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On July 30, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a notice of proposed rulemaking titled Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses. According to OSHA, the proposal seeks to better protect personally identifiable information or data that could be re-identified with a particular individual by removing provisions of the 2016 Electronic Injury Reporting and Anti-Retaliation final rule.

Estimated June construction unemployment rates fell in 15 states on a year-over-year basis, rose in 33 states and were unchanged in two states (Arizona and New Hampshire), according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released by ABC.

ABC members have set the standard for safety, performance and integrity in the construction industry since 1950. After topping 21,000 members in 2017, ABC has a goal of adding 1,000 new like-minded companies committed to excellence and delivering high-value, to join in 2018. Now it’s easy to recommend a colleague at onekmoresway.org, and chapter staff will follow up to close the deal.

The U.S. economy expanded at an annualized 4.1 percent rate during the second quarter of 2018—the fastest rate of quarterly growth since the second quarter of 2014, according to an ABC analysis of U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data.

On behalf of ABC, Mike Holland, chief operating officer, MAREK Companies, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions about the need to modernize and expand apprenticeship opportunities in the United States. 

On July 19, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service proposed revisions to regulations governing sections 4 and 7 of the Endangered Species Act. The public has until Sept. 24, 2018 to comment on the proposed rules. 

ABC urged the U.S. House of Representatives to pass two bills that would modernize vital health care programs and provide much-needed relief to small businesses and their employees, designating them as key votes for its scorecard on the 115th Congress on July 23.

ABC joined a coalition of construction and business associations urging President Trump to eliminate government-mandated project labor agreements and allow all qualified contractors to compete for federal and federally assisted taxpayer-funded construction projects. In a letter sent earlier this week, the coalition stressed that such regulatory reform would create a level playing field in the procurement of government construction contracts, increase competition, curb construction costs and help small businesses grow.

ABC signed on to President Trump’s “Pledge to America’s Workers” at an event at the White House last week, committing to educating and developing at least 500,000 construction workers over the next five years. The pledge, which was signed by more than a dozen leading companies and industry trade associations, stressed the need to expand apprenticeship programs to educate current and future generations of America’s workforce.

On July 18, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule to rescind the 2016 persuader rule, officially named the "Interpretation of the 'Advice' Exemption in Section 203(c) of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act." The final rule will go into effect on Aug. 17, 2018.

On July 12, ABC Vice President of Environment, Health, Safety and Workforce Development Greg Sizemore participated in the first meeting of the U.S. House of Representatives Bipartisan Apprenticeship Caucus. The caucus, founded by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce’s Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee Chairman Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and Ranking Member Susan Davis (D-Calif.), was created this spring to expand apprenticeships in the United States and raise the prestige of the skilled trades.

ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu predicts the nonresidential construction sector will remain stable for the second half of 2018, yet warns of a potential economic downturn in 2020, according to a recent mid-year economic outlook published in Construction Executive magazine.

ABC has added Massachusetts Chapter member Michael Moran of M.J. Moran, Inc. to the Beam Club Presidential level. The Beam Club was established in 1966 to recognize ABC’s top membership recruiters for their commitment to growing the association. By recruiting five new members, ABC members are automatically enrolled in the Beam Club by their chapter.

In front of a nearly sold-out crowd of more than 41,000 people, 2018 National Craft Championships gold medalists and the Craft Professional of the Year stood on the Washington Nationals baseball field July 3 and were honored for their hard work as trained craftsmen. The crowd cheered them on while the ABC logo spread across the stadium, showcasing the theme of the night—free enterprise.

On July 10, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to fill the U.S. Supreme Court seat that will be vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy when he retires on July 31.

ABC has added Massachusetts Chapter member James Alibrandi of Interstate Electrical Services to the Beam Club Presidential level. The Beam Club was established in 1966 to recognize ABC’s top membership recruiters for their commitment to growing the association. By recruiting five new members, ABC members are automatically enrolled in the Beam Club by their chapter.

On July 11, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee held a full committee markup of numerous health care bills aimed at expanding access to health savings accounts (HSAs) and lowering health care premiums for American employers and employees.

According to an ABC analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, construction material prices rose another 0.8 percent in June and are 9.6 percent higher than they were at the same time one year ago.

On July 5, ABC submitted comments to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on its proposed updates to its standard for cranes and derricks in construction to ensure crane operators are qualified to safely operate equipment.

The White House celebrated the six-month anniversary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by hosting an event on Friday, June 29. ABC President and CEO Michael Bellaman attended on behalf of the merit shop contracting community, acknowledging the positive effects of the tax code reform. At the event, President Trump took a moment to recognize ABC and several others as significant supporters who helped pass the legislation. 

Nonresidential construction spending inched 0.1 percent higher on a monthly basis in May, according to an ABC analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Spending, which totaled $749 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual rate for the month, is up 3 percent from the same time last year.  

ABC member B.R. Kreider & Son, a family-owned site management, excavating and paving company based in Manheim, Pa., donated a generous $5,000 to the Lebanon County Career and Technology Center. The gift will help fund tuition for students enrolled in the LCCTC’s landscaping, automotive and diesel programs.

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