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Of the nation's top ten construction companies, eight are ABC members, according to Engineering News-Record's recently published annual list of the Top 400 Contractors. These successful contractors were ranked based on 2022 revenue.

Turner Corp (#1)

MasTec Inc. (#3)

Kiewit Corp. (#4)

DPR Construction (#6)

The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. (#7)

Fluor (#8)

Clark Group (#9)

Skanska (#10)

According to ENR, economic uncertainty has caused concern among contractors trying to keep projects profitable. Value engineering has kept revenue and backlogs strong following years of pandemic-induced cost volatility and workforce shortages.

You may view the rest of ENR’s list of the Top 400 Contractors at enr.com.

As a contractor, your valuable input can directly benefit you and your fellow ABC members. By participating in the ABC’s economic survey each month, you have the opportunity to contribute to a unique and insightful economic metrics exclusive to ABC—the Construction Backlog Indicator. This metric reflects the amount of work under contract that will be performed by commercial and industrial construction contractors in the coming months. It also includes the Construction Confidence Index, which indicates contractors' expectations for sales, profit margins and staffing levels.

By taking the time to submit your data, you gain access to forward-looking information that can greatly assist in understanding market conditions and planning for the future. Since its launch in 2009, this survey has provided valuable insights into the construction economy. Its findings are widely cited by national publications, making the CBI and CCI leading indicators of our industry's economic health for over a decade.

To make the process even easier for you, we will send a personalized email each month with your contact information prepopulated in the survey form.

By actively engaging in the CBI survey, you not only contribute to a comprehensive and reliable industry metric but also gain valuable insights that can guide your business decisions and enhance your competitiveness. Join us in shaping the future of the construction industry by providing your input today.

If you are not receiving a survey invitation around the 20th of each month, please subscribe to the survey or take this month’s survey now.

On May 31, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service released additional guidance and proposed rules on the Inflation Reduction Act’s advanced energy project and Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program tax credits.

The ABC-opposed Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law on Aug. 16, 2022, and provides over $270 billion in tax credits for the construction of solar, wind, hydrogen, carbon sequestration, electric vehicle charging stations and other clean energy projects. Specifically, Subtitle D-Energy Security of the IRA grants developers/taxpayers a bonus tax credit five times greater than a baseline tax credit of 6% conditioned on requirements that project contractors meet prevailing wage and government-registered apprenticeship program utilization requirements outlined in the legislation and IRS guidance.

The advanced energy project credit allocation provides additional guidance regarding $10 billion in tax credits for projects including the construction of facilities for clean energy manufacturing and recycling, greenhouse gas emission reduction and critical materials processing/refining. To qualify for these tax credits, taxpayers must submit an application to the U.S. Department of Energy for approval. The guidance provides the criteria the DOE will use to determine approval for these projects.

The guidance briefly mentions that project labor agreements may be used to improve an applicant’s “Workforce and Community Engagement” criteria. While contractors are required to meet the apprenticeship and prevailing wage requirements outlined in previous guidance, PLAs are not mandated under this or any other section of the IRA.

The Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program provides an increase of up to 20 percentage points to investment tax credits for solar and wind energy projects in low-income communities. The proposed rules provide additional information on definitions and requirements for this program. The comment deadline is June 30.

For more information and resources on compliance with the IRA’s requirements, please visit ABC’s new website, abc.org/ira.

If you have questions that are not answered on the website or in Treasury/IRS guidance, ABC is here to help. Please email [email protected] and ABC subject matter experts will work to answer your question or reach out to Treasury/IRA for clarification.

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On May 25, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in the Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency case, narrowing the scope of “waters of the United States” that may be regulated under the Clean Water Act.

The court’s decision rejected the “significant nexus” test and curtailed federal regulation to traditional navigable waters and other waters that are relatively permanent and connected to them. The ruling rejects the broad scope of WOTUS that the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have claimed jurisdiction over.

ABC applauded the ruling, stating in part:

By rejecting the ‘significant nexus’ test, the Supreme Court took a critical step toward eliminating the costly regulatory uncertainty that has plagued construction projects around the country for decades without providing meaningful environmental protections for America’s waterways.”

The decision also challenges the Biden administration’s ABC-opposed 2023 WOTUS final rule, which relied heavily on the “significant nexus” test. Additional rulemaking or guidance documents will likely be necessary to bring the rule into compliance with the court’s decision.  

The agencies have yet to provide clarity on next steps, with the EPA issuing a statement in opposition to the ruling and stating on its website that “the agencies will interpret the phrase ‘waters of the United States’ consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in Sackett.”

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Thinking about applying for your Accredited Quality Contractor credential to obtain national recognition for your commitment to corporate responsibility? Check out the series of short videos for tips and best practices for completing the AQC application. If your firm excels in quality, safety, craft and management education, talent management—including inclusion, diversity and equity—and community relations, has earned STEP Diamond, Platinum or Gold and has been in business for more than three years, you are eligible to apply. Save on the recertification fee by taking advantage of the early bird discount by Aug. 31. The deadline for all applications is Oct. 23. Videos can be found here.

Sponsored by The Contractors Plan.

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On June 5, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs published its latest Corporate Scheduling Announcement List for construction contractors. The CSAL lists 250 federal and federally assisted contractors and subcontractors that have been selected for a compliance evaluation.

The compliance evaluation begins once the contractor receives a scheduling letter from the OFCCP.  The OFCCP will evaluate selected contractors to ensure compliance with federal affirmative action and anti-discrimination regulations.

The OFCCP has published the methodology for developing the list as well as frequently asked questions on construction compliance programs. The OFCCP also offers compliance assistance resources and a list of virtual compliance assistance events.

If a contractor believes they have been selected in error, they must email OFCCP at [email protected].

For more information on the CSAL, see Littler Mendelson’s article on the announcement.

 

Safety training equips supervisors to lead and manage projects, people, processes and policies. This training is enhanced through frequent, regularly scheduled safety meetings involving supervisory staff and the company safety director. These intentional, agenda-driven meetings go beyond training and education, helping to develop relationships as challenges and successes are shared.

Substance abuse prevention should be a topic not only for supervisory safety training, but the challenges and successes surrounding it should also be a topic of discussion for supervisory safety meetings. With the state-by-state legalization of recreational cannabis, substance use needs to be addressed. It is crucial to understand local laws and company policies.

Whether through legal or illegal use, the construction industry has suffered from the effects of substance impairment for decades. Some companies are responding with high-tech impairment recognition devices or smartphone apps that measure cognitive function or eye response or can even detect cannabis in saliva. Other companies are doubling down on high-touch impairment recognition by starting each day with a huddle that allows the crew leader to evaluate impairment as they perform task-specific planning (Job Hazard Analysis, Activity Hazard Analysis, Pre-Task Plan, etc.) and a stretch and flex. Likewise, some companies are adapting their behavior-based safety observation system to include recognition of possible impairment.

As a company’s safety culture matures, safety meetings with the supervisory staff and safety director will eventually provide the value of a peer group. Safety directors have shared stories of the first time they got a call from a superintendent who proactively asked for advice a week before a critical lift or complex operation. Others shared that superintendents call each other more often for safety advice due to these meetings. Everyone needs a group to belong to where they are heard, understood and willing to hold each other accountable.

Times are changing, and supervisors need to be engaged and equipped to ensure the right things happen at the right time and for the right reason. Holding regular safety meetings creates the environment in which supervisors are set up for success.


Looking for help building your safety program?

Discover resources available through ABC’s STEP Safety Management System and other health and safety topics at abc.org/safety.

For more information or assistance, please reach out to Joe Xavier or Aaron Braun.

ABC has created a new interactive map to help connect developers, contractors, future apprentices and other stakeholders with more than 300 government-registered apprenticeship programs in over 20 different trades offered by ABC chapters.

Contractors and apprentices participating in government-registered apprenticeship programs are in high demand as a result of new federal policy that incentivizes the use of government-registered apprentices on clean energy construction projects.

The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law in August of 2022, provides over $270 billion in tax credits for the construction of solar, wind, hydrogen, carbon sequestration, electric vehicle charging stations and other clean energy projects. Policy within the IRA grants developers/taxpayers a bonus tax credit 500% greater than a baseline tax credit of 6% if developers ensure that 12.5% of all construction hours on a project are performed by apprentices enrolled in government-registered apprenticeship programs (this increases to 15% for projects breaking ground in 2024).

ABC chapter government-registered apprenticeship programs comply with all U.S. Department of Labor and State Apprenticeship Agency requirements outlined in the IRA.

ABC’s 68 chapters nationwide stand ready to assist stakeholders in complying with the IRA, help contractors enroll in chapter government-registered apprenticeship programs and support contractors creating their own in-house government-registered apprenticeship programs.

Please visit abc.org/ira for additional government and ABC resources on IRA compliance and abc.org/grapmap to access the interactive map.

Forthcoming guidance from the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Department of the Treasury may provide additional clarity to stakeholders with questions about the IRA’s apprenticeship requirements and inadequate initial guidance released late last year.

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 1 that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters can be sued, after a lawsuit alleged that a 2017 drivers’ strike in Washington state damaged a concrete supplier’s product.

Glacier Northwest Inc., a division of CalPortland, employs truck drivers who are members of Teamsters Local No. 174. In 2017, workers went on strike after labor negotiations fell through.

Drivers walked off the job, with some who left for deliveries even returning with fully loaded trucks. Others stopped where they were and left their trucks on roadsides. Glacier said all the concrete mixed that day became useless.

Glacier sued the union for damages in state court, claiming that the union intentionally destroyed the company’s property.

The lawsuit was dismissed by the trial court, but the appellate court reversed that decision. Then, the Washington Supreme Court reinstated the trial court’s decision, which set it up for input from the Supreme Court.

Writing for the majority, Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett said: “Because the union took affirmative steps to endanger Glacier’s property rather than reasonable precautions to mitigate that risk, the law does not arguably protect its conduct.” Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was the only dissenting justice.

ABC applauded the decision.

“The precedent is clear that the National Labor Relations Act does not give unions a free pass to intentionally destroy an employer’s property during a labor dispute,” said Ben Brubeck, ABC vice president of regulatory, labor and state affairs. The Washington Supreme Court decision “left employers without a remedy for the intentional destruction of their private property, causing businesses, workers and communities to suffer.”

The ABC-led Coalition for a Democratic Workforce also praised the ruling.

“No federal law protects such behavior, including the NLRA, and the Supreme Court has just affirmed that commonsense principle. Unions must be required to settle disputes within the confines of the law,” said CDW Chair Kristen Swearingen.

Background:

In June 2022, ABC joined the CDW and other employer organizations in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to request review of the Washington Supreme Court’s decision in Glacier Northwest.

On Oct. 3, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear the Glacier case.

On Nov. 8, 2022, ABC joined the CDW and six other employer organizations in filing amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court to request that the court reverse the judgment of the Washington Supreme Court in the Glacier  case. The Washington Supreme Court’s decision stated that the National Labor Relations Board preempts state tort suits, allowing unions and their supporters to intentionally destroy an employer’s property while claiming to be engaged in protected concerted activity.

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On May 25, ABC joined the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, urging Acting Secretary Julie Su to abandon or at least postpone issuance of its anticipated proposed rulemaking that would alter overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The letter includes signatures from over 100 organizations.

Even though the COVID-19 public health emergency has been lifted, concerns with supply chain disruptions, workforce shortages, inflationary pressures and the shifting dynamics of the American workforce persist, and any rule change now would threaten a particularly vulnerable and recovering economy, the letter reads.

Further, as many employees moved to remote, hybrid or part-time work following the COVID-19 pandemic, compliance changes to overtime regulation will be increasingly difficult on employers, specifically when monitoring nonexempt employees.

The PPWO is a coalition of associations, businesses and other stakeholders representing employers with millions of employees across the country in almost every industry.

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