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ABC filed an appeal May 27 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit challenging the U.S. District Court’s March 2014 ruling against ABC. At the District Court level ABC argued that an Aug. 27 rule from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) that drastically alters federal contractors’ existing affirmative action and nondiscrimination obligations for individuals with disabilities exceeded the scope of the agency’s statutory authority, and altered longstanding precedent.

According to OSHA’s latest semiannual regulatory agenda, released May 23, the agency plans to issue a final rule on confined spaces in 2014. The regulatory agenda lists the priorities of the administration and the rulemakings they expect to release this year; however, OSHA is not required to adhere to the timeline.

According to its latest regulatory agenda released May 23, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) plans to finalize its controversial “persuader” final rule by December 2014, which severely narrows long-standing reporting exemptions for employers and third-party experts, and redefines labor relations “advice.”  

ABC May 28 sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Education and the Workforce Committee urging passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA represents an important opportunity to improve our workforce development system by increasing local business input in developing job training programs and improving access to federal funding for non-union training programs.

Each year, many ABC member companies make the list of Engineering News-Record’s (ENR) Top 400 Contractors list. In 2014, 55 ABC members were placed in the top 100 contractors on the list.

ABC announced May 21 that the Executive Committee appointed Ray Zamora, president and owner of AnchorBuilt Inc. in Albuquerque N.M., as the new Mountain West Region Vice Chairman.

In an informal public hearing May 19, Steve Wiltshire, vice president and director of corporate safety at ABC member company, ECS Corporate Services, LLC, testified on behalf of ABC on the issue of a proposed rulemaking to extend the compliance date for the crane operator certification requirement by three years to Nov. 10, 2017.

Charles "Chuck" Lavin Jr., one of the founders of the ABC Yankee Chapter, passed away April 19 after a long illness. Lavin was born in Baltimore, Md., in 1940, and served as the first executive director of the ABC Yankee Chapter, which encompassed the six New England states, from its inception in 1968 until 1980.

Associated Builders and Contractors, along with more than 40 other leading business organizations, sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) requesting they extend the public comment period on a proposed rule that aims to clarify the definition of “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The organizations are asking for 90 days beyond the current deadline or 90 days after the EPA releases the final connectivity report, whichever date comes later.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Treasury recently issued frequently asked questions on provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).   

The New England district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is soliciting responses from the construction industry for a survey issued on the potential use of a project labor agreement (PLA) on renovation and repair projects throughout six New England states. Those states include Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Overall construction materials prices increased 0.4 percent in April and are up 1.5 percent year over year, according to the May 14 Producer Price Index released by the U.S. Department of Labor. Nonresidential construction material prices were up 0.5 percent for the month and are 1.4 percent higher than the same time last year.

A health care alert from Washington Council Ernst & Young regarding health care law provisions that impact employers is available for ABC members on ABC’s Employer Health Care Law Toolkit.

ABC members and chapter staff interested in participating in ABC’s 2014 Legislative Conference June 11 in Washington, D.C., have until Friday, May 16 to take advantage of the early bird registration rates and the discounted hotel price. By registering for the conference, attendees will have access to the Legislative Update Breakfast and a day on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Congress.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Tradesmen International, the construction industry’s premier source for craft professionals and labor-related services which will help contractors maximize productivity per dollar of labor. The agreement became effective May 1 during ABC’s 28th annual National Craft Championships in Birmingham, Ala., which Tradesmen International sponsored.  

The 2014 Craft Professional of the Year award was presented to Robert Stuart, superintendent at Stronghold Engineering in Menifee, Calif., May 2 during ABC’s National Craft Championships and Workforce Development Conference in Birmingham, Ala. The award recognizes Stuart’s work in the industry including his commitment to safety, training and the merit shop philosophy.

ABC recently joined more than 20 other groups involved in the design, construction, operations and management of the built environment to create the Alliance for a Resilient Tomorrow. The purpose of the alliance is to promote resilience, which is the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events.

ABC May 2 recognized the winners in its 2014 National Craft Championships competition, held at the association’s 21st Century Workforce Development Conference, April 29 – May 2, in Birmingham, Ala. 

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