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Francis Lowe's Articles

ABC Comments on Burdensome EPA Regulations

On May 15, ABC submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on costly and burdensome EPA regulations and policies. In the comment letter, ABC expressed concern that major federal projects have been unnecessarily delayed or abandoned, resulting in jobs being deferred or never created because of a dysfunctional permitting system. ABC supports a streamlined process for developers to obtain environmental permits and approvals for their projects in a timely and efficient manner, which would help foster job creation and economic growth. 

Construction Industry Takes Time Out to Focus on Safety

Throughout Safety Week 2017, May 1-5, ABC, its members and other industry organizations came together to highlight the importance of safety on construction jobsites. On May 12, during the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) National Safety Stand-Down, construction jobsites in Washington, D.C. stopped work at midday so that workers could make their way to a special safety event. The event, which was organized by ABC member Skanska and sponsored by ABC, featured an address from OSHA’s Directorate of Construction Dean McKenzie,  equipment demonstrations and exhibits, a stretch and flex exercise, subcontractor safety awards and lunch.

ABC Insurance Trust Issues Health Care Compliance Bulletin, AHCA Awaits Action in Senate

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), on May 4, however the Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains the law of the land until the AHCA is passed by the U.S. Senate and signed into law by President Trump. The Senate has not taken any action on passing the current version of the bill and Senate leadership has indicated the bill will face changes before coming to the floor for a vote. 

Seeking ABC Members for Three Emerging Peer Groups

ABC’s peer groups offer like-minded business owners an environment conducive to sharing ideas and discussing business opportunities and challenges–all with the goal of improving their businesses. Peer groups consist of six to 10 ABC member companies within a trade or interest area and with similar annual revenues. Members of the same peer group do not operate in the same competitive market, which fosters trust and an open exchange of information.

ABC Members Donate More Than $200,000 to Military Family Charity

ABC recently hosted a golf tournament to benefit Folds of Honor, a charitable organization that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service-members. The event, held the week of May 8, just outside Washington, D.C., brought in more than $200,000 from ABC and nearly 20 member companies.

Department of Labor Announces Hiring Program for Veterans

President Trump recently signed the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act of 2017, or HIRE Vets Act, which directs the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to establish the HIRE Vets Medallion Program. The goal of the program is to reward employers who hire veterans and who support the veteran community.

Thornton Construction of Miami Earns AQC Credential

Thornton Construction Co. Inc. of Miami, a member of ABC’s Florida East Coast 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.  A company that meets these criteria and has earned Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) Gold, Platinum or Diamond status can apply to be an Accredited Quality Contractor. 

OSHA Rescinds "Union Walk Around Rule”

On April 25, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a memorandum withdrawing a letter of interpretation that stated nonunion employees can authorize an individual “affiliated with a union or a community organization” to act as their representative during agency-sanctioned inspections and other enforcement situations.

ABC Pledges to Work With New Labor Secretary to Find Solutions

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary R. Alexander Acosta was sworn in on April 28, giving President Trump a full cabinet just ahead of his 100th day in office. ABC President and CEO Michael Bellaman congratulated Secretary Acosta in a statement released shortly after he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and committed to working with DOL to address the needs of the construction industry. 

ABC Member Davis Construction Donates Services for Children’s National Healing Garden

First Lady Melania Trump dedicated the Bunny Mellon Healing Garden at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., marking its official grand opening on April 28. ABC member Davis Construction served as the general contractor and donated preconstruction, project management and executive leadership services, In addition, Davis did not charge a construction fee to build the space. This gift was valued in excess of $200,000.