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ABC’s Industrial Users Summit, Oct. 22-23 in San Antonio, Texas will feature expert speakers who will provide discussions, best practices, and presentations on topics including quality, safety and workforce development.

The Coalition for Fair Effective Tax Rates and the Reforming America’s Taxes Equitably (RATE) Coalition held a joint press conferenceSept. 19 to support the passing of comprehensive tax reform that would lower both individual and corporate rates and eliminate distorting tax preferences. 

ABC Sept. 19 sharply criticized pending regulatory proposals from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in response to a hearing held by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions. The hearing, titled, “The Future of Union Organizing,” and ABC’s letter highlighted the Obama administration’s efforts to eliminate employer involvement in the union representation process.

National Safety Excellence Award (NSEA) applications are due Oct. 25 and can be downloaded on ABC’s website. All 2013 Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) Diamond and Platinum recipients are eligible to apply; there is no fee to participate. New for 2013, STEP Gold recipients may also apply for the NSEA by submitting the NSEA Gold application and $450 application fee. ABC members who do not have STEP status can learn more about STEP on ABC’s website. 

ABC Pelican Chapter President Alvin Bargas discussed the importance of career and technical education (CTE) programs to the construction industry in testimony Sept. 20 during a congressional subcommittee hearing.

The Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Sept. 9 issued proposed regulations related to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer and insurer information reporting requirements under Internal Revenue Code sections 6055 and 6056. 

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published two final rules Sept. 24, drastically revising Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, which require federal contractors and subcontractors to maintain affirmative action and nondiscrimination plans for veterans and individuals with disabilities, respectively. The rules will go into effect March 24, 2014. 

A study completed by the Tax Foundation found that, with pass-through businesses surpassing traditional corporations in number, individual tax rates with higher burdens impact hiring and other investment plans, causing an already struggling economy to remain unstable.

On October 22-23, in San Antonio, Texas, ABC will bring together industrial construction users and merit shop contractors for the first annual Industrial Users Summit.  The goal is to discuss common issues that affect the way projects are planned and delivered and demonstrate how merit shop contractors deliver value to customers. The Summit also gives ABC member contractors an opportunity to understand what owners need in the planning and delivery process.

The ABC National Diversity Excellence Awards recognize members that display exemplary diversity leadership in their workforce, supply chain and community with best-in-class recruitment policies, retention practices, and training and mentoring programs. Registration is open until Nov. 15.

The National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP) and the Association of Defense Communities are co-hosting the ABC sponsored 4th Annual Federal Energy Workshop and Defense Energy Partnership Forum, October 8-9, Arlington, Va., which will focus on finding solutions to the issues facing the federal energy market. Register here.

The National Craft Championships (NCC) Intent to Compete deadline is fast approaching. ABC members and chapters that want to send their best craft trainees to compete in the 2014 competition should have their competitors submit a form before Dec. 6. Visitwww.nationalcraftchampionships.org for more information. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has issued two surveys soliciting comments from the construction industry on the potential use of a project labor agreement (PLA) for projects in Fort Greely, Alaska and the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

ABC National and ABC of Michigan Sept. 6, celebrated a victory when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit upheld a law that banned government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) on taxpayer-funded construction projects.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, individuals and employees of small businesses will have access to health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace (or Exchange). Open enrollment for coverage through the Marketplace begins Oct. 1, 2013. Section 18B of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as added by section 1512 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), requires employers to provide all new hires and current employees with a written notice about the Marketplace. 

Register your entry now for the ABC Excellence in Construction Awards (EIC). The EIC awards competition recognizes projects that are the best of the best from merit shop contractors. Enter today to gain industry-wide recognition and get an advantage over competitors.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) Aug. 27 signed into law S.B. 776, which is designed to curtail the ability of contractors to count contributions to merit shop labor-management cooperation committees (LMCCs) against their fringe benefit obligations only if those committees monitor and enforce the prevailing wage. Other activities will still be allowed. The legislation preserves that ability for contractors contributing to similar committees run by unions.

Adams Electric Company, Greensboro, N.C., a member of the ABC Carolinas Chapter, and Gilbane Building Company, Houston, a member of the ABC Greater Houston Chapter have been awarded Accredited Quality Contractor (AQC) status by ABC.  

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Sept. 4 became the second court to deny a request by the NLRB to review a decision to invalidate the NLRB’s August 2011 “Notification of Employee Rights” rule. Under the rule, employers would have been required to display a poster in their workplace that contained a biased and incomplete list of employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

ABC Business Partner, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), is now offering ABC members a free 30-day trial of AIA Contract Documents® software that includes full access to all AIA agreements and forms. Sign up by Friday, Sept. 20 to start the free trial.

Lauren Engineers & Constructors, Inc., Alpharetta, Ga., a member of the ABC Georgia Chapter; O-Neal Inc., Greenville, S.C., a member of the ABC Carolinas Chapter; and Price Industrial Electric, Inc., Hiawatha, Iowa., a member of the ABC Iowa Chapter, have been awarded Accredited Quality Contractor (AQC) status by ABC.  

ABC and members of the newly formed Construction Industry Safety Coalition, a group of national construction industry trade associations, expressed concern over a proposal from OSHA addressing crystalline silica exposure in the construction industry.

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