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Mental Health and the Pandemic Take Virtual Center Stage at AGC's HR & Training Conference

October 22, 2020

AGC’s 2020 Construction HR & Training Professionals Conference wrapped up Oct. 8 after five days of education, sharing of best practices and networking virtually.  The conference continues to be a must-attend event for human resources and training professionals in the construction industry.

This year’s conference was preceded by a two-day Federal Construction HR Workshop, held two weeks before the full Conference. Designed to help staff responsible for compliance on federal and federally assisted projects, this workshop provided practical information and best-practice advice from experts and peers experienced in the area. Included in this year's workshop was a two-part (beginner & advanced) Davis-Bacon and Related Acts training series, offered for standalone purchase.  Other session topics included “A Cross-Disciplinary Approach to OFCCP’s Heightened Focus on the Construction Industry” and “Federal Contractors' Ethics Obligations”.

The official opening day of the Conference started off with a thoughtful session led by construction industry mental health expert, Cal Beyer. Beyer’s topical presentation “Mental Health & Wellbeing: How to Communicate in a Crisis” captivated the audience and provided useful takeaways. Breakout sessions throughout the day covered such topics as AGC’s outlook & impact of the upcoming elections, addressing the needs of workers with kids, using data to drive benefit programs, and handling return to work issues & request for reasonable accommodations.

On day two, prominent management-side labor attorney and conference regular Stuart Buttrick presented a comprehensive review of the past year’s many labor and employment law developments impacting construction. The ensuing breakout sessions included topics such as the pandemic’s impact on pay practices in the industry, politics in the workplace, performance review challenges, and a high-level review of federal contractor HR requirements.

On the final day of the conference, Curtis Thom from Kiewit facilitated a lively panel of industry experts learned as they discussed lessons learned responding to the pandemic and how to best prepare for a very uncertain future. A quick breakout included topics addressing people-centered solutions and building talent management. The conference then concluded with Brynn Huneke from AGC of America moderating a compelling panel conversation addressing racism in construction and becoming a catalyst for change.

The conference was sponsored by the National Center for Construction Education & ResearchPAS, Inc., and Arcoro

The 2021 conference is anticipated to be held in-person on October 7-9 in St. Louis, MO.  Stay tuned for more details.

For more information, contact Claiborne Guy at claiborne.guy@agc.org.

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