Labor Department turns back clock on apprenticeship programs

The U.S. Department of Labor is reviewing nominations for members to serve on the newly reinstated National Advisory Committee on Apprenticeships. Candidates will include a diverse set of stakeholders—from those representing unions, employers or apprentices to community colleges and other institutions—to build a Registered Apprenticeship Program. Members will focus on expanding apprenticeships into fast-growing industries and sectors to create more…

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Federal Highway Administration marks bridge safety, inspection milestone

The Federal Highway Administration recently observed the 50th anniversary of its National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS), the basis for the federal program that helps to protect nearly 620,000 structures across the country. The NBIS requires regular and thorough highway bridge inspections to detect potential structural problems early and ensure maintenance efforts are being carried out.  State departments of transportation inspect…

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Coalition states case for Miller Act bond threshold indexing exemption

The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) and National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) in Washington, D.C. endorse House legislation that will maintain essential payment protections for subcontractors, suppliers, and workers on federal construction contracts of $150,000 or more. Sponsored by Congresspersons Nydia Velasquez (D-N.Y.) and Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), H.R. 2949 exempts the threshold in the Miller Act—a…

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EPA honors nine cement companies and PCA in 2021 Energy Star Awards

Thirteen of the 95 plants earning certification in the 2020 Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star manufacturing category produce portland cement: Argos USA LLC, Calera, Ala. and Harleyville, S.C.; Ash Grove Cement, Seattle; Buzzi Unicem USA, Festus, Mo. and Chattanooga, Tenn.; CalPortland Co., Rillito, Ariz.; Cemex USA, Miami; Drake Cement, Paulden, Ariz.; GCC of America, Pueblo, Colo. and Rapid City, S.D.;…

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Lawmakers reintroduce Disasters Savings and Resilient Construction Act

The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association is part of a broad coalition of building and construction materials associations, civil engineering and environmental advocacy interests, codes and standards organizations, and insurance underwriters that are supporting the reintroduction of legislation aimed at securing a tax credit to foster the construction of resilient residential and commercial buildings. The Disasters Savings and Resilient Construction…

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California cement producers tie carbon neutral operation to sound policies

A California Nevada Cement Association (CNCA) roadmap envisions three major pathways for the industry to attain net zero carbon operation by 2045: reducing production process emissions, reducing combustion emissions through fuel switching, and increasing distributed electricity generation. With 11.8 million metric tons’ clinker and 11.45 million metric tons’ grinding capacity in California (per USGS 2017 data), CNCA members can reach…

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Colas subsidiary settles case of sub-spec mixes for Navy airfields

A Middle East sister operation of New Jersey-based aggregate, asphalt and ready mixed producer Colas USA has agreed to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by delivering substandard concrete to U.S. Navy airfields in the Republic of Djibouti, nestled between Ethiopia and the strait linking the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Settlements with the Department of…

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Underwriters support payment protections for TIFIA-funded project subs

The Surety & Fidelity Association of America in Washington, D.C. cites Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Congressmen Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Troy Balderson (R-OH) for their introduction of “Promoting Infrastructure by Protecting Our Subcontractors and Taxpayers Act.” The legislation provides essential protections for workers, suppliers and contractors by requiring payment backing on federally financed infrastructure…

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Fire safety-minded city council members embrace better building practices

The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association-chartered Build with Strength Coalition reports progress among its Los Angeles allies in promoting safe construction methods. Los Angeles City Councilmember Monica Rodriguez led the Public Safety Committee in advancing a motion that would ultimately enact an ordinance mandating fire life safety building practices. The action followed preliminary measures her colleagues initiated in 2019 and…

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Code Council ushers new voices into building energy efficiency dialog

A new International Code Council framework will assist governments and building industry stakeholders in meeting energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction goals. The Code Council Board of Directors, which consists of 18 government officials who were elected by their peers, adopted the framework, “Leading the Way to Energy Efficiency: A Path Forward on Energy and Sustainability to Confront a Changing…

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