Equipment Distributors clarify “right to repair” distortions

An expansive White House order issued under the banner of “promoting competition in the American economy” presents 72 initiatives for more than a dozen federal agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission, which is encouraged to limit “equipment manufacturers from restricting people’s ability to use independent repair shops.” The order instructs the FTC chairman to consider working with colleagues to exercise…

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Coalition counters push for project labor agreement mandates

An Associated Builders and Contractors-led coalition of construction industry and business organizations has kicked off a six-figure advocacy campaign aimed at educating taxpayers and members of the U.S. Senate about controversial government-mandated project labor agreements. Build America Local argues that such schemes reduce competition and increase costs for the construction of taxpayer-funded affordable housing, clean energy and infrastructure projects acrosst…

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State soybean checkoff puts durability agent to test in AASHTO projects

The Indiana Soybean Alliance – PoreShield will participate in Innovative Technology Demonstrations (ITD), a field program hosted by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Transportation System Preservation Technical Services Program (TSP-2).

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Davis-Bacon support deepens along White House, Capitol Hill axis

A White House 2021 regulatory update, coupled with a U.S. Senate vote on a Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act amendment, illustrate administrative and legislative branch underpinnings for one of the most contentious statutes affecting construction: the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (Davis-Bacon or DBRA).  Among U.S. Department of Labor responses to a White House executive order is a…

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Pandemic measures drive doubling of safety training outlays

Members responding to the Associated Builders and Contractors 2021 Workforce Development Survey invested $1.3 billion last year to provide craft, leadership and safety education to 500,000 course attendees, advancing their careers in commercial and industrial construction. Safety education accounted for 71 percent of the total workforce investment as per-person spending doubled, revealing an elevated focus on total human health during…

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Workforce drug test positivity rates evidence of marijuana consumption

The Covid-19 pandemic did not dampen workforce drug testing positivity for marijuana, which continued to increase last year in the general U.S. workforce, according to a new Quest Diagnostics analysis. Based on 7 million-plus urine drug tests collected between January and December 2020, the overall rate was down only slightly in 2020, 4.4 percent, versus 2019, whose 4.5 percent level…

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NSSGA veteran O’Neill-Kaumo named successor to ACPA chief Voigt

Laura O’Neill-Kaumo assumes the American Concrete Pavement Association president and chief executive officer posts this month, arriving from the American Council of Engineering Companies, Washington, D.C., where as chief operating officer she served engineers engaged in federal infrastructure work. Prior to ACEC, she was National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association senior vice president, charged with overseeing the government affairs agenda…

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Shifty petitioners fail to persuade EPA to lower pH 12.5 corrosivity level

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has formally denied a 2011 rulemaking petition that sought to “revise the regulatory threshold for defining waste as corrosive from the current value of pH 12.5, to pH 11.5; and expand the scope of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrosivity definition to include non-aqueous wastes in addition to the aqueous wastes currently regulated.” 

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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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