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Francis Lowe's Articles

President Trump's Apprenticeship Expansion Helps All Americans Build America

ABC applauded President Trump’s executive action on apprenticeships, which is an important step toward building new career opportunities for all Americans. If fully implemented, the order will allow industries to build innovative workforce development systems that address glaring skills gaps in our workforce.  With the construction industry currently facing a workforce shortage of as many as 500,000 jobs, this order is an important first step to allow more entryways into becoming a construction professional.     

DOL Withdraws Informal Guidance on Key Issues

On June 7, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced the withdrawal of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) 2015 and 2016 joint employment and independent contractor informal guidance. According to a DOL press release, “removal of the administrator interpretations does not change the legal responsibilities of employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, as reflected in the department’s long-standing regulations and case law.”  

Vice President Pence to Headline ABC’s Legislative Day

ABC today announced that Vice President Mike Pence will deliver the keynote address at its Legislative Day on June 22 at 9:30 a.m. He will speak to member construction contractors gathered for ABC Legislative Week 2017 before they head to Capitol Hill for meetings with lawmakers.

Crossland Construction Co. Earns AQC Credential

Crossland Construction Co. of Columbus, Kan., a member of ABC’s Heart of America Chapter, has been awarded Accredited Quality Contractor (AQC) status by ABC. The AQC program recognizes and honors construction firms that document their commitment to excellence in five key areas of corporate responsibility: quality, safety, employee benefits, training and community relations.

Study: Project Labor Agreement Mandates Inflate Cost of Construction 13 Percent

A study released today by the Beacon Hill Institute found that Ohio schools built under government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) cost 13.12 percent more than schools that were bid and constructed through fair and open competition, free from PLA requirements. The study looked at 88 schools built in Ohio since 2000 and found that those built under a PLA mandate cost $23.12 more per square foot than projects built without PLA mandates.

CBO Releases Report on House-passed AHCA

On May 24, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report with estimates on the costs and overall effect of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act. This is the third report to come from the CBO since the bill was introduced in March. If the U.S. Senate passes the bill in its current form, the CBO estimates that the bill would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion between 2017 and 2026 – $32 billion less than the original bill would have reduced. 

Download the New Construction Executive Mobile App

Get the free Construction Executive magazine mobile app for Apple, Android and Kindle by searching for "Construction Executive Mag" in your app store.

Legislation Introduced to Reform Davis-Bacon Act

On May 22nd, U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced The Opportunity in Construction Act, which aims to reform the way the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) calculates prevailing wages under the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act.  Sen. Flake’s bill directs the DOL to set prevailing wages for federal and federally assisted construction projects covered by the Davis-Bacon Act and Related Acts using data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

President Trump Releases FY18 Budget Proposal

On May 23rd, the White House released the president’s proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year (FY18). Titled “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” Congress is likely to dismiss most or all of the president’s budget -- as they traditionally do with most White House wish lists, but the budget provides insight into White House policy and program priorities. 

Construction Industry Suicide Prevention Summits in NV, MA & TN Announced

As an industry, the construction community has the opportunity to bring the recognition of mental illness and suicide risk out in the open. Recognizing the signs, having resources for assistance available, and removing the stigma associated with mental illness are important steps we can take to prevent the risk of suicide.