SAN DIEGO - The Associated General Contractors of Virginia and the Associated General Contractors of South Dakota, Building Chapter were recognized today for their emphasis on member communication, improved member retention and growth and leadership on legislative issues. Both chapters are part of the national Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), and awarded as 2008 Chapter of the Year during AGC's national construction convention.

"These chapters are the lifeblood of our organization, connecting business owners with local officials, resources and each other," said Doug Pruitt, incoming president of the association. "They are tireless advocates for the millions of men and women that work in construction every day."

AGC of Virginia was named the large chapter of the year and was recognized for record-breaking member participation and attendance at chapter events, in addition to an increased return on investment for its members through improved services and selective use of discount programs.

AGC of South Dakota, Building Chapter, took small chapter of the year for its outstanding work force development programs, including a summer construction academy for students, in addition to scholarship and apprenticeship programs. The chapter also initiated a community service program aimed at modifying homes of injured soldiers to make them more accessible.

Sandherr noted that both groups had found new and effective ways to communicate with their members, issuing e-newsletters and keeping their member companies up to date on local business and political developments. He added that the chapters distinguished themselves for their ability to advocate on behalf of the construction community.

The Chapter Award winners were announced as part of the AGC's 90th Annual Convention in San Diego, Calif. In addition to the Chapter of the Year, other chapters around the country were recognized for their outstanding efforts in different categories.

AGC of America Diversity Awards, presented to chapters that promote the growth and development of small, minority and women-owned businesses, and seek to increase their participation in the industry and the association.
AGC of California, Best Overall Award
Master Builders of Iowa, Special Recognition
Philadelphia Builders Chapter, Special Recognition

J. Howard Mock Award, presented to the chapter with the greatest increase in net membership growth.
AGC of Greater Milwaukee

James E. Cashman Trophy, presented to the chapter with the best membership growth record and most effective membership development and retention programs.
AGC of Virginia

Chapter Public Relations Awards, presented to chapters with outstanding community service projects, media or print campaigns or any other public relations efforts that resulted in a positive projection of the construction industry, its members and its achievements.
Ohio Contractors Association, Best Construction Futures (Education) Campaign
Puerto Rico Chapter, Best Individual Campaign
AGC of South Dakota Building Chapter, Best Overall Public Relations Campaign
AGC of New Hampshire, Best Infrastructure Awareness Campaign
AGC of New Jersey, Best Community Service Project