The Blog

The Value of a Career in Construction (from Connolly Brothers Inc.)

  By Jay Connolly - President, Connolly Brothers Inc.   The United States is currently experiencing the repercussions of generations of thinking that college is the only suitable post-secondary path for its students. I deeply appreciate the value of a college education and am grateful for many of the important lessons in life and leadership I learned at Boston College. There is no doubt that higher education plays a vital role in strengthening and advancing civil society and preparing our youth for the workforce, and to be responsible citizens. I also believe it is important that we break free from the messaging to our high school students that a four-year liberal arts college is “the only good option.” Because construction has been my family’s business for 140 years and counting, I have had ample opportunity to both witness and experience the joys of a career in construction. As October is “Careers in Construction Month,” I would like to take a moment ...

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ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator Inches Lower in September; Contractor Confidence Down for Second Consecutive Month

  (via ABC National) TUESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2021 9:50 AM Posted in Construction Backlog Indicator, Construction Economic Update, Construction Confidence Index, News Release 2021   WASHINGTON, Oct. 12—Associated Builders and Contractors reports today that its Construction Backlog Indicator fell to 7.6 months in September, according to an ABC member survey conducted Sept. 20-Oct. 4. The reading is down 0.1 months from August 2021, but up 0.1 months from September 2020.     ABC’s Construction Confidence Index readings for sales, profit margins and staffing levels each declined in September, but remain above the threshold of 50, indicating expectations of growth over the next six months.     “Nonresidential construction backlog declined for a second consecutive month as skills and input shortages hammer the industry,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “A growing number of contractors ...

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The Drive For 500 Member Companies Is On!

  Help us achieve our goal of hitting 500 members by the end of 2021; get involved for the chance to win great prizes and grow the association!   For years, ABC members have heard the slogan, “More members, more clout.” The statement is undeniably true, and ABC has a chance to reach 500 members in the coming year.   That’s one reason why the 2021 membership drive is so important. The other is that in a political environment that includes a staunchly pro-union administration in Washington and an increasingly labor-friendly legislature on Beacon Hill, ABC needs the clout to stand up for our member companies.   What Is the membership drive? The Membership Drive is ABC's biggest annual recruiting event. The theme for the drive this year will be the Indy 500, as we race for ABC to get 500 members in 2021. The membership drive is a team-based event where we will have 30+ participants from the Board of Directors, Membership Co ...

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Gould Construction Institute's Fool Proof Leader Series To Launch Next Week

  The Gould Construction Institute’s Fool Proof Leader Series is set to begin on October 12th and will cover a broad range of skills that your employees from administration to upper management can access from the comfort of their desks.    The series is designed for construction business owners seeking to develop future leaders within their organizations. It is designed for project managers, superintendents, foremen, engineers, estimators, financial managers, operations managers, and others–whether new or experienced in their roles.   Students will learn the core skills managers need to be successful. They will develop a strategic mindset that results in personal and professional growth. They will find out their native leadership style and how to adapt to changing business situations and conditions. Graduates of the program increase the value they contribute to their organizations.   The series will be taught by fellow ABC member and longtime frie ...

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Braintree School Prequalification Restarts Without PLA

  The prequalification phase of the bidding for the construction of the new Braintree South Middle School has begun for the second time, now without the project labor agreement (PLA) that was struck down as a result of a successful legal challenge brought  by ABC and open shop allies.     Earlier this month, Norfolk Superior Court Judge Paul D. Wilson granted an injunction against the use of the PLA and ordered the project to be rebid without it.  A new round of prequalification is now underway, and bidding documents are scheduled to be released on Nov. 1 and bids are due on Nov. 23 (sub bids) and Dec. 7 (GC bids).     In his decision, Judge Wilson noted that if the town moved quickly it would still be able to open the new school for the 2022-23 school year.     “We are pleased that the Town of Braintree is complying with the judge’s clear ruling that this PLA did not meet the legal standard set our by our s ...

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ABC Members Step Up To Fight Diabetes And Honor Joe Kenney

  Any parent of a child who has struggled knows the joy of hearing the words “Mom, I feel normal again.”  Joe Kenney spoke those words after his first summer at the Barton Center for Diabetes Education’s Camp Joslin.   ABC members gathered last week with a goal of raising $25,000 to benefit the Barton Centerand honor the memory of Joe Kenney, who died of complications from diabetes in 2019.  At last count, we had raised over $42,000 for this worthy cause. Joe Kenney lost his confidence after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on his eighth birthday.  Having to stop regularly to do readings and inject insulin if his blood sugar was too high or too low would make any eight-year-old feel different from his peers.   But his first summer working with the counselors/nurses at Camp Joslin gave him back his life.  He went on to be a rising star both at W.T. Kenney, his family’s fourth-generation painting b ...

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Beacon Hill Round-Up - September 28

●     On Monday, September 20th, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the appointments of 29 members to serve on the Advisory Committee on Apprenticeshipand provide advice and recommendations on issues related to registered apprenticeship. The advisory committee will also promote greater awareness of the benefits of apprenticeship, foster increased alignment between apprenticeship opportunities and workforce and education systems, expand apprenticeship into new industries and occupations and ensure equity for under-represented populations. Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh, appointed Bunker Hill Community College President Dr. Pam Eddinger to serve as the committee’s chairperson. Members of the committee serve two-year terms, representing employers, labor management organizations, community colleges and other institutions. ●     There are three upcoming hearings of interest that were scheduled. These hearings include: -     ...

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State Auditor Recommends Reforms To Gubernatorial Board And Commission Appointment Process

  An audit report released by the Office of State Auditor Suzanne Bump found that the gubernatorial Boards and Commissions Office (BCO) has not ensured that the information entered into its boards and commissions tracking database was complete and accurate, creating the risk of positions not being filled in a timely manner, and that Governor Baker's office routinely allows board and commission members to serve long after their terms have expired. The report looked at whether the Governor’s Office filled all vacant seats on the Commonwealth’s active boards and commissions as prescribed by state laws, regulations, or executive orders during the period of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020.  It recommends limiting how long an appointee can serve in a holdover capacity until they are reappointed or replaced, as well as the proliferation of board and commissions throughout state government.  As a note, Auditor Bump is not seeking another term in ...

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Fall Semester Is Underway At The Gould Construction Institute

  The Fall semester is underway at the Gould Construction Institute, with 770 students registered in 64 classes taught by 57 teachers across 10 locations. Both electrical and pipefitting classes have moved from Greater Lawrence Technical School to Medford Vocational School. This has led to a big jump in electrical enrollment, with 89 students registered. Gould is offering two levels of sprinklerfitting at Greater Lawrence, where there are also 139 students registered in the sheet metal program, including over 25 in one class. Another 24 students are enrolled in Sprinklerfitting 3 in Taunton. “The start of the school year is always exciting as the hard work of the entire staff finally pays off,” said GCI Instructor Liaison Director Mike Maloney. “Scheduling classes, finding teachers and getting everything ready is exciting, and the excitement around the teachers attending orientations, setting expectations and getting everyone ready for September is so much fun!” ...

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Braintree To Rebid South Middle School Project Without a PLA After Court Ruling

  Braintree has announced it will rebid the South Middle School Project without a project labor agreement after a Norfolk Superior Court Judge granted a preliminary injunction sought by ABC to stop the bidding process that had begun using a PLA.  Judge Paul D. Wilson granted the injunction after finding that the town did not meet specific requirements under which a PLA can be used.   PLAs require all jobsite labor on a project to come from unions, even though more than 83% of Massachusetts construction workers choose not to join a union.   Now all qualified bidders will have the opportunity to participate in the project and the town will get a larger pool of qualified bidders, and better prices.    Following the ruling, the town posted the following message on Braintreema.gov: Earlier this week the Town of Braintree was required to re-open the South Middle School Project for bids without the inclusion of a Project Labor Agreement (“PLA&rdqu ...

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