ABC: Registered apprenticeship system no match for skilled labor needs

It would take 14 years for federal and state government-registered apprenticeship programs to educate the 650,000 workers the construction industry needs to hire in 2022, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Department of Labor data from 2021. DOL figures indicate that the construction industry’s federal government-registered apprenticeship system produced just 24,822 completers of its four- to…

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The Simple Value of Ultra-High-Performance Concrete UHPC mixes can significantly reduce costs and carbon footprints.

Albert Einstein famously mused “If you can’t explain it to a 6-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” This can be applied to how many in the construction industry view ultra-high-performance concrete, or UHPC. While this type of concrete has been around for a long time, it is often dismissed as a complicated and expensive option. “It’s complicated” may not be…

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Second ACI Resource Center opens on O’Hare International periphery

The American Concrete Institute’s new Resource Center – Chicago/Midwest will help meet the region’s increased demand for knowledge through hands-on training, educational offerings, and on-demand ACI Certification Program access. The facility is the second of its kind, following a charter Resource Center opened two years ago in southern California. Both offer a diverse array of custom training programs designed to…

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PCI recognizes International Women’s Day

Source: Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Chicago The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute joined other organizations around the world in recognizing March 8 as International Women’s Day. The event is aimed at increasing awareness about issues impacting women’s equality; calling out inequality while working to forge positive action; recognizing where important gains are being made; and, celebrating women’s accomplishments. 

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ABC: Project labor agreement order ignores workforce realities

Sources: Associated Builders and Contractors, Washington, D.C.  In light of the White House’s “Build Back Better” ambitions, Associated Builders and Contractors Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs Ben Brubeck questions a new executive order encouraging project labor agreement (PLA) mandates on federal construction contracts exceeding $35 million.  “The policy will not help America; instead, it will exacerbate the…

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Investigators test fiber from THC-lite hemp with eye to rebar

Sources: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y.; CP staff One of the first projects at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s (RPI) new Institute for Energy, Built Environment, and Smart Systems centers on innovative, cost-effective hemp processing technologies, leading to development of a conventional concrete rebar alternative. Researchers characterize hemp as yielding some of the plant kingdom’s strongest fiber, matching glass fiber pound for…

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ABC, Safety Coalition caution OSHA on vaccination and testing standard

Source: Associated Builders and Contractors, Washington, D.C.  In a letter to Occupational Safety and Health Administration Acting Assistant Secretary James Frederick, the Construction Industry Safety Coalition outlined concerns related to the agency’s forthcoming Covid-19 vaccination and testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which will apply to employers with payrolls of 100 or more per the White House’s Path Out of the…

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Contractor survey: Labor, material challenges constrain recovery

Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C.  In the face of worker and materials shortages, plus rising costs, commercial construction contractors cite a slowdown in the pace of their recovery from the pandemic, according to U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index third quarter data. The Index presents results from a Dodge Data & Analytics survey of contractors performing nonresidential…

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The Economic Fun Is Here – Will Delta Derail It?

Various reports from our industry press mark a jump in ready mixed concrete production in April, which is just a thumbnail indicator of the health of the overall economy. Production was estimated at 35.6 million cubic yards, an astonishing 20 percent higher than in April 2020. Moreover, the estimated production nationally through April is 114.3 million cubic yards, approximately 6.8…

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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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