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Better Plants, Better Buildings group assembles at Volvo powertrain line

Volvo Group North America’s Hagerstown, Md. powertrain facility hosted a tour as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants 2019 Summit. The early-July event highlighted the production line with special emphasis on advanced crankshaft grinding machines that help reduce energy consumption.

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Administration stresses “Buy American” through revised procurement provisions

President Donald Trump issued an executive order strengthening Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council standards under the Buy American Act, which especially impacts heavy/civil or concrete contractors, along with precast or ready mixed producers, performing or supplying Federal Highway Administration-backed work. The latest in a series of orders supporting the Administration’s Buy American and Hire American initiatives directs federal agencies to consider tightening the preference requirements for Federal acquisitions and when foreign products can be used.

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Unpacking divestiture packages in antitrust case settlements

Editor’s note: The Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Competition’s Angelike Andrinopoulos Mina sheds light on a review and order process the cement and concrete industry observed with the 2015-16 sale of Lafarge North America, Holcim (US), Essroc Cement and Lehigh Portland Cement assets attending the Lafarge Group + Holcim Ltd. and HeidelbergCement AG + Italcementi SpA mergers.

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Proposed apprenticeship enlists associations, sidesteps construction

A Labor Department Notice of Proposed Rulemaking calls for empowering agency staff to advance development of industry-recognized apprenticeship programs (IRAP), and a trade association or other not-for-profit organization to function as a Standards Recognition Entity (SRE) that sets standards for IRAP training, structure, and curricula in relevant industries or occupational areas—excepting construction.

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Developer shows the promise of tax reform-ushered Opportunity Zones

A prime example of urban development spurred by tax reform President Trump signed in 2017 is taking shape in southern California. Newport Beach real estate developer and investment manager Primior staged groundbreaking late last month on First Harbor Plaza, a 40,000-sq.-ft. restaurant, retail, office and medical property located in one of the busiest areas of Santa Ana, south of Los Angeles. The population within a five-mile radius of the property exceeds 750,000.

Read more: Developer shows the promise of tax reform-ushered Opportunity Zones