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Members of Congress Join ABC in Advocating for Fair and Open Competition

On June 28, eight members of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services sent an ABC-supported letter to Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen expressing concerns about the department’s guidance on $350 billion worth of federal funding for state and local fiscal recovery allocated in the American Rescue Plan and the encouragement of project labor agreements on federally assisted water, sewer and broadband projects.

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OSHA Adds FAQ Related to Best Practices for Protecting Workers Regardless of Vaccination Status

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently added a frequently asked question related to best practices for protecting workers regardless of vaccination status to its non-ETS FAQs

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EEO-1 Component 1 Data Collection for 2019 and 2020—New Filing Deadline

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Component 1 data collection filing deadline has been extended from July 19 to Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. However, the EEOC encourages eligible employers to file the required EEO-1 Component 1 report(s) as soon as possible.

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Good News on Prices for Some Construction Materials

The elevated price of softwood lumber, a major talking point during much of the pandemic, appears to have peaked in early May at more than $1,700 per thousand board feet. As of June 23, the price has fallen below $900 per board feet, down about 49% in less than two months. 

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ABC Key-votes the For the People Act

On June 22, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer forced a vote on the ABC-opposed For the People Act. ABC key-voted against this procedural show vote arguing that the bill is a misguided attempt to reform our elections and campaign finance law that would discourage Americans from exercising their First Amendment right to free speech, politicize the agencies tasked with protecting our elections and expose hardworking taxpayers to harassment, intimidation and retribution even when they do not participate in campaign and political activities.

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ABC Calls for Section 199A Permanence for Small Businesses

On June 22, ABC joined more than 100 trade associations to support the Main Street Tax Certainty Act (H.R. 1381/S. 480) and to oppose potential legislation from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) that would weaken the Section 199A pass-through deduction. The Main Street Tax Certainty Act would make permanent the current 20% deduction for small and family-owned businesses, provided through Section 199A of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

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ABC Keystone Chapter Teaches Young Girls About Industry at Construction Summer Camp

On June 14, the ABC Keystone Chapter welcomed 12 girls from surrounding school districts to its facility to learn about blueprints, the construction process and safety at a week-long summer program called the All ‘Bout Construction (ABC) Girls Camp. The first of its kind at the chapter, the camp allowed girls to meet women who work in the industry and visit a series of jobsites. They even got a chance to build and take home their own multi-trade, steampunk-themed lighted charging station using their own set of tools from Klein and ABC strategic partner Milwaukee Tool.

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ABC Member Highlights President Biden’s Infrastructure Plan’s Impact on Small Business in Congressional Testimony

On June 10, Annie Mecias-Murphy, co-owner and president of Associated Builders and Contractors member JA&M Developing Corp., headquartered in Pembroke Pines, Florida, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee Subcommittee on Contracting and Infrastructure on the negative impacts that the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan would have on small business contractors.

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EPA, Army Announce Intent to Revise WOTUS Definition

On June 9, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army announced their intent to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” that are federally regulated under the Clean Water Act and replace the definition under the Trump administration’s 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which provided four clear categories of waters under the CWA that businesses and landowners could easily understand.

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Construction Groups See Biden Administration’s Decision to Exclude Construction From the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard a Smart One

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the long-awaited COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard on June 10. The Construction Industry Safety Coalition, which ABC is a steering committee member, said that it is pleased that the Biden administration and OSHA listened to the concerns and recommendations of the construction industry in formulating the ETS.

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Biden Administration Releases Spring 2021 Regulatory Agenda

On June 11, the Biden administration released its Spring 2021 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.  The agenda lists upcoming rulemakings and other regulatory actions from each agency that the administration expects to publish through the end of the year and into 2022. ABC has prepared a summary of the actions of interest to ABC members by agency. 
 

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Biden Administration Announces Key Findings From Reviews on America’s Supply Chain

On June 10, the Biden-Harris administration announced key findings from the reviews directed under Executive Order 14017 “America’s Supply Chains,” as well as immediate actions the administration will take to strengthen American supply chains to promote economic security, national security and “good-paying, union jobs here at home.”

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ABC Members Invited to Upcoming Construction Technology Events

ABC encourages its members to develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitability through the utilization of technology. Get the latest information about construction technology and ways it can improve your business at these upcoming events.

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Emphasizes Importance of Workforce at ABC Legislative Day

On June 4, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed ABC chapters and members at ABC Legislative Day 2021 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The governor was introduced by Tim Keating, ABC’s immediate past chair of the board.

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Twenty ABC Members Ranked in Top 25 Among ENR’s Top 400 Contractors

Of the nation's top 25 construction companies, 20 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 2020 revenue.

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ABC Highlights Results of 2021 Workforce Development Survey in Letter to DOL Secretary

On May 27, ABC wrote to U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Martin Walsh to share the exceptional results of the 2021 Workforce Development Survey. ABC hopes this outreach will encourage Secretary Walsh to work with ABC to advance the interests of the entire construction industry. 

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EEOC Issues Long-Awaited Guidance Related to COVID-19 Vaccinations

ABC is pleased the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued long-awaited guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations as it relates to the workplaceOn Feb. 1, ABC joined 41 trade associations in urging the EEOC to quickly issue guidance clarifying the extent to which employers may offer employees incentives to vaccinate without violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws enforced by the EEOC.

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ABC Pleased OSHA Revises FAQs on Recording Adverse Reactions Related to COVID-19 Vaccinations

ABC is pleased that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has re-evaluated its frequently asked questions related to COVID-19 vaccinations, announcing it will not enforce the requirement for employers to record worker side effects from COVID-19 vaccination through May 2022. 

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Applications Open: Join an Elite Class of Accredited Contractors With AQC

Applications are now being accepted for ABC's Accredited Quality Contractor credential, the only ABC program that recognizes companies based on quality, safety, education talent management and diversity and community relations.

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ABC Responds to Treasury Guidance Encouraging PLAs

In a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, ABC expressed concerns about Treasury’s guidance on $350 billion worth of federal funding for state and local fiscal recovery allocated in the American Rescue Plan and the encouragement of project labor agreements on federally assisted water, sewer and broadband projects.

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U.S. Treasury Promotes PLA Schemes on Federally Assisted Public Works Projects

The Biden administration and U.S. Department of Treasury have taken another unfortunate step promoting controversial, anti-competitive and costly government-mandated project labor agreements, local hire and Davis-Bacon/prevailing wage policies on federally assisted taxpayer-funded construction projects.

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ABC Fights DOL’s Withdrawal of Trump-era Independent Contractor Rule

On May 14, the Coalition for Workforce Innovation, ABC, ABC Southeast Texas Chapter and the Financial Services Institute filed an amended complaint challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s unlawful withdrawal of the independent contractor rule. The Department’s hasty and unjustified action violates the Administrative Procedure Act, compounding a violation that began when the department improperly delayed the effective date of the rule in March.

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ABC Urges Revisions to OSHA’s Latest FAQs Regarding COVID-19 Vaccine Adverse Reactions

On May 10, ABC, as a steering committee member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, wrote to U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration urging it to review and revise its recently issued Frequently Asked Questions on whether employers must record adverse reactions caused by COVID-19 vaccinations that are required and/or recommended by employers.

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What the Surge In Construction Material Prices Means

Because coronavirus vaccine distribution is accelerating, the expectation is that worldwide demand for steel, aluminum, oil and other productive inputs will surge later in 2021. The result could be substantial upward pressure on construction input prices. 

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Language in Clean Energy Tax Credit Overhaul Bill Would Chill Competition From Merit Shop Contractors

On May 4, ABC sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) raising concerns about provisions in the Clean Energy for America Act that would expand new government-registered apprenticeship program requirements and Davis-Bacon prevailing wage regulations onto the construction of projects receiving clean energy tax incentives. ABC is troubled by provisions in the legislation that will needlessly increase construction costs and reduce competition from qualified companies and their skilled employees who participate in the construction of the clean energy marketplace.

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ABC Slams U.S. DOL’s Withdrawal of Trump-era Independent Contractor Final Rule

On May 5, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the withdrawal—effective May 6—of the Trump-era independent contractor final rule. While expected, this action is extremely disappointing. ABC strongly supported the Trump DOL final rule, which would have clarified the department’s interpretation of independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act and promoted certainty for employers, independent contractors and employees.

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ABC, Coalition Alarmed by Government-mandated PLAs in Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan

On May 5, ABC and a coalition of 16 industry and employer groups sent a letter to President Joe Biden raising concerns about the administration’s direct expansion and support of legislative policies encouraging or requiring controversial government-mandated project labor agreements on federal and federally assisted construction projects.

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ABC Greater Tennessee Chapter Receives $1M Grant for Skills Education

Thanks to a $1 million grant that just passed the Tennessee General Assembly, ABC’s Greater Tennessee Chapter will operate educational programs to provide advanced craft skills in HVAC, masonry, electrical, and carpentry in a new 15,000-square-foot facility with classroom and lab space. The grant will enable ABC to serve an additional 250 students a year in its four-year adult program. 

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy Signs PLA Mandate Expansion

In an unfortunate but expected turn of events, Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law New Jersey’s most recent anti-merit shop project labor agreement-favoring legislation, S-3414/A-5378, which requires government-mandated project labor agreements to apply to all public construction contracts over $5 million in the state. ABC and the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey spoke out in opposition to the legislation.

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President Biden Issues Executive Order to Raise the Minimum Wage to $15 for Federal Contractors

On April 27, President Joe Biden issued an executive order increasing the minimum wage for federal contractors, which would require federal contractors to pay a $15 minimum wage to workers working on or in connection with a federal government contract.

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Biden’s First 100 Days: Impacts on Merit Shop Contractors

From supporting the Protecting the Right to Organize Act to rolling back Trump-era regulatory actions, the Biden administration got off to a fast start delivering on its election-year promises to unions. ABC has mobilized to protect merit shop construction and provide members with status and updates on key policy actions.

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OSHA Sends Draft COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard to OMB for Review

On April 27, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration sent a draft OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget for review. The review at OIRA is usually the final step in the process before a rule is officially published, which could take up to two weeks. At this time, neither OIRA nor DOL have made the content of the ETS public, but ABC has requested a meeting with OIRA to discuss its concerns with an OSHA COVID-19 ETS.

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President Biden Issues Executive Order on Worker Organizing and Empowerment

On April 26, President Joe Biden issued an executive order that establishes the Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment. ABC is concerned that the Biden administration is promoting policies that undermine workers’ choice whether to freely join a union, such as government-mandated project labor agreements.

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Registration Is Open for ABC’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Virtual Summit

On June 14, ABC will be hosting a virtual Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Summit, which will explore the complexity of IDE in today’s world and evaluate its historical journey and sustainable future in the construction industry. Learn more and register today!

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Register for ABC Legislative Day, June 2-4, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

ABC Legislative Day gives members the opportunity to learn about the issues that affect merit shop construction contractors and showcase their contributions to the industry and the economy. Plan to attend and network with ABC’s most engaged members, hear from esteemed speakers and learn the ins and outs of grassroots lobbying. Register today!

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Register for the 2021 ABC Virtual Legal Conference on Thursday, June 24

Join ABC leaders, legal and regulatory experts and government officials on Thursday, June 24, as they share the latest developments in labor and employment law and their impact on merit shop contractors. Registration closes June 22.

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DOL Launches COVID-19 Worker Protections Resource Page

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division launched its Essential Workers – Essential Protections initiative to provide resources and offer information on common issues that employers and employees face during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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ABC Applauds the Reintroduction of the BUILDER Act to Modernize NEPA

On April 14, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Rep. Garrett Graves (R-La.), reintroduced the Building U.S. Infrastructure Through Limited Delays & Efficient Reviews (BUILDER) Act, which would modernize the outdated National Environmental Policy Act) to make infrastructure project reviews more efficient, reduce project costs, spur economic recovery and rebuild America. The BUILDER Act has been reintroduced as a leading priority of ABC and Congressional Republicans as negotiations continue on Capitol Hill on forming significant infrastructure legislation.

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OSHA Issues New FAQs on Recording Illnesses Caused by Required and Recommended COVID-19 Vaccinations

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently posted new Frequently Asked Questions on recording illnesses caused by required and recommended COVID-19 vaccinations.

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Participate in ABC’s CBI/CCI Economic Survey

All ABC contractor members received the monthly Construction Backlog Indicator/Construction Confidence Survey in their inboxes on Tuesday, April 20. Please encourage your members to respond to this monthly survey to help us understand the market forces that are shaping the construction outlook for the coming months.

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ABC Welcomes New Beam Club Presidential Level Member Karl Hudson

ABC has added Massachusetts Chapter member Karl Hudson of L. C. Anderson, Inc. to the Beam Club Presidential Level.
 

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ABC Partners with Congressional Leaders to Advocate for a Fair and Open Competition in Infrastructure Legislation

On April 14, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hosted a “Members’ Day Hearing” to seek recommendations on the policy priorities of members of the U.S. House of Representatives as they begin to consider legislation to reauthorize surface transportation legislation, which expires at the end of September.

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ABC Opposes DOL’s Proposals to Rescind Trump-era Independent Contractor and Joint Employer Rules

On April 12, ABC submitted comments in opposition to proposals from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division to rescind the Trump-era independent contractor and joint employer final rules.

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ABC Launches COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit and Announces Webinars

ABC has launched a COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit as part of the Coronavirus Update webpage to help inform and educate members about the latest available resources and information on the COVID-19 vaccine.

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ABC Welcomes New Beam Club Presidential Level Member Mike Dillon

ABC has added Nevada Chapter member Mike Dillon of Dillon Health to the Beam Club Presidential Level.

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ABC Joins Grassroots Alliance to Stamp Out Racism Against AAPI and Other Diverse Americans

ABC has signed on to the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation’s call to defeat hate and restore inclusion and respect.

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EEOC to Open EEO-1 Component 1 Data Collection for 2019 and 2020

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Component 1 data collection will open on Monday, April 26, 2021, and the deadline for filing this data will be Monday, July 19, 2021.

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ABC Welcomes New Beam Club Presidential Level Member Nick Krarup

ABC has added Florida Gulf Coast Chapter member Nick Krarup of Coastal Construction to the Beam Club Presidential Level.

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OFCCP Announces Annual VEVRAA Hiring Benchmark

On March 30, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs updated its Annual Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act Benchmark Database to reflect a new hiring benchmark of 5.6%, which is effective March 31.

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Biden Infrastructure Plan Rife With ABC-opposed Labor Policies

On March 31, the Biden administration released a more than $2 trillion infrastructure outline titled the “American Jobs Plan.” While the plan calls for federal spending over the next eight years to improve the nation’s infrastructure, including for transportation, broadband, energy, and drinking water, it also includes funding for schools and child-care facilities, affordable housing, workforce development and manufacturing.

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