure the construction stop order in Pennsylvania. As construction is given the green light in PA on May 1, Ali anticipates all her employees will be back to full salary, a story that she will also share at a press conference at the White House.
COVID-19 Special Edition - Ep. 5 - Paycheck Protection Program Guidance: In this episode, two partners in one of Washington’s most prominent law firms, Crowell & Morning, put the new guidance of the Paycheck Protection Program loans into context and explain how borrowers should respond to it, including the potentially severe consequences of not assembling the documentation they might need. This information is significant as AGC’s Chief Economist reports that a large share of construction firms have received loan funds, allowing contractors to add and retain employees, as evidenced by AGC’s latest survey results.
COVID-19 Special Edition - Ep. 4 - Critical Workforce; 2nd Round Small Biz Relief: In this episode, AGC explains key changes in Version 3.0 of the feds guidance for identifying the “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce,” which state/local governments may use to decide what construction activities may continue during the pandemic. Recognizing that many firms are struggling to retain their crews, we update you on the federal Paycheck Protection Program that ran out of funding last week, and what relief small business contractors can expect in the near term. Also this week, Congress is expected to release a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) reauthorization bill; listen as AGC shares its top priorities and key policies to protect the nation from floods and keep our waterways open to navigation.
COVID-19 Special Edition - Ep. 3 – Infrastructure for Next Stimulus,Culture of CARE: Today, our host Leah Pilconis talks with Cory Gattie about how AGC of America is making infrastructure a key part of our economic recovery suggestions as we work with Congress and the Trump administration to rebuild the economy. Leah also talks with AGC’s Brynn Huneke about how the association’s new Culture of CARE program can help firms and workers as they cope with the challenges of COVID-19.
COVID-19 Special Edition - Ep. 2 - PPP Loans Eligibility Criteria; Safety Stand Down: This episode of ConstructorCast COVID-19 Special Edition offers a preview of the week ahead, including more details on the April 9th National Coronavirus Safety Stand Down and the steps AGC of America is taking to get the Small Business Administration to fix the qualification guidelines for its new Paycheck Protection Program loans so that all construction firms that employ 500 or fewer people can qualify.
COVID-19 Special Edition - Ep. 1 - Coronavirus Relief Bill (CARES Act) Details: There is so much going on in Washington DC, especially the last two weeks. We brought together our team of lobbyists who have worked to help craft the coronavirus relief bill that is set for a vote as early as today (March 27, 2020) in the House. They provided an analysis of what is in the measure and how it could help the construction industry.