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Crowd source-modeled competition spotlights infrastructure needs

9 AEM 150The Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ three-phase Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge will award a total of $150,000 in prizes for innovative ideas to overhaul the crumbling infrastructure that Americans rely upon to move people, materials, products, services and information. Open to everyone everywhere, the competition leverages the HeroX crowd sourcing model designed to spur radical business, technological and social innovation benefiting local and global communities; inspire new industries; and, catalyze markets.

 

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Labor Department survey underscores perpetual slide of trades’ unionization rate

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show the percentage of U.S. construction workers belonging to unions dropped from 13.9 in 2014 to 13.2 last year. The figures are based on rank-and-file totals of 968,000 and 940,000 against 2014 and 2015 workforces, respectively, of 6.97 million and 7.1 million. The total percentage of construction workers represented by unions—local or association members plus workers whose jobs are covered by a union contract—was 14.7 and 14.0 for 2014 and 2015.

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EPA pegs five-year wastewater infrastructure investment tab

10 EPAii 150A survey of current or target projects that the Environmental Protection Agency conducted with states and territories finds that $271 billion is needed over the next five years to maintain and improve the nation’s wastewater infrastructure. Investment areas or subjects include the pipes that carry wastewater to treatment plants, technology that treats the water, and methods for managing stormwater runoff.

 

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NPCA flags court’s reversal of Buy America exemption for steel hardware

Citing a late-2015 U.S. District Court decision vacating Federal Highway Administration Buy America exemptions for miscellaneous steel components, the National Precast Concrete Association is urging members who fabricate precast structures for federally funded projects to evaluate use of tie wire, lifting devices and any other elements from foreign sources, and assume requests for documentation that all structure components are domestic.

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First code improvements adopted based on Feds’ Joplin tornado study

8 NISTi 150Protecting schools and their associated high-occupancy buildings from violent tornadoes is the goal of the first approved building code changes based on recommendations from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) technical investigation into the impacts of the May 2011 tornado that devestated Joplin, Mo.

 

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