(Editors note: Recently an AGC chapter asked the national association: where has AGC of America has been either the first or only association to advocate on behalf of the construction industry? Below is AGC of America’s response with its impressive list of accomplishments.)
The Associated General Contractors of America has lead the way in advocating for smart policies developing effective technologies and providing the kind of information needed to help thousands of contractors weather the economic downturn. Those efforts from this year include:
- Making the Stimulus Work for Contractors. While other associations stopped paying attention to the stimulus after it passed AGC of America has continued working to make sure the stimulus is a success. We’ve pushed back on onerous and time-consuming reporting requirements won important Buy American waivers and earned concessions on compensation reporting rules. And we’ve repeatedly put member companies in the national media spotlight to help make the case for the benefits of investing in infrastructure.
- Providing Timely Construction data. No other construction association provides the range and depth of economic data as AGC. We provide monthly national state and local construction employment and spending data. And our economist Ken Simonson produced state-by-state measures of the economic benefits of investing in construction.
- Battling Government Mandated Labor Agreements. AGC is leading the effort to set up meetings with federal agencies to explain why government mandated labor agreements would be bad for contractors and taxpayers alike.
- Backing Effective Diesel Emissions Reductions. AGC worked to secure over $300 million in new funding for diesel emissions reductions grants to cover the cost of buying new or upgrading exsiting equipment and training workers to operate it more efficiently. We’re also working with Congress to put in place tax credits and additional grant funding to encourage companies to purchase newer more efficient construction equipment. Meanwhile we’re urging California and federal officials to reconsider arbitrary diesel reduction mandates that would force construction companies to scrap millions worth of equipment for little environmental benefit. Our efforts helped lead to a two year delay for the state rule.
- Eliminating Red Tape. AGC of America has lead the way in working to reduce needless red tape and reporting requirements for contractors by leading the charge for federal contracting reforms eliminating social security requirements on Davis Bacon reports creating a roundtable to address problems with the federal disadvantaged business highway contracting program and streamlining E-Verify reporting rules.
- Expanding Overseas Construction Opportunities. AGC of America is the only association working with the U.S. State Department to revamp overseas construction rules to give U.S. firms a real opportunity to perform overseas federal work.
- Leading Environmental Reforms. AGC of America has lead the construction industry’s coordinated response on a host of environmental initiatives. We’ve developed a first-of-its-kind environmental management system for construction companies. We’ve made it easier for construction companies to recycle and reuse construction debris. We’ve urged the EPA to rethink its costly proposal to require storm water testing at every construction site every time it rains. We’ve publicized the industry’s impressive record on recycling and cutting CO2 emissions. And all along AGC has encouraged greater investments in retrofitting existing buildings to make them more efficient.
- Getting Construction Issues in Front of the Supreme Court. AGC has a long history of getting key legal questions concerning the construction industry in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. In June of this year for example the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case championed by AGC over the ability of an international union to interfere in a labor dispute between a local and a member company. Getting a resolution of this issue will help determine how companies pursue all future agreements with organized labor.
- Shining the Light on Water Infrastructure Needs. AGC and its chapters have lead efforts to make policy makers and the public aware of America’s staggering water infrastructure needs. We sponsored the production and distribution of the acclaimed PBS documentary “Liquid Assets” and arranged special screenings and discussion groups with elected officials. And we’ve convinced leading members of Congress to introduce first-of-its kind legislation to establish a national water trust fund similar to the highway trust fund to finance projects.
- Making the Industry More Efficient. Alone among construction associations AGC has developed software applications and curriculum materials to improve construction efficiency. Our agcXML software application makes different construction software compatible saving time and money as projects change and evolve. We are developing curriculum material to allow construction professionals to take advantage of the latest BIM technology. And we’ve partnered with E-Mars Inc. to make discounted software available to automate Davis-Bacon payroll information saving contractors valuable time money and effort.