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Francis Lowe's Articles

Alabama Electrical Training Instructor Named ABC’s Craft Instructor of the Year

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) has named its 2017 Craft Instructor of the Year: Roger Thompson of New Hope, Ala., electrical craft training instructor for the North Alabama Craft Training Foundation (NACTF) and chief electrical estimator at Jesse Stutts Inc., both in Huntsville, Ala. Thompson received the honor at ABC’s Careers in Construction awards ceremony on March 3 during the Workforce Week ’17 conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 

Iowa Construction Supervisor Named ABC Craft Professional of the Year

ABC has named Adam Ruff of Ely, Iowa, field supervisor at Price Electric, its 2017 Craft Professional of the Year. Ruff received the honor at ABC’s Careers in Construction awards ceremony on March 3 during ABC’s Workforce Week ’17 conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 

Legislation to ban PLA Mandates Introduced in U.S. Senate

ABC today voiced its strong support for the Fair and Open Competition Act (S. 622). The bill, introduced by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), will reduce costs for taxpayers by encouraging all qualified construction companies to compete for federal and federally funded construction projects. S. 622 prevents federal agencies and recipients of federal funding from requiring contractors to sign controversial project labor agreements (PLAs) as a condition of winning federal or federally assisted construction contracts. 

Wisconsin Legislature Approves Bill Banning PLA Mandates

On March 9, the Wisconsin State Assembly approved SB3, which prohibits government-mandated project agreements (PLA) on state and local construction contracts.  The Assembly voted 64-25 to concur on the bill, following the Wisconsin State Senate’s passage of the measure by a vote of 19-13  in February. Both votes occurred along party lines.  

Alpha Mechanical Inc. Earns AQC Credential

Alpha Mechanical Inc. of San Diego, Calif., a member of ABC’s San Diego 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 the criteria set forth in the program and has earned Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) Gold, Platinum or Diamond status, is formally designated an “Accredited Quality Contractor.”      

House Passes Legislation to Block OSHA’s “Volks” Rule

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to block implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) “Volks” final rule through the Congressional Review Act. The bill (H. J. Res. 83) was passed in a bi-partisan vote of 231-191.

The Latest on the Trump Administration: Feb. 16 – 22

On Feb. 16, President Trump announced R. Alexander Acosta as his nominee for Secretary of Labor. Acosta is currently the dean of the Florida International University College of Law and previously served as an assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division and as a member of the National Labor Relations Board.  His nomination followed Andy Puzder’s withdrawal from the confirmation process.

Construction Executive Magazine Launches Mobile App

Construction Executive magazine is excited to announce the launch of its new mobile app for use on Apple, Android and Kindle devices. Readers will now have access to a mobile version of articles from the printed magazine, which covers topics ranging from construction industry news and market developments to business issues and technology trends. 

ABC Craft Pro finalist Terry 'Scrap Man' Buschert Send Kids to Camp with Scrap Metal

Terry Buschert of Architectural Metals Inc. in Comstock Park, Mich., is using junk metal to help send kids to summer camp. Terry is known as Scrap Man, and he is one of four finalists for the ABC Craft Professional of the Year. ABC presents the Craft Professional of the Year award to a construction craft professional who excels in his or her field while also demonstrating a commitment to safety, training and the merit shop philosophy.

2017 Construction General Permit Goes into Effect

On Feb. 16, the 2017 Construction General Permit (CGP) went into effect; the revised CGP was issued by the EPA on Jan. 11, 2017. The 2017 CGP replaces the 2012 CGP; the permit includes stormwater runoff from construction sites that disturb one or more acres, or sites that are a part of a larger common plan of development. The 2017 CGP will last for five years.