PCA shipment figures show industry handily overcoming 2020 adversities

Fourteen months after pandemic panic and economic uncertainty compelled a guarded 2020-2022 outlook for U.S. construction activity, the Portland Cement Association Market Intelligence Group reports that a key indicator of building and nonbuilding project volume actually grew year over year—a trend likely to continue for the near term.

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ORGANIZATIONS – JANUARY 2021

The Pennsylvania Aggregates and Concrete Association has announced new Board, Associate Board and Young Leaders Development Group officers and directors, all for two-year terms. During a late-2020 virtual meeting, Bob Housel of Masters RMC Inc. was elected chairman, Jeff Detwiler of New Enterprise Stone and Lime Co. vice chairman, and Jamie Stilley of Amerikohl Aggregates Inc. secretary/treasurer.

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Contractors qualify pandemic-rooted disruptions, present and future

Sources: Associated Builders & Contractors, Washington, D.C.; CP staff Supply chain disruptions, prolonged municipal permitting processes, and delayed inspections due to office closures are among factors contributing to an increased rate of construction project postponement and/or cancellation, according to a new survey on Covid-19 impacts by Associated Builders and Contractors’ Construction Executive.  

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Contractors measure four years of deliverables in Trump endorsement

Sources: Associated Builders and Contractors, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

CEO Michael Bellaman and National Chair Tim Keating (R. C. Stevens Construction Co., Winter Garden, Fla.) outline member-friendly, 2017-2020 advocacy and policy measures in an Associated Builders & Contractors endorsement of President Donald Trump for election to a second term. In a letter to 1600 Pennsylvania, they write: “Your continued support for fair and open competition, job creation, small businesses and expanded workforce development initiatives during your first term have helped ABC members grow their businesses, upskill their workforce and create career enhancing jobs.”

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ORGANIZATIONS – APRIL 2020

Associated Builders and Contractors has named Matthew Abeles to the newly created role of vice president of Construction Technology and Innovation, spearheading integration of both concepts into all aspects of the group’s strategic initiatives, particularly total human health, world-class safety and workforce development. Abeles has advised and raised capital for construction technology companies, and positioned himself as a leader in the field. He co-founded BuiltWorlds in 2014, a Chicago-based media company, event producer and digital network for construction, real estate, finance and development leaders. He was responsible for outreach to established and emerging players in the construction and real estate sectors, promoting next-generation technologies and addressing influential audiences about the future of the industry.

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ORGANIZATIONS – DECEMBER 2019

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D. Thomas Ruttura, owner of Ruttura & Sons Construction Co. in West Babylon, N.Y., has received the American Society of Concrete Contractors Lifetime Achievement Award. A past (2003-2004) president of ASCC and its Education, Research & Development Foundation, he chaired and served on numerous Society committees. The Lifetime Achievement Award is group’s highest honor, acknowledging recipients for their body of work within the industry and their service to ASCC.

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Economist suggests “wait-and-see” approach to construction market

Source: Associated Builders and Contractors, Washington, D.C.

ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu forecasts continued momentum for construction next year, mindful that a “heightened level of uncertainty could induce many economic actors to adopt a wait-and-see attitude, further reducing economic activity in the context of an already rapidly softening global economic environment.”

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Mixed signals: Commercial project volume vs. overall economy

Sources: Associated Builders and Contractors, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

The Associated Builders and Contractors monthly Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) of nonresidential building activity expanded to 9.5 months in March 2019, up 0.7 months or 8.8 percent from the prior month, when it stood at 8.8 months and hovered its highest level in series history. 

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Lead economist: Construction employment rises 4 percent year over year

Source: Associated Builders & Contractors, Washington, D.C.

An Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of new U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicates construction employment increased 280,000 in 2018, a 4.0 percent gain over the prior-year level. The analysis also showed industry unemployment rising to 5.1 percent during December, due to a meaningful increase in labor force participation, yet remained 0.8 percent lower than at the same time in 2017.  

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Workforce development the White House order of the day

Associated Builders and Contractors is among 20-plus charter signatories to “Pledge to America’s Workers,” supporting a White House initiative, National Council for the American Worker, that President Donald Trump created by Executive Order. The Council is charged with developing a strategy for training and retraining workers across high demand industries.

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