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Construction in Pennsylvania Set to Resume on May 1 with Updated CDC Safety Measures

On April 25, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) rolled out his plan for a gradual reopening of the state, which says that construction can resume on Friday, May 1, as long as it is in accordance with safety and COVID-19 mitigation standards.

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CISC Releases Updated COVID-19 Prevention, Preparedness and Response Plan for Construction

The Construction Industry Safety Coalition recently released an updated COVID-19 Prevention, Preparedness and Response Plan for Construction. ABC, a member of the CISC Steering Committee, encourages its members to review the plan, which includes the latest protective measures and guidance on keeping workers safe on jobsites.

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High School Seniors in ACE Mentor Program Win $400,000 in Scholarships

Twenty-three students have won college scholarships worth between $5,000 and $40,000 in the second year of a national competition organized by the ACE Mentor Program, a free after-school program created by the integrated construction industry to attract students into pursuing industry-related careers.

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Bipartisan Senators Urge the Inclusion of 501(c)(6) Organizations in the Paycheck Protection Program

On April 27, a bipartisan group of 18 U.S. senators urged expanding eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program to include 501(c)(6) organizations in the next coronavirus relief package. If your senator supported this effort, please take the time to thank them through ABC’s Action Alert.

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Visit ABC’s New and Improved Coronavirus Webpage for Members and Their Employees

ABC is committed to providing its members with the latest health, safety, economic and policy information regarding the coronavirus pandemic. To better manage the growing number of resources, ABC just updated its Coronavirus Update webpage to simplify and improve navigation, with topics and resources organized in four different categories: Employer Resources, Employee Resources, National Markets and State & Local Markets.

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Congress Extends Paycheck Protection Program With New Guidance From Federal Agencies

On April 24, the president signed into law a $484 billion bipartisan deal to extend the Paycheck Protection Program and provide additional funding for hospitals and testing for the virus. Following the bill’s passage, additional guidance was issued by the Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of Treasury on the second round of funding for the popular loan program.

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Virginia Delays Enactment of Prevailing Wage and PLA Mandate Laws Until May 2021

During its annual reconvene/veto session April 22, the Virginia General Assembly agreed with Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and delayed the effective date of two laws permitting prevailing wage and project labor agreement requirements on taxpayer-funded public works projects.

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OFCCP Publishes Directives on Contractor Compliance Evaluations

On April 17, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs issued guidance to increase accountability and efficiency in its enforcement and to maximize the effectiveness of compliance assistance resources to assist contractors in meeting their responsibilities.

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Additional Funding for PPP Loans Set to Pass in the U.S. House and Be Signed Into Law

On April 21, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan agreement that will provide $321 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program. House members have been advised to return to Washington, D.C., for an April 23 vote on the interim coronavirus relief package, and the president has stated he will sign the bill into law once passed.

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West Virginia Supreme Court Upholds State’s Right-to-Work Law

In a victory for worker freedom and the merit shop philosophy, on April 21, the West Virginia Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Workplace Freedom Act, the state’s right-to-work law, in a 4-1 decision.

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ABC Launches Construction Technology and Innovation Initiative

ABC’s construction technology and innovation initiative officially kicks off with three technology webinars.

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ABC to Deliver Components of its Legislative Week Virtually

Due to ongoing disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, ABC has cancelled Legislative Week as an in-person event and will offer elements of the program virtually.

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ABC Chapter President Sets Sights on Indiana Senate Race

JR Gaylor, president and CEO of ABC of Indiana/Kentucky, is running for Indiana State Senate District 20 and will face two challengers in the Republican primary, which is set to be held on June 2.

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ABC Represented on Economic Recovery Groups

On April 16, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced the formation of the Economic Recovery Group, a joint effort between public officials and private industry that will look at rebooting the state’s economy amidst the coronavirus pandemic. ABC Greater Tennessee Chapter President Clay Crownover was appointed to the group and will serve alongside 14 other industry representatives, state legislators and agency officials to draft recommendations, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

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ABC Asks OSHA for Guidance on Reporting of COVID-19 Cases, Social Distancing and Face Coverings

On April 17, ABC, as a member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition Steering Committee, wrote to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding additional guidance from OSHA as it relates to construction.

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CISA Issues New Guidance for Essential Services, Construction Industry

On April 17, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency  released version 3.0 of its guidance on the essential critical infrastructure workforce.

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OSHA Issues Interim Enforcement Response Plan for COVID-19 Outbreak

On April 13, the U. S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued an interim enforcement response plan with instructions and guidance to OSHA Area Offices and compliance safety and health officers for handling coronavirus-related complaints, referrals and severe illness reports. The vast majority of OSHA’s interim enforcement response plan focuses on how to conduct inspections in the health care industry as opposed to general industry or construction.

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ABC Helps to Author Strategy for Safe, Strong Recovery as Part of Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups

On April 14, President Donald Trump announced that ABC President and CEO Mike Bellaman was named to one of the Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups, which will work together with the White House towards the stated goal of “charting the path forward toward a future of unparalleled American prosperity.” 

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Federal Reserve Announces Main Street Lending Program

Last week, the Federal Reserve took additional actions to provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy during the COVID-19 health crisis.

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EEOC Updates Technical Assistance for COVID-19 and EEO Laws

On April 9, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued an updated technical assistance publication that addresses questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws.

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ABC Hosts COVID-19 Job Site Safety Stand Down on April 23

ABC is encouraging individual employers to talk directly to workers about coronavirus safe work practices and protocols on construction jobsites by hosting COVID-19 Safety Stand-downs on Thursday, April 23.

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Virginia Governor Recommends Delaying Legislation Requiring PLAs and Prevailing Wage on Public Works

This weekend, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed into law and issued amendment recommendations for legislation impacting Virginia’s construction industry, including two bills permitting prevailing wage and project labor agreement requirements on taxpayer-funded public works projects.

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OSHA Expands Temporary Guidance for Respirator Fit Testing During COVID-19 Outbreak

On April 8, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration expanded temporary guidance provided in a March 14, 2020, memorandum regarding supply shortages of N95s or other filtering facepiece respirators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Upcoming Webinar Series: Leveraging Technology to Combat Effects of COVID-19

Join Matt Abeles, ABC vice president of construction technology and innovation, and his guests to explore ways to leverage cutting-edge technology and help ABC member companies succeed in today’s unique construction climate. Three tech-focused webinars are scheduled as part of ABC’s COVID-19 series and will provide unique, innovative insights into a variety of timely topics. 

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OSHA Guidance on COVID-19 Recording Requirements Provides Clarification for Contractors

On April 10, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued interim guidance for enforcing OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements (29 CFR Part 1904) as it relates to recording cases of COVID-19.

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States Announce Regional Approach to Reopening Economies

On April 13, two multi-state coalitions announced the formation of separate task forces focused on reopening their state economies through regional partnerships.

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State Budget Shortfalls Expected to Affect Public Works Spending

States and localities across the United States are facing an uncertain economic future as the coronavirus pandemic has ground economic activity to a halt across the country and cut off revenue streams that these governments rely on, such as sales and income taxes. Unanticipated state budget expenditures, like emergency funding packages, are also forcing states to reconsider how resources are allocated in their budgets.

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Sen. Sanders Suspends Campaign; Wisconsin Votes

Wisconsin held its in-person election on April 7, despite numerous primary postponements and some public criticism. Former Vice President Joe Biden won with 62.93% of the vote, bringing his delegate count to 1,293 (1,991 delegates are needed to secure his nomination).

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ABC Supports Extension and Expansion of PPP Loans

On April 14, ABC sent an action alert to ABC members asking them to call on their member of Congress to quickly authorize additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, which was created under the CARES Act to provide forgivable loans to small businesses. With nearly $350 billion in small business aid estimated to run out this week, ABC is asking Congress to pass a clean bill to increase funds for the PPP, which has been a priority for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) and the White House.

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New York Expands Prevailing Wage to Private Projects

The New York State Legislature took action to include an expansion of prevailing wage in the state’s budget for fiscal year 2020-21, which was signed into law on April 3 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). The provision expands the view of what projects are considered “public works” and applies prevailing wage to private projects of $5 million or above in project cost that receive at least 30% of their financing from public assistance. This assistance goes beyond direct public investment to include loan and grant programs and certain tax incentives, greatly increasing the number of projects required to pay prevailing wages.

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ABC Urges Congress to Include 501(c)(6) Organizations in Next Phase of COVID-19 Relief

The recently passed CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, provided aid for small businesses and affected industries across the country. However, the bill does not include assistance for 501(c)(6) organizations such as trade associations that are, in some cases, experiencing the same operational challenges that large and small businesses are facing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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DOL Issues Additional FAQs on Federal Paid Sick and Family Leave Requirements

The U.S. Department of Labor continues to issue compliance assistance materials on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which went into effect on April 1.

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OSHA Issues Enforcement Policies on Respiratory Protection

In response to the current shortage of N95 respirators, OSHA has released guidance regarding the enforcement of its respiratory protection standard.

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ABC Votes 2020 is Live

ABC Votes 2020, the one-stop-shop for all voter questions, information and priority issues surrounding the 2020 election cycle, is now live at abcvotes.com.

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SBA and Treasury Confirm Businesses With 500 or Fewer Employees Can Qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program

The Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Treasury confirmed ABC’s interpretation of the IFR and addressed this issue in a release of FAQs for lenders and borrowers. Importantly, this document clarifies that businesses do not have to qualify as both a small business concern and have 500 or fewer employees. ABC continues to urge eligible members in need to apply for PPP loans.

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DOL Provides Flexibility for the Delivery Method of Apprenticeship Related Instruction

On March 16, as a result of COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, Office of Apprenticeship, released Bulletin 2020-51 to provide flexibility regarding the requirements for approval for related instruction and reiterate that related instruction may be delivered electronically.

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OFCCP Issues a COVID-19 National Interest Exemption

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements for a period of three months, from March 17, 2020 to June 17, 2020.

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NLRB Issues Representation-Case Procedures Final Rule

On April 1, the National Labor Relations Board published its final rule on Representation – Case Procedures: Election Bars; Proof of Majority Support in Construction-Industry Collective-Bargaining Relationships, which makes three amendments to its rules and regulations governing the filing and processing of petitions for an NLRB-conducted representation election and proof of majority support in construction-industry collective-bargaining relationships. The final rule will go into effect on June 1.

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Members Can Access E-services From ABC Partners to Maintain Social Distancing

During these unprecedented times, many businesses are assisting ABC members and chapters by providing them online tools for their services.

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DOL Issues Additional Guidance on Federal Paid Sick and Family Leave Requirements

The U.S. Department of Labor continues to issue compliance assistance materials on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which went into effect on April 1. On March 18, the Senate passed and the president signed into law H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which requires private-sector employers with fewer than 500 employees, and certain public employers, to provide covered employees emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave.

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FMCSA Waiver Announcement for Commercial Learners Permit Holders

In response to the president’s national emergency declaration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced a three-month waiver to prevent the possible shortage of commercial motor vehicle drivers and continue to allow intrastate and interstate commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learners permit (CLP) holders to transport critical goods and supplies to businesses and individuals affected by COVID-19.

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ABC Virginia Chapter Kicks Off Apprenticeship Program

The ABC Virginia Chapter has started implementing a competency-based component for their registered apprenticeship program.

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ABC Video Release: Introducing 2020 ABC National Chair, Tim Keating

Tim Keating, owner and president, R. C. Stevens Construction Co., took the reins as the 2020 ABC national chair at ABC’s March Board of Directors meeting. “With decades of combined industry leadership and experience, Tim Keating is committed to ABC’s value proposition to help our membership develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work,” said Michael Bellaman, ABC president and chief executive officer. Check out ABC’s new video to learn more about Tim and his goals for ABC in 2020.

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Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Signed into Law

Following the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) and President Trump signing it into law, ABC has gathered some additional information on the bill’s small business and tax provisions.

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DOL Seeks Public Input on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Following last week’s passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 (FFCRA) and President Trump signing it into law, the U.S. Department of Labor has requested ideas and input on the paid leave provisions of the new law as it issues implementing regulations and guidance. 

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ABC Writes to OSHA Regarding the Recordability of COVID-19 Cases

On March 24, ABC, as a member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition Steering Committee, wrote to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding recordkeeping and respirator enforcement during the COVID-19 outbreak. CISC is comprised of a number of trade associations that represent every aspect of the construction industry.

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Essential Construction Services Must Not Be Shut Down, ABC Tells White House

In the wake of coronavirus-related business shutdowns impacting the construction industry in Boston, Pennsylvania and other localities, ABC is urging President Trump to recognize construction as an essential service and keep workers employeto preserve the industry’s current and future ability to build and maintain health care facilities, respond to critical infrastructure requirements and aid in recovery efforts after natural disasters.

 

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ABC Members Donate N95 Masks to Hospitals in Response to COVID-19

With a shortage of N-95 face masks used by health care and first responders, the White House has called for donations to local hospitals from construction contractors and other industries that have supplies on hand.

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Deal Reached on Emergency Economic Relief for COVID-19 Virus

Today, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate arrived at a deal to provide approximately $2 trillion in federal funding and programs to address the ongoing health crisis. The legislation would send checks to many Americans under a certain income threshold, create a $350 billion loan program for small businesses and establish a $500 billion lending fund for industries, cities and states.

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ABC Tracks COVID-19-related Construction Shutdowns, Restrictions Nationwide

ABC and its chapters are reaching out to state and local lawmakers and asking them to treat construction activities conducted in a safe and responsible manner as essential services in order to permit critical infrastructure services to continue as states and localities draft stay-at-home orders and other policies allowing only movement of workers involved in essential businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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