LATEST NEWS

AGC’s Utility Infrastructure Division Presents Underground Safety and Damage Prevention Program

The AGC’s Utility Infrastructure Division (UID) unveiled its white paper addressing underground utility safety and damage prevention during AGC’s Annual Convention on April 3. The white paper lays out key elements of an effective excavation safety program that when included in an overall safety package will help keep facility damages to a minimum and maintain a record of the circumstances surrounding a damage; particularly, which party in the 811 process is liable for a damage. The program is based on Common Ground Alliance (CGA) Best Practices and AGC’s expertise and resources.

The program will also help deal with the practice of aggressive billing by facility owner/operators (O/O’s). Aggressive billing is when O/O’s and their collection agents file a claim against contractors for damaging their facilities whether the excavators is at fault or not.  These claims are often filed years after a damage has occurred and the contractor has no record of the event and/or if it happened at all.

For more information, contact Allen Gray at allen.gray@agc.org or (703) 837-5321.

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President Trump Signs Executive Orders Supporting Energy Infrastructure

On April 10, President Trump signed two executive orders supporting the development of energy infrastructure. The orders seek to address lengthy permitting delays that can impede construction. The first order removes barriers to pipeline construction, provides incentives for private investment in energy infrastructure and updates transport regulations to allow shipment of liquified natural gas by rail. The second order provides the president with sole authority to grant permits for pipelines to cross U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico, with advice from the State Department. AGC continues to support efforts to streamline federal permitting processes.

For more information, contact Allen Gray at allen.gray@agc.org or (703) 837-5321.

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DOL Proposes Revisions to Joint Employer Regulations

On April 1, the U. S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) unveiled a proposed rule to revise and clarify the responsibilities of employers and joint employers to employees in joint employer arrangements. This proposal intends to ensure employers and joint employers clearly understand their responsibilities to pay at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. AGC will provide input to the DOL on the impact this update might have on the construction industry and will notify members of any developments.
The Department now proposes a four-factor test - based on court-established precedent - that would consider whether the potential joint employer actually exercises the power to:

 

    • Hire or fire the employee;

 

    • Supervise and control the employee's work schedules or conditions of employment;

 

    • Determine the employee's rate and method of payment; and

 

  • Maintain the employee's employment records.


The proposal also includes a set of joint employment examples for comment to further assist in clarifying joint employer status. In 2017, the DOL withdrew—in line with AGC recommendations—the previous administration’s sub-regulatory guidance regarding joint employer status.

For more information, contact Claiborne Guy at claiborne.guy@agc.org or 703-837-5382.

 

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GSA Administrator Addresses Contractors at AGC Convention

Followed by Joint GSA-Contractor Presentation

On April 2, General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Emily Murphy headlined the AGC Federal and Heavy Construction Division Session at AGC’s 100th Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado.  Administrator Murphy spoke about the value of AGC’s partnership during her time working on congressional committees and now at GSA Headquarters.  She leads a staff of more than 11,000 employees nationwide and approximately $55 billion in annual contracts. Following Administrator Murphy’s remarks was a presentation reviewing the recently completed Laredo Land Port of Entry project by GSA and Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC.

The presentation by GSA’s Raul Moreno and Brasfield & Gorrie’s Jason Hard and Robert Hammack presented a recent successful federal construction project – the $100M Laredo, Texas Land Port of Entry. The presenters discussed how partnering between the agencies and contractors helped the project overcome complex logistics and security concerns.

For more information, contact Jordan Howard at jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.
 

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AGC-Supported Invest in America Act Introduced

Could Spur Billions in Commercial Construction Investment

On April 10, Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Kenny Marchant (R-Tex.), introduced the AGC-supported Invest in America Act (H.R. 2210), which would repeal a decades-old tax provision that artificially limits foreign investment in the United States. By some estimates, enacting this legislation would result in $65 to $125 billion in increased infrastructure and real estate investment, and 150,000 to 280,000 construction and construction-related jobs.

Originally created in 1980, the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) imposes U.S. tax on gain realized by a foreign investor on the disposition of an “interest” in U.S. real property. As a result, the FIRPTA tax can subject foreign investment in U.S. real estate and infrastructure (including some interests in public-private partnerships) to a much higher tax burden than applies to a foreign investor purchasing a U.S. stock or bond, or an investment in any other asset class.

For further information, please contact Matthew Turkstra at matt.turkstra@agc.org or (202) 547-4733.

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AGC-Backed Work Opportunity Tax Credit Bill Introduced

Would Permanently Extend the Tax Credit

On April 10, Reps. G.T. Thompson (R-Pa.), Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), Tom Rice (R-S.C.) and Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) introduced AGC-backed legislation to make the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) permanent. Created more than two decades ago, WOTC provides tax incentives to employers who hire certain disadvantaged groups, such as individuals dependent on public assistance, qualifying veterans, individuals with physical or mental disabilities, and the long-term unemployed. The credit enjoys broad bipartisan support but has consistently been extended in the past on a short-term basis. It is currently scheduled to expire at the end of 2019.

For further information, please contact Matthew Turkstra at matt.turkstra@agc.org or (202) 547-4733.

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AGC Joins Stakeholders in Calling for Infrastructure Now

On April 11, AGC joined over 40 national organizations in urging the bipartisan leadership of the House Ways & Means and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees to act on and pay for a well-funded infrastructure bill.  As with similar efforts, AGC and the other stakeholders are calling on Congress to produce an infrastructure bill that responsibly deals with the nation’s infrastructure crisis.

For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at oneills@agc.org.

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AGC Members Meet with Top Infrastructure Republican

Executives from New England States Discuss Industry Priorities

On April 11, several AGC members from throughout New England met with House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-Mo.) for a Boston roundtable discussion on issues impacting the construction industry. Rep. Graves provided attendees with an update on an infrastructure package and surface transportation reauthorization AGC continues to press Congress to reauthorize the federal highway and transit programs and include a Highway Trust Fund fix in any infrastructure package considered this year.

For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at oneills@agc.org.

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AGC Educates Congressional Staff on Federal Construction

On Mar. 28, AGC led a coalition of fifteen trade associations in a briefing to House and Senate staff about the basics of federal construction contracting. In coordination with the Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) of the House Small Business Committee, the briefing included an industry presentation and a question and answer session. The presentation, What Every Congressional Staffer Should Know About the Construction Industry, answered fundamental questions such as: how contractors can enter the federal market, how contractors find what federal projects are out for bid, and what resources are for available for contractors. AGC continues to advocate for infrastructure and will continue to work to educate congressional offices about the construction industry.

For more information, contact Jordan Howard at jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.

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FHWA Releases Workforce Playbook Results at AGC Convention

Industry/Government Pilots Highlighted

On Apr. 3, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) used AGC’s 100th Convention as the venue to release “A Playbook to Build Tomorrow's Highway Construction Workforce,” which highlights successful practices from around the country to identify, train and place job seekers into the construction workforce. FHWA, state departments of transportation and local departments of labor funded workforce development boards with AGC chapters for the past two years in twelve pilots on a highway construction worker development program. The idea grew out of discussions at the AASHTO-AGC-ARTBA Joint Committee. The pilots focused on efforts that are currently underway in the local areas and identified what has worked and what has not. A panel that included Arizona AGC, Colorado Contractors Association (AGC) and AGC’s Wyoming Contractors Association discussed what happened in their locales. FHWA has developed a “#Roads to Your Future” website that captures the results and the “Playbook” is intended to help other areas of the country to implement their own coordinated highway construction worker development programs.

For more information, contact Brian Deery at deeryb@agc.org

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