By Stephen Sandherr CEO AGC of America
In today’s economic climate businesses are right to make sure the money they are investing is delivering the biggest possible return. The good news is that membership in AGC continues to be extremely worthwhile.
That is because AGC has been the only organization to voice concerns or educate elected leaders about the effects of their decisions on construction firms. In addition AGC offers unique educational tools and meetings to help business owners perform better—and often at no cost to AGC members.
Here are some examples of how AGC delivers its members opportunity and a level playing field.
- Making the Stimulus Work for Contractors. While other associations stopped paying attention to the stimulus after it passed AGC has continued working to make sure the stimulus is a success (to learn why see the CEO Message on the previous page). 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 Data. No other construction association provides the range and depth of economic data as AGC. We offer monthly national state and local construction employment and spending data. AGC economist Ken Simonson produces state-by state measures on the 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 more than $300 million in new funding for diesel-emissions reductions grants to cover the cost of buying new or upgrading existing equipment and training workers to operate it more efficiently. We’re also urging California and federal officials to reconsider mandates that would force companies to scrap millions worth of equipment for little environmental benefit leading to a two-year delay for the state rule.
- Eliminating Red Tape. AGC of America has led 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 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 urged the EPA to rethink its costly proposal to require storm water testing at every construction site every time it rains publicized the industry’s impressive record on recycling and 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 the 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.
- Shining the Light on Water Infrastructure Needs. We sponsored the production and distribution of the acclaimed PBS documentary “Liquid Assets” and AGC and its chapter have arranged special screenings and discussion groups with elected officials. 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. Our agcXML software application makes different construction software compatible saving time and money as projects change and evolve. AGC’s curriculum material will 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.