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FindContractors.com is an excellent tool to help members find and do business with other members. Members can search for an ABC contractor, supplier or other construction professional by name, chapter, location, sales volume or type of construction. Plus, now members can identify all Accredited Quality Contractors—firms that have demonstrated their commitment to the five key areas of corporate responsibility: quality, safety, training, employee benefits and the community.

The employment projections assume that the administration’s $1.5 trillion proposed infrastructure plan, if enacted, will result in $50 billion in additional construction spending in 2019 on top of the baseline construction spending forecast; $150 billion additional spending in 2020; and $200 billion more in 2021. Thus, demand for additional construction workers above the baseline estimate for each year would be 323,000 in 2019, 960,000 more workers in 2020 and 1.3 million more workers in 2021.

ABC’s 1991 President, Johnny Barto Smith, passed away on May 19, 2018 at the age of 78. Smith owned and operated Lake Mechanical Contractors of Eustis, Fla., formerly called Lake Plumbing, a company his parents founded in 1954. Under Smith’s leadership, Lake Mechanical completed a number of impressive projects with Walt Disney World. Lake Mechanical also created the University of Central Florida Bright House Networks Stadium and the 34-story expansion of the Peabody on International Drive. 

In testimony before a subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Kwest Group President and Chairman of the ABC National Safety and Health Committee Ryan Odendahl called for a collaborative effort between industry and the federal government to increase workplace safety and promote economic opportunity in the United States.

On May 21, 2018, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a proposed rule to update its standard for cranes and derricks in construction to ensure crane operators are qualified to safely operate equipment. Entitled Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Operator Qualification, the rule proposes several changes to the existing standard.

On May 21, in a win for employers, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of employers to use mandatory arbitration clauses under the Federal Arbitration Act to block the filing of class-action lawsuits over workplace issues. In a 5-4 decision, the majority rejected arguments that forcing those cases into private, individual arbitration violated employees' rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

On May 16, ABC Legislative Affairs staff participated in the Prior Approval Reform Coalition Hill Day and met with members of Congress about the discriminatory and burdensome “prior approval” requirement for corporate member trade association political action committees. The coalition met with 99 members’ offices and encouraged representatives to sign on as cosponsors to Rep. Mark Amodei’s (R-Nev.) H.R. 2101, the Prior Approval Reform Act.

18 of the nation's top 25 construction companies are ABC members, according to Engineering News-Record's (ENR) recently published annual list of the Top 400 Contractors. These successful contractors were ranked based on 2017 revenue.

ABC’s Greg Sizemore, vice president of HSE and workforce development, joined the secretaries of labor, education, commerce and stakeholders from industry, education and government in the Oval Office on May 10 to present the final report from the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion to President Trump. The report outlines how industry-recognized apprenticeship programs and other innovations can help meet the need for highly skilled workers in all industry sectors.

On May 9, the Trump administration released its Spring 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The agenda lists upcoming rulemakings and other regulatory actions from each agency that the administration expects to release through the end of the year and into 2019. 

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has extended the deadline for filing the 2017 EEO-1 Survey from March 31 to June 1, 2018. According to the EEO-1 Survey webpage, an email will be sent to the EEO-1 company contact introducing the new EEO-1 Survey application. Any questions on the new survey should be directed to 1 (877) 392-4647. 

According to the final report of the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion, apprenticeship programs offer workers a career path with paid, on-the-job training and provide employers with highly trained workers, but they are insufficient to address the growing skills gap in many industries. ABC commended the secretaries of labor, education and commerce for leading the task force comprised of representatives from industry, education and government to generate new ideas to expand the role of apprenticeships and help more individuals achieve the American Dream.

On May 9, Chuck Goodrich won the Indiana House of Representatives District 29 Republican primary against three other candidates with 47 percent of the vote. Goodrich will face Democrat Tracy Roberts in November’s general election for the Noblesville, Ind. House of Representatives seat.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will begin enforcement of the final rule on occupational exposure to beryllium in the construction industry on May 11, 2018. According to its May 10 press release and interim enforcement memorandum, OSHA will begin enforcing on May 11 the new lower 8-hour permissible exposure limit (PEL) and short-term (15-minute) exposure limit (STEL) for construction. 

On April 30, Linda McMahon, Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration, recognized numerous small business entrepreneurs, including ABC member Keith Porta, as part of National Small Business Week 2018.

It’s #TimeToBuild! ABC will be celebrating Infrastructure Week, May 14-21, with an awareness campaign highlighting the critical importance of infrastructure. Visit infrastructureweek.org for sharable factoids and information how to participate or plan your own event, look for daily Infrastructure Week social media posts on ABC National’s social media channels and follow the conversation using the hashtags #ABCMeritShopProud and #TimeToBuild.

ABC chapters across the country are celebrating Construction Safety Week 2018, May 7-11. These chapters are raising awareness about the importance of safety by hosting events, sharing resources, hosting safety stand-downs and more.

Prices for inputs to construction materials expanded 1.3 percent in April and are 6.4 percent higher than at the same time one year ago, according to an ABC analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. This represents the largest month-over-month increase in almost three years and the largest year-over-year increase since October 2011. Prices for nonresidential construction inputs increased 1.6 percent on a monthly basis, and are up 6.3 percent year over year.

Based on recently released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. construction industry bounced back in April, adding 17,000 net new jobs, according to an analysis by ABC. Last month, initial estimates showed a 15,000 jobs loss, though that has since been revised upward to a loss of 10,000 jobs. During the past year, the construction industry has added 257,000 new jobs, representing a growth rate of 3.7 percent. 

On April 27, the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance on providing relief for certain small businesses that wish to claim the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit for 2017 and later years.

On April 30, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that it made an error regarding implementation of the 2016 Electronic Injury Reporting and Anti-Retaliation final rule and determined all affected employers are required to submit injury and illness data in the Injury Tracking Application online portal, even if the employer is covered by a State Plan that has not completed adoption of their own state rule. 

ABC will be celebrating Construction Safety Week 2018, May 7-11, with an awareness campaign highlighting member achievements in safety performance and ABC’s commitment to achieving zero-incident jobsites. Visit constructionsafetyweek.com for advice on engaging your team with an event guide, toolbox talks, messages to share and more ideas to promote safety as an industry priority.  

Nonresidential construction spending declined 0.3 percent in March, according to an ABC analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Nonresidential spending, which totaled $740.9 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis, has expanded 2.5 percent on a year-over-year basis. February’s spending estimate was revised roughly $10 billion higher, from $732.8 billion to $742.8 billion, rendering the March decline less meaningful.

The March 2018 not seasonally adjusted national construction unemployment rate was down 1 percent from March 2017, and estimated construction unemployment rates also fell in 37 states on a year-over-year basis, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released by ABC. The national unemployment rate was 7.4 percent, the lowest national March rate on record.

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