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On March 31, 2017, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) updated its Annual Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act Benchmark Database to reflect a new hiring benchmark of 6.7 percent.  The new benchmark is slightly lower than the previous year’s benchmark of 6.9 percent. 

Adam Ruff of Ely, Iowa, field supervisor at Price Electric, received a brand-new 2017 Ram Tradesman Crew Cab truck from Pat McGrath Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in March. The truck is one of the prizes awarded to the 2017 ABC Craft Professional of the Year, which is presented annually 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 each year. Ruff received the honor at ABC&rsq

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. 

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. 

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.  

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.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) announced the winners of the National Craft Championships, the 2016 National Safety Awards, the National Diversity Excellence Awards and the Excellence in Construction® Awards during its annual conference Workforce Week ’17 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Workforce Week is ABC's annual celebration of the best in merit shop construction, recognizing the contributions of members, chapters and craft professionals to the construction industry and their dedication to excellence.

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.

On Feb. 6, Missouri became the 28th Right to Work state in the country and the sixth state to take action since 2012 after Gov. Eric Greitens (R-Mo.) signed ABC-supported legislation, SB 19. ABC’s Heart of America chapter thanked the governor and key members of the legislature for their leadership in allowing workers to freely decide whether to join a labor union, a policy that will benefit all of Missouri.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today announced that more than 170 of the top construction apprentices and trainees in the country will compete in the 30th annual National Craft Championships, March 1-2 during ABC’s Workforce Week ‘17 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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