The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association has named 21 rising stars from producer and associate member companies for the 2020 Developing Industry Leaders program: Master Builders Solutions’ Mason Booth and Matthew Wilson; Aggregate Industries’ Jenay Brown, Dan Corneau and Matthew Riggi; Titan America’s Marty Elkes, Jr. and David Novitzki (S&W Ready Mix Concrete) and Justin Walker (Roanoke Cement); Euclid Chemical’s Jason Jimenez; Irving Materials’ Andrew Mercker, Tyler Stanley and Kyle Norwood; Oremus Material’s Alireza Nili; Dickinson Ready Mix’s Ben Olin; U.S. Concrete’s Francis Pico-Llerena and Luis Soto-Rivas; Coast 2 Coast’s Micah Red Elk; CalPortland’s William Regis; Bayou Concrete’s Leighton Reynolds; Preferred Materials’ Frank Russo-Alesi; and, Maschmeyer Concrete’s Michael Tucker.

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AGC, ABC document Obama order’s certain harm to competition, small businesses

Sources: Associated General Contractors of America, Associated Builders & Contractors, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

ABC and AGC have been among the most vocal “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” critics since President Obama added it to his expansive executive order roster in June 2014. Response to the Labor Department and Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council announcement of a final rule implementing the order show neither group changing its tune.

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Resilient Building Codes host recognizes NCMA, AGC, AIA deliverables

Sources: White House Briefing Room; CP staff

Along with the federal agency actions stemming from the Conference on Resilient Building Codes, the White House cited related measures unfolding at the National Concrete Masonry Association and Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, plus architectural, engineering and construction peer groups.

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Construction interests challenge OSHA silica rule on multiple fronts

Sources: Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC), Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), Washington, D.C.; National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, Alexandria, Va.; CP staff

Seven national construction organizations, led by ABC, AGC and ARTBA, plan to join eight state affiliates petitioning the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for review of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s final rule on crystalline silica exposure. Released in late March, it sets a threshold of 50-micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour shift, compared to a longstanding 250-microgram level for the construction industry.

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Contractors ramp up headcounts anticipating private, public market growth

Seventy-one percent of construction firms plan to expand their payrolls in 2016 as contractors expect increased activity in a range of public and private market segments, according to results of an Associated General Contractors of America and Sage Construction & Real Estate survey. Conducted as part of AGC’s “The Challenges Facing a Growing Industry: The 2016 Construction Industry Hiring and Business Outlook,” the survey indicates contractors foresee a positive year despite tight labor conditions, regulatory burdens, and information technology security challenges.

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A year of tempered market expectations, bigger multinationals, taller wood buildings

Three developments tracked since January stand out at year’s end: 1) overall concrete shipments did not pace projected level; 2) among global operators, the annual revenue bar for cement, aggregate and ready mixed concrete shipments is moving from the $10 billion–$15 billion to $15 billion–$20 billion range, with the top players deriving about 20–25 percent of sales in North America; and, 3) U.S. and Canadian wood interests’ multi-story building market pursuits are reverberating among ready mixed and manufactured-concrete producers.

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Construction spending levels enter fourth quarter at seven-year high

Source: Associated General Contractors of America, Washington, D.C.

Construction spending in September reached a level last seen in March 2008 and climbed at the fastest rate since early 2006, according to an AGC analysis, which also found that nonresidential project outlays declined by 0.1 percent between August and September as growing workforce shortages likely impacted the volume of work contractors were able to perform for the month.

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Concrete trades near top in AGC survey tracking widespread labor shortages

Nearly 90 percent of 1,350-plus respondents to an industry-wide Associated General Contractors of America survey, conducted at peak season, report trouble finding qualified craft workers to fill key spots as construction demand continues to rebound in many markets. Seventy-nine percent of responding firms nationwide cite difficulty filling one or more of 21 hourly craft professional positions, particularly carpenters (73 percent of firms that employ carpenters report difficulty), followed by sheet metal installers (65 percent) and concrete workers (63 percent).

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