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From a live interview with Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo this morning to recent appearances on RT’s “Boom Bust,” Michael Bellaman has been a more frequent presence on cable news since workforce development and infrastructure rebuilding have risen on the national agenda. 

Wanzek Construction Inc. of West Fargo, N.D., a member of ABC’s Minnesota/North Dakota 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.  

Ten students pursuing craft professional training in the construction industry were awarded the second annual Build Your Future scholarships through ABC’s Trimmer Construction Education Foundation (TCEF). The scholarships are given to the top 10 students attending an NCCER-accredited program or a state/federally approved apprenticeship program in a merit-shop training facility. 

On July 25, the U.S. Senate voted to begin debate on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Senate voted 51-50, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie, in support of moving forward with debate on H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act. In advance of the vote, ABC sent a key vote letter urging senators to vote “yes” on the motion to proceed. The Senate will now move forward with 20 hours of debate and most likely vote on dozens of amendments.

On July 12, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld a Wisconsin right-to-work law after two chapters of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) filed a lawsuit against the state. The law, 2015 Wisconsin Act 1, prohibits business and unions from working together to require all workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment. The IUOE claimed the law was unconstitutional and allows nonunion employees to receive free representation in negotiations. 

ABC's 2017 National Craft Championships gold medalists, Craft Instructor of the Year and Craft Professional of the Year were honored before an audience of more than 41,000 at a July 3 Major League Baseball game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. As spectators filed into the stadium, the champions stood on the field while their names were announced over the public address system recognizing them and their companies for their achievements during the pre-game ceremony.

During ABC's Legislative Week 2017, an ad entitled ‘ABC Members Build America’ was released via social media. The ad features updated information on the growing nonunion workforce chart, construction industry tax rates and ABC members’ improving safety performance. The ad has been made available as marketing resources for ABC members and chapters.

ABC recently launched a new workforce development website, workforce.abc.org. The site features information on training and education, career paths, safety and diversity programs and workforce development programs ABC manages around the country. Our flexible, affordable craft and safety training leads to industry-recognized, national credentials for today’s leading construction positions. Together, we help individuals train, transform and triumph as they pursue meaningful careers that advance their potential and build strong communities.

It is with great sadness that ABC announces the death of Rosita Howell on June 23. Known to many ABC’ers as “Z,” Rosita  served as executive assistant to ABC national presidents Kirk Pickerel and Dan Bennet.  She started her career at ABC in the 1970s and worked for the association for all but a few on the intervening years, when she worked for past National Chair Gary Hess at Hess Mechanical, and retired from ABC in 2011. 

ABC and the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAACC) signed a memorandum of understanding calling for the two organizations to work jointly to ensure that all contractors have a fair and equal opportunity to compete for and win contracts to build federal, state and locally funded construction projects. The agreement was signed by Chuck Goodrich, ABC 2017 chair, and CEOs Mike Bellaman and Susan Au Allen, respectively, during ABC’s board of directors meeting on June 21.

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