ORGANIZATIONS – MARCH 2016

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James Bogdan has joined National Ready Mixed Concrete Association as senior director, Sustainability Initiatives. Based in Pittsburgh, he will help position members to meet new requirements in such green building standards as LEED and Green Globes. Initiatives include product sustainability and transparency, supply chain sustainability, and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices.

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ORGANIZATIONS – FEBRUARY 2016

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Cara Gavagan has joined the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association as senior director of Government and Political Affairs. She is responsible for fundraising activities behind NRMCA’s CONCRETEPAC, the concrete industry’s premier political action committee, and managing high-impact programs on Capitol Hill. Gavagan was previously director of PAC operations at the American Council of Engineering Companies, where she helped create a committee securing $1.5 million per cycle; managed event planning associated with all PAC activities and political involvement; and, coordinated marketing and other association communications.

 
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Builders see housing start increases continuing in double-digit percentage range

Sources: National Association of Home Builders, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

Job growth, rising consumer confidence, higher household formations and pent-up demand are helping to bring prospective home buyers back into the market. “A number of positive indicators provide solid evidence this will be a good year for housing and the economy,” affirmed NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe in Las Vegas, site of the 2016 International Builders’ Show.

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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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ABC, AIA & NAHB economists underscore residential, nonresidential market health

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

“The nonresidential construction sector gained momentum over the last year and should continue to expand into 2016,” affirms ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The construction industry has benefited from increased stability stemming from low materials prices and greater certainty regarding federal budgeting and monetary policy, although a lack of appropriately skilled labor will remain a challenge for contractors. ABC predicts the nonresidential construction segment will experience 7 percent nominal growth in 2016.”

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Leading index shows builders matching confidence level of 2005

Source: National Association of Home Builders, Washington, D.C.

Builder confidence in the market for newly constructed single-family homes rose three points in October to a level of 64 on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI)—a level last seen at the end of the housing boom a decade ago.

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Expanded joint employer definition clouds contractor, subcontractor ties

Sources: Associated Builders & Contractors, National Association of Home Builders, Washington, D.C.; National Labor Relations Board; CP staff

Against precedent dating to 1984, a 3-2 NLRB majority redefines “joint employer” in a decision favoring an International Brotherhood of Teamsters local aiming to extend representation from a recycling station bargaining unit—equipment operators and companion staff employed by the facility’s owner—to a subcontractor whose employees perform waste sorting and related services.

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Builders, Contractors groups challenge proposed overtime requirements

Sources: Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

Associated Builders & Contractors, Associated General Contractors of America and the National Association of Home Builders are representing construction interests in a coalition opposing the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed rulemaking to alter Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime pay requirements with sharp salary threshold spikes.

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Builders boost housing starts to pre-recession watermark

Source: National Association of Home Builders, Washington, D.C.

Led by a strong jump in single-family production, nationwide housing starts inched up 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.206 million units in July, according to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department data. Single-family starts rose 12.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 782,000 units after an upwardly revised June reading, while multifamily work fell 17 percent to 424,000 units.

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Construction Coalition study: OSHA silica rule cost estimate off by $4.5 billion

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s proposed standards covering crystalline silica will cost contractors and their suppliers $5 billion per year—nearly $4.5 billion above estimates agency officials indicated in September 2013, when they outlined a new permissible exposure limit (PEL) for general workplaces and construction sites.

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