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Phyllis Harden

Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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Monthly Archives: June 2017


June 22, 2017

Legislation Includes Needed Reforms to Makes it Easier for School Districts to Teach Construction Skills and Improves Employer Engagement

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement today in response to the passage of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act in the U.S. House of Representatives today:

Forty-Two States Add Construction Jobs Between May 2016 & 2017 But 25 States and D.C. Lose Jobs from April to May as Firms Struggle to Find Workers

June 16, 2017

Forty-two states added construction jobs between May 2016 and May 2017 amid growing demand for construction services, while 25 states and the District of Columbia lost construction jobs between April and May as firms struggle to find enough workers, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data released today. Association officials said workforce shortages appear to be impacting construction employment in parts of the country.

AGC Hosts OFCCP Contractor Compliance Meeting

June 15, 2017

On June 14, 2017, AGC hosted a meeting between AGC members and officials from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).  OFCCP requested the meeting for the purpose of identifying problems that construction contractors have in meeting affirmative action requirements related to recruiting and suggestions for improved compliance assistance tools.

AGC Leading the Charge on Federal Environmental Permitting and Review Reform

June 15, 2017

Both Congress and the White House have turned to AGC for common-sense recommendations on streamlining the federal environmental permitting and review processes.

EPA Puts Brakes on Costly 2015 Ozone Standard

June 12, 2017

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced a one-year delay of EPA’s final designation of counties that are not attaining the 2015 ozone national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS).  The 2015 standard tightened the existing 2008 standard from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb.  Designations for the 2015 standard were originally due by this October.  EPA is taking this additional time to review and re-evaluate many of the complicated issues that AGC raised in its comments on the proposed version of the 2015 rule.

Construction Staff Wages Expected to Rise by 3.4% This Year

June 8, 2017

Construction staff wages rose by 3.6% in 2016 and contractors are projecting wages to increase an average of 3.4% in 2017, according to the latest Contractor Compensation Quarterly (CCQ) published by PAS, Inc. Based on their Construction/CM Staff Salary Survey, PAS reports that increases appear to have leveled off, as noted in the following chart. PAS also points out that historically predictions are typically about .5% low, so year-end 2017 should exceed 3.4% and maybe even 2016’s 3.6% increase.

US Secretary of Labor Withdraws Joint Employer, Independent Contractor Informal Guidance

June 7, 2017

In line with AGC’s regulatory recommendations, on June 7, 2017, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced the withdrawal of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) 2015 and 2016 informal guidance on joint employment and independent contractors. Both pieces of guidance together took an expansive interpretation of employment and threatened the traditional relationship between contractors and their partners. AGC and its members were concerned that these interpretations would make compliance more complicated, leading to unnecessary enforcement efforts and increased costs to projects.

Construction Employment Increases by 11,000 in May to Eight-Year High but Labor Shortages Likely Limited Number of New Jobs Being Added

June 2, 2017

Construction employment increased by 11,000 jobs in May to the highest level since October 2008 and average weekly hours set a series high for May as contractors struggled to find enough workers to meet demand for projects, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials urged lawmakers and other public officials to address the growing shortage of available qualified workers by funding and re-invigorating career and technical education programs.

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