The Blog

ABC’s Construction Backlog Slips in December; Contractor Confidence Continues to Improve

  via ABC National   TUESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2022 9:45 AM     WASHINGTON, Jan. 11—Associated Builders and Contractors’ Construction Backlog Indicator fell to 8.2 months in December, according to an ABC member survey conducted from Dec. 16 to Jan. 4. The reading is down 0.2 months from November 2021, but up 0.9 months from December 2020.     ABC’s Construction Confidence Index readings for sales, profit margins and staffing levels increased in December. All three indices stand above the threshold of 50, indicating expectations of growth over the next six months.     “Demand for construction services in America remains strong,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Contractors have been upbeat about sales and employment prospects for months. What changed in December is that a growing fraction of contractors now believe that profit margins will rise during the next six months despite rising ...

Read the rest of entry »

Massachusetts Adopts CDC’s Newly Issued Guidance Relating To Isolation & Quarantine

  By: Laura M. Raisty, Esq. & Michelle M. De Oliveira, Esq. On January 9, 2022, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) provided additional guidance to clarify its December 27, 2021 update, in which it shortened recommended COVID-19 quarantine and isolation periods. According to the CDC, the shorter periods focus on when a person is most infectious and also “facilitate individual social and well-being needs, return to work, and maintenance of critical infrastructure.” On January 11, 2022, Governor Charlie Baker announced new isolation and quarantine protocols aligned with the newly issued CDC guidance. Quarantine If an individual has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19[1] the CDC recommends as follows: If the individual is not up to date with vaccination(s): stay at home and quarantine for at least 5 days, at which point they can leave quarantine if they are symptom free.[2]  ...

Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Employment Up 27,000 in December, Says ABC

  Jan. 7, 2022   The construction unemployment rate rose to 5.0% in December. Unemployment across all industries fell from 4.2% in November to 3.9% last month.   WASHINGTON, DC — The construction industry added 22,000 net jobs in December, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall, the industry has recovered slightly more than one million (92.1%) of the jobs lost during earlier pandemic stages. Nonresidential construction employment expanded by 27,000 positions on net, with all three subcategories posting gains for the month. Nonresidential specialty trade added 12,900 jobs, heavy and civil engineering added 10,400 jobs, while nonresidential building employment increased by 3,700 positions. The construction unemployment rate rose to 5.0% in December. Unemployment across all industries fell from 4.2% in November to 3.9% last month. “Today’s jobs report has ...

Read the rest of entry »

Thank You to Diana Hasan for Volunteering Her Time for ABC Pre-Apprentice Graduates!

 

ABC MA owes a delayed thank you to board member Diana Hasan, who is also Director of Human Resources at C.E. Floyd, for volunteering her time to interview the graduates of the first cohort of the chapter's PACMAN pre-apprenticeship program and spoke at the graduation.

 

"A huge shout out to Diana Hasan for participating in the recent pre-apprenticeship graduation", said ABC MA Director of Workforce Development Steve Sullivan. "Diana's involvement in our program is critical for these participants. She has a deep understanding of the skills our member companies are looking for in new hires, and learning how to interview well can be a game changer for these graduates."

 

If you're interested in talking to some of our pre-apprenticeship graduates or getting involved in the program, contact Steve at [email protected] or (781) 281-6860.

 

 

Beacon Hill Round-Up - January 4, 2022

   On Tuesday, January 4th at 1pm, the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture is holding a hearing regarding ‘Fishing, Hunting and Trapping and Miscellaneous Matters’ including one bill of interest S.548 - An Act relative to crumbling concrete foundations filed by Senator Anne Gobi (D - Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex).    On Monday, December 20th, Senate President Karen Spilka (D - Second Middlesex and Norfolk) disclosed that in mid-November she had "a mild stroke" and was told by her doctors to rest, which explains her weeks-long absence from the State House. Spilka said her doctors expect her to make a full recovery within a matter of weeks. In a separate statement, she also announced that she intends to seek reelection to her seat in 2022 and to the Senate president’s post in the next two-year session. Before serving in the legislature, Spilka was a social wo ...

Read the rest of entry »

Thank You for Making Our Annual Blanket Drive a Success!

 

We would like to thank members for participating in our annual Blanket Drive to benefit Mission of Deeds and providing much-needed help to the less fortunate. With your generous help this holiday season, we were able to collect the most blankets in our three years of partnering with Mission of Deeds! We would like to thank athe companies that donated, including Energy Electric Co. Inc., Skilled Trade Partners, JM Coull, Inc., D & D Electrical Contractors, Plumb House, Inc,, Nardone Electric Corp., and all those that donated anonymously.

 

 

New GCI Course to Prepare Students for Careers in Construction

  The Gould Construction Institute is pleased to offer Introduction to Construction 101, a 22-week course to be held at Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School in Taunton that will provide students with a foundation in construction and prepare them for more complex, trade-specific coursework.   The course will provide 135 hours of construction training. Beginning with safety, it will cover construction math, introductions to hand and power tools, construction drawings, basic rigging basic communication skills, employability skills and materials handling.   “We’re excited to grow our partnership and collaborate with Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School to meet the needs of a growing construction industry and give people the tools they need for a lucrative and rewarding career,” said GCI President Julie DeStefano. “This course will teach students core construction-related skills as well as introduce them to some licensed trades.& ...

Read the rest of entry »

Government Affairs Update - Dec. 21, 2021

  On Monday, December 13th, Governor Baker signed the $4 billion federal aid and surplus disbursement bill that deploys $2.55 billion in American Rescue Plan Act money and $1.45 billion in fiscal 2021 surplus state tax revenue, while preserving a little more than $2.3 billion in federal ARPA funds for future use. Governor Baker vetoed a policy section that required a large commission be consulted before premium pay could be awarded to frontline employees who worked during the COVID-19 state of emergency and returned another similar outside section with proposed amendments. The spending itself is mostly concentrated on health care ($964 million), housing ($624 million), infrastructure ($414 million), education ($389 million) and economic development ($267 million), as well as on specific workforce issues ($500 million allotments for both premium pay awards and the state's unemployment insurance system). If the Legislature is to override Baker, it will take two-thirds votes in both the ...

Read the rest of entry »

Vaccine Mandate Update: Stay Lifted On Federal Vaccine Mandate, But Injuntion Against Contractor Mandate Upheld; New Guidance From MA Attorney General

    On Friday, December 17, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the 5th Circuit’s stay of OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, which applies to employers with 100 or more employees.   Meanwhile, OSHA has announced a delayed re-start of the ETS enforcement until Jan. 10, and they will not issue citations for noncompliance with the standard’s testing requirements before Feb. 9, “so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard.”  Multiple emergency appeals have been filed with the Supreme Court, and it’s anticipated that the Court will issue a decision well in advance of Jan. 10, possibly as early as this coming week, on whether to reinstate the stay pending further review. Soon after the 6th Circuit decision was issued, the 11th Circuit kept in place a Georgia Court’s nationwide injunction against the ...

Read the rest of entry »

Court Rules for ABC, Temporarily Halts Enforcement of Federal Contractor COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate

  By Michelle M. De Oliveira, Esq. & Laura M. Raisty, Esq., Kenney & Sams, P.C.    On December 7, 2021, the United States District Court for The Southern District of Georgia halted enforcement of President Biden’s Executive Order on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors (EO 14042).  ABC joined a coalition of states that challenged the order.  As a national organization, our association’s involvement means the order will apply nationwide, rather than just to the states that sued. What Does This Mean? For now, we are back to the status quo—and federal contractors do not need to comply with the requirements set forth in EO 14042, including the requirement that all employees “working on or in connection with a covered contract” be fully vaccinated by January 18, 2022. This, of course, may change as the case continues its way up through the courts—but at least fo ...

Read the rest of entry »

Florida Condominium Collapse Forces Massachusetts to Reevaluate Construction and Design Liability Laws

  by Alexander Tsianatelis, Esq.   Many states and jurisdictions, including Massachusetts, have been prompted to re-examine their construction and design liability related laws in the wake of the Champlain Towers South high-rise condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida. One such law is under particular scrutiny in Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 260, §2B (the “Statute of Repose”) generally prevents the enforceability of any “action of tort for damages arising out of any deficiency or neglect in the design, planning, construction or general administration of an improvement to real property” after a period of six years from “the earlier of the dates of: (1) the opening of the improvement to use; or (2) substantial completion of the improvement and the taking of possession for occupancy by the owner.” Generally, this means plaintiffs are prevented from enforcing tort claims against ...

Read the rest of entry »

Beacon Hill Roundup - November 23, 2021

  On Tuesday, November 23rd, the Joint Committee on Judiciary is holding a hearing regarding 'Privacy & Protected Classes' which includes one bill of interest – S.1089 - An Act to protect unpaid interns, volunteers, and independent contractors from sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination filed by Senator Lovely (D - Second Essex).   On Monday, November 15th, House Speaker Ronald Mariano (D - 3rd Norfolk) announced he intends to campaign for another term in the House next November, then another term as speaker in January 2023. Speaker Mariano was first elected to the House in a 1991 special election, and this would be his 16th full term in the House. His predecessor, former House Speaker Robert DeLeo, who was House speaker for a record-setting 12 years, resigned mid-term in October 2019, leaving office to take a job at Northeastern University and creating the opportunity for Mariano, his deputy, ...

Read the rest of entry »

New Member Spotlight: Pidgeon & Co

  When Molly Pidgeon graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology with a BA in interior design, she went to work in construction. She thought the experience would improve her designs, but the plan was ultimately to make her way back to the design world. She has – sort of. The construction work kept coming and today Molly heads Pidgeon & Co., a small but mighty construction management firm with an in-house design team. Her business model is based on flexibility. Some of the jobs the company takes combine construction management and design, on others Pidgeon & Co.’s role is pure construction management. They offer specialized expertise in commercial interiors, core improvements, ADA compliance upgrades, and elevator installation, institutional and have also done lab, clean room and health care-related work – an area the company is looking to grow.  Another focus is on building the relationships that are the key to l ...

Read the rest of entry »

ABC MA Honors 2021 Excellence in Construction Award Winners

  After celebrating remotely last year due to the pandemic, over 175 ABC MA winners gathered at the Burlington Marriott last week to honor the 2021 Excellence in Construction Award winners.   The pandemic also made it impossible to hold our annual Safety Night last May, so we also honored this year's Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze STEP Safety Award winners.   The applicant pool for the 29th annual awards was particularly competitive, with each winner selected for the high standards of craftsmanship, safety and quality delivered by talented merit shop workers using the efficient merit shop approach.    Thanks goes out to this year’s panel of independent judges for the time and talent they contributed to selecting our winners. They are: ·      Ken Bromfield, P.E., Independent Engineering Consultant ·      Carolyn Day, AIA, Perkins Eastman ·& ...

Read the rest of entry »

ABC to Congress: College Degrees Do Not Define Career Success

  (via ABC National) THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2021 10:00 AM   WASHINGTON, Nov. 4—Today, longtime construction industry leader, instructor and military veteran Frank Boecker testified on behalf of Associated Builders and Contractors before the U.S. House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Workforce Development on the indispensable role that community colleges, trade schools and career and technical education programs play in the construction industry. Boecker, who serves as human resources manager for electrical contractor Sunwest Electric, headquartered in Anaheim, California, called for continued investment in apprenticeship programs, craft courses and career and technical education programs, as well as the need for the federal government to promote all programs and pathways that lead to a fulfilling career. “The workforce shortage facing construction and many other industries across the country is one ...

Read the rest of entry »

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 ...

Read the rest of entry »

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 ...

Read the rest of entry »

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 ...

Read the rest of entry »

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 ...

Read the rest of entry »

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 ...

Read the rest of entry »

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 ...

Read the rest of entry »

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: -     ...

Read the rest of entry »

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 ...

Read the rest of entry »

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!” ...

Read the rest of entry »

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 ...

Read the rest of entry »

Braintree Has Announced It Will Rebid the South Middle School Project Without a PLA After Court Ruling

  Braintree has announced it will rebid the South Middle School Project without a PLA after a Norfolk Superior Court ruling that it violates the state’s competitive bidding laws.  Now all qualified open shops and union contractors will have a fair chance to participate.   The town will get a larger pool of qualified bidders, and better prices.  via 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”). In 2020, the Town, with the unanimous support of the School Building Committee, decided to use a PLA on the South Middle School Project. A PLA is a pre-hire agreement that establishes the terms and conditions of employment on a construction project. On this project it would have, among other things, utilized local union hiring halls to hire workers, prevented delays in construction due to work stoppages provided a more diverse work ...

Read the rest of entry »

ABC Self-Insurance Group Announces Annual Award Winners

  The ABC Self-Insurance Group (SIG) announced its 2021 award winners at its annual meeting earlier this month.  Fourteen companies were honored for having no lost dollars in fund year 2020, and another 12 were recognized for having loss ratios under 10%. ZERO LOST DOLLARS IN FUND YEAR 2020: Associated Concrete Coatings Commercial Drywall & Construction Company Commercial Insulation Contractors, Inc. J.J. Cardosi, Inc Forish Construction Company, Inc. Kaplan Construction Mjm Masonry, Inc. Rivers Electrical Corporation Schernecker Property Services, Inc. Tocco Building Systems Valley Concrete & Construction, Inc. Veterans Development Corporation W. T. Kenney Company, Inc. W.W. Contracting Corporation LOSS RATIO UNDER 10% IN FUND YEAR 2020: Accutemp Engineering, Inc. ...

Read the rest of entry »

State Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction Blocking PLA On Braintree School Project

  A state Superior Court judge has granted a preliminary injunction to plaintiffs that include ABC Massachusetts and member contractor Fernandes Masonry to prohibit the Town of Braintree from including a project labor agreement (PLA) on its project to build a new South Middle School. 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. Parties seeking an injunction must show: (1) A likelihood of success on the merits (2) That they would suffer irreparable harm absent the injunction, and (3) That risk is greater than risks the opposing party would face if the injunction were not granted Judge Paul D. Wilson found that the plaintiffs “likelihood of success [on the merits] is strong. In terms of irreparable harm, Judge Wilson importantly agreed that the PLA would “effectively preclude plaintiff contractors from winning contracts on the South Middle School project, and ...

Read the rest of entry »

National Nonresidential Construction Spending Expanded 0.1% in July

National nonresidential construction spending expanded 0.1% in July, according to a recent ABC analysis of data published by the U.S. Census Bureau. On a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, nonresidential spending totaled $786.7 billion for the month.  However, spending was down on a monthly basis in six of 16 nonresidential subcategories.  Spending in three categories was virtually unchanged. Private nonresidential spending was down 0.2% for the month, while public nonresidential construction spending rose 0.6% in July. Total nonresidential construction spending is down 4.2% from July 2020. “The nonresidential construction spending numbers are meaningfully worse than they initially appear,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “While the headline number suggests that nonresidential spending was effectively flat in July, the figure does not adjust for inflation. In real terms, the volume of construction services delivered by the nation’s nonresidential contractors de ...

Read the rest of entry »

Member Firm Haynes Group And Joe The Architect, LLC Complete Buildout Of Eva’s Little Kitchen

  Bedford, MA – Need a quick, delicious, no-stress meal for you and the family? Or a quick dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth? Eva’s Little Kitchen has you covered with thoughtful and nourishing meals, and a charming boutique storefront.  Proprietor and culinary creative, Eva Badra, discovered her love for cooking at an early age, and quickly realized that this was the path she wanted to take.  “I started as a personal chef and grew tired of cooking for only one to two families who had specific dietary needs,” Badra said. “I didn’t want to be unhappy in my job, so I started the meal delivery service to feed more people and be creative with the food I wanted to make.”  Over time, the business scaled to a physical location. And with that, she discovered a town that had a need for a unique experience.   “There’s nothing around here like this, everything is diner style,” she said. “Bedford is a sma ...

Read the rest of entry »

Chairman's Message September 2021

  Safety is always a top concern in our industry, but it isn’t just limited to job site accidents.  September is suicide prevention month and sadly, construction has the highest number of suicides of any occupational group.  To help change this, ABC offers a range of resources to support and assist contractors and their employees . Awareness is the first step.  This toolbox talk will familiarize you with the warning signs of suicide.  Standing up for suicide prevention requires proactively addressing mental health and making it a priority.  That requires creating a safe and caring company culture, which includes making sure your team is trained in how to talk to someone at risk of suicide.  Normalizing conversations around mental health and suicide could be a matter of life and death. The Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention, of which ABC is a member, recommends a three-level process to help contracto ...

Read the rest of entry »

Beacon Hill Roundup: August 31, 2021

 

The Massachusetts legislature is in their fifth week of summer recess and will not reconvene until after Labor Day.

 

●      On Tuesday, August 24th, Representative Andy Vargas (D - 3rd Essex) announced plans to run for state Senate, launching a campaign for the seat currently held by Senator Diana DiZoglio (D - First Essex) who is running for state auditor.

 

●   Representative Brad Hill (R - 4th Essex), who has served in the Massachusetts House since 1999, was selected last week to serve on the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, and on Thursday, August 26th, the House set a special election for the House seat for November 30th. Primaries will be held on November 2nd, the deadline to submit nomination papers to municipalities is September 21st, and the last day to file nomination papers with the secretary of state is September 28th.

 

 

Boston Looking to Tighten Safety Rules After OSHA Says Company Involve in Fatalities Assumed New Name

  Boston officials are looking to revisit safety rules after OSHA found that Laurence M. Moloney, the owner of Atlantic Coast Utilities, formed a "successor company" that is doing business in the city. On February 24 of this year, Jordy Alexander Castaneda Romero and Juan Carlos Figueroa died after being struck by a dump truck and thrown into a nine-foot-deep trench on High Street in the Financial District, where Atlantic Coast was making emergency repairs to a sewer line. OSHA identified the successor company as Sterling Excavation LLC and said it shared responsibility with Moloney's other companies for $1.3 million the agency wants to impose for "willful, repeat and serious" workplace safety violations. OSHA also said it was inspecting Sterling Excavation after recently receiving a report about hazardous conditions at a job site in East Boston. A spokesman for Atlantic Coast Utilities said the company is not operating as Sterling Excavation or under any other name. Nual ...

Read the rest of entry »

ABC's Beeman Quoted in Boston Globe Article About Fire Threats

  ABC Massachusetts President and CEO Greg Beeman was quoted in an August 29 Boston Globe article about potential fire hazards associated with the increased use of wood-framed residential structures. Beeman noted that "You can never say that everything is going to be without safety issues or concerns, but it would certainly be fair to say that built into the... oversight we have here, there's a strong safety component that is also interwoven. It will be hard to have a Wild West kind of scenario unfold here with the framework we have in place." Jerry Howard, CEO of the National Association of Homebuilders, noted that potential hazards need to be balanced against affordability concerns. "We could probably all construct a house that would withstand virtually any fire... wind... and flood event that God or man could create. The problem is no one could afford to live in it," he said. "You also have to take into account affordability, and when you balance those things... a ...

Read the rest of entry »

Construction Input Prices Up 23.1% Year Over Year, Says ABC

  From ABC National: THURSDAY, AUGUST 12, 2021 9:23 AM   WASHINGTON, Aug. 12—Construction input prices rose 0.6% in July, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index data released today. Nonresidential construction input prices increased 0.8% for the month. Construction input prices are 23.1% higher than a year ago, while nonresidential construction input prices increased 23.4% over that span. Energy prices continue to experience substantial year-over-year price increases. The price of natural gas is up 146.7%, while crude petroleum and unprocessed energy materials prices are up 102.9% and 93.8%, respectively. Prices for steel mill products increased 10.8% for the month and are up 108.6% for the year. “One’s definition of transitory needs to evolve with these data,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “While it is quite likely that there will be less inflation a year f ...

Read the rest of entry »

Haynes Group & Group One Partners Transform a Holiday Inn Into a Unique Destination

  Brookline, MA - The Arcadian Hotel, formerly known as a Holiday Inn and the Inn at Brookline, is a reimagined hotel tucked in a renaissance-esque neighborhood that incorporates modern and stylish vibes and pays an ode to its scenic location. Located at 1200 Beacon Street, The Arcadian Hotel offers a unique departure from the busy life just outside.  This unique getaway blends mid-century and modern designs throughout the entire space; from the muted neutrals with pops of color in the public spaces, to the lighting and wood features of the lobby bar. The designs were inspired by the historic tree-lined streets and parks designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, and the well-traveled, innovative residents that Brookline is known for.   Transforming this hotel into an innovative and distinctive getaway was Haynes Group, Inc., an established, local, family-owned company serving Eastern New England. Known for their unique industry process of blending personalized service and relations ...

Read the rest of entry »

Braintree Middle School Bid Package Includes PLA

  The bid package for construction of the new Braintree South Middle School was released last week and includes a project labor agreement (PLA) that requires union-only labor.    There was little advance notice of the PLA, which ABC has learned was approved by the Braintree School Building Committee in September of 2020.   ABC attempted to meet with town officials to discuss the PLA, but we were told the decision had been made.   “PLAs effectively prevent open shop contractors from working on public projects due to their union labor requirement,” said ABC President Greg Beeman.  “Not only do they unfairly exclude the vast majority of the construction workforce, but they raise costs by reducing competition, and for no legitimate reason.”   Braintree recently released the list of prequalified bidders, and more than half are open shop, including three of the five prequalified general contractors and some 40 subco ...

Read the rest of entry »

Input from ABC Apprentices Needed for National Survey

 

Please urge your apprentices to fill out this national survey from the Construction Users Roundtable about what factors might influence a person to choose a career in the trades.  The survey is also important because it will ensure that the merit shop is represented.  To make apprenticeship policies fairer and more equitable for merit shop contractors and apprentices, we have to make sure that the unions are not the only ones who participate in this survey.     

 

John Cruz to receive BBJ social leadership award

  Cruz Cos. President and CEO John B. Cruz III, who will serve as the 2022 chair of ABC Massachusetts, has been named the 2021 honoree of the Boston Business Journal's Lewis Family Foundation CEO Social Leadership Award. The annual award was created in 2007 in partnership with the Lewis Family Foundation, led by Alan and Harriet Lewis, owners of Grand Circle Travel. It is given to a regional executive who has gone above and beyond to innovate and create solutions to the area's biggest community challenges. Cruz Cos., a Roxbury-based family-owned business, gives back to Boston’s urban community in many ways, including philanthropic support, summer jobs, and a scholarship. Through its nonprofit social-responsibility arm, Cruz CARES (Community, Arts, Recreational and Educational Services), the company has hosted after-school programs, summer camps, college scholarships, resident field trips and a youth holiday celebration. “No one who knows John is surprised by this award,&rd ...

Read the rest of entry »

OSHA Releases Updated COVID-19 Guide

  On Aug. 2, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Alliance program issued an updated guide containing COVID-19 guidance and resources for employers from a variety of agencies including the DOL, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, the guide includes input from industry groups on best practices for COVID-19 safety in the workplace. The latest updates to the Alliance program guide include the CDC’s list of COVID-19 guidance documents, a COVID-19 Vaccines Toolkit for Workers, Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People and more. Additionally, OSHA has included a list of general COVID-19 resources grouped by agency, including those on the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard and updated enforcement policies, and sections on respiratory protection, vaccines and additional industry-specific COVID-19 resources grouped by industry, su ...

Read the rest of entry »

Apprentice Legislation Would Increase Problems with Restrictive Ratios

  Legislation requiring that apprentices be employed on all public construction projects in Massachusetts was recently heard by the Legislature’s Labor and Workforce Committee, and ABC MA submitted testimony noting that this proposal would only increase the existing problems posed by restrictive apprentice to journeyperson ratios that are a barrier to employment.      ABC’s comments pointed out that under MA prevailing wage law, apprentice to journeyperson ratios on public construction are based on those in union collective bargaining agreements, and these restrict apprentice employment based on the number of journeypersons employed.  In some trades, five journeypersons are required for each apprentice.  “At a time when the industry has a critical need to bring in new talent, these ratios are a huge barrier, and mandating  apprentices on public construction projects will only increase the problem,” said ABC MA President Gr ...

Read the rest of entry »

Member Firm Haynes Group Working on New Brewery at Marina Bay in Quincy

  MASSACHUSETTS’ BREWERY DESIGN/BUILD TEAM PREPARES TO MAKE A SPLASH IN MARINA BAY The City’s Only Brewery & Taproom ‘Break Rock Brewing’ is an Ode to All Things Quincy   QUINCY, MA - July 2021 - It is almost time to check ‘craft brewery’ off as a reason for visiting the vibrant, coastal South Shore neighborhood of Marina Bay. The City of Quincy has long been one built by and for the diverse, hardworking communities that call it home. Break Rock Brewing plans to take that theme and run with it; highlighting the city’s unique history and those who make it great. Phase Zero Design has led architecture and interior design for the Break Rock brand’s first brewery and taproom. Haynes Group recently broke ground on the project and will manage construction efforts on-site. This will be the third brewery that the design/build team has collaborated on. In February of 2019, proprietor Jay Southwood connected with Mark Joyce, Associa ...

Read the rest of entry »

Florence Electric LLC Honored in BBJ's Corporate Citizenship Awards

  via Boston Business Journal   The Boston Business Journal has released its annual list of the most charitable companies in Massachusetts. The list, released Thursday to highlight those giving back the most, includes 98 companies who donated at least $100,000 in cash contributions last year to Massachusetts-based charities and as much as nearly $29 million. The companies span real estate, insurance, banking, life sciences and healthcare, among others. The top 25 alone donated more than $282 million in cash in 2020, along with millions more in in-kind services and employee volunteer hours. That’s up from the year before, when the top 25 total was $235 million, indicating companies may have stepped up their contributions during a year when the pandemic and racial equality movements spurred some businesses to make new pledges. “The Boston business community has always been committed to helping the people and organizations in need, and 2020 was an extraordinary year,&rdquo ...

Read the rest of entry »

Bills Dealing with Fraud in Construction Heard

  Bills dealing with the definition of fraud as it relates to construction were heard recently by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight.  ABC MA submitted testimony outlining its concern with legislation that seeks to create a unique definition of fraud that applies only to construction.   An Act Relative to the Definition of Fraud in Construction Bid Laws (House Bill 3142 and Senate Bill 2086)  seeks to add a new definition of fraud to the public biddings laws that is significantly different from the common law definition that now applies.  Under this proposed new definition, the fraud does not have to be relied upon and does not have to relate to a material, or substantive, fact.  This means that a contractor who submits information to an awarding authority or government entity with an unintentional minor mistake that had no bearing on a determination could be found to have committed fraud ...

Read the rest of entry »

HELICAL Drilling Announces New Hires as they Continue to Expand

  HELICAL Drilling in the last year expanded their team by adding 5 new strategic hires - four Project Managers; Nick Hetland, E.I.T., Christopher Navien, P.E., Andrew Jefferson, E.I.T., Jeff Costa, P.E. and a Design Engineer, Stephen Murphy. HELICAL also expanded their office space and continues to add staff to their engineering and field construction teams. The expanded group of Project Managers and Designers will continue to foster, develop and manage the market demand for HELICAL’s full-suite of geotechnical design/build services including ground improvement, excavation support, and deep foundations (piles).     “It is an exciting time at HELICAL,” says President, Chad Graybill. “These new roles and employees will be a critical contribution in the expansion of our geotechnical design/build services to better serve our existing and future customers.”   The group of Project Managers join HELICAL with previous experience in Civil and Geote ...

Read the rest of entry »

Shift in Health Licensing Boards Takes Effect; Licensing Agency Renamed

  From the State House New Service - July 15, 2021   With only one of the two branches of the Legislature weighing in within its allotted time, Gov. Charlie Baker's plan to transfer 13 health-related licensing boards and the 88,000 licenses they oversee from the Division of Professional Licensure to the Department of Public Health took effect on its own this past weekend.  The  changes also includes the renaming of the Division of Professional Licensure as the Division of Occupational Licensure. The Senate on Thursday adopted Baker's reorganization plan (H 3774), which was filed under Article 87 of the Constitution, but the House did not take the matter up before adjourning until Monday morning. Under Article 87, executive branch reorganizations require a legislative hearing within 30 days of being filed and a committee vote within 10 days of the hearing, deadlines the Legislature met with this latest plan. The legislative branch is given 60 days from ...

Read the rest of entry »

Celebration of an Excellent Life - Remembering Tim Barton

  ABC member firm DECCO, Inc. joined with the family of Tim Barton to hold  a celebration of life on Sunday, July 18 in his honor at the Alpine Grove Banquet Facility in Hollis, NH.  Barton was  a principal at DECCO and a former leader, mentor, and friend of ABC and the Gould Construction Institute, who passed away in June of 2020. Tim was active in both ABC MA and ABC NH/VT.  For the Massachusetts Chapter, Tim served on the ABC MA Board of Directors and was a longtime member of the Gould Construction Institute Board of Trustees, where he served as chairman.  He also served on the Board of the ABC Workers Compensation Self-Insurance Group.  He mentored five DECCO apprentices to first-place finishes in the pipefitting competition at the National ABC Craft Competition.  He was remembered by family, colleagues and friends as a unique person whose concern for others was unmatched. We want to thank the entir ...

Read the rest of entry »

Building Mass Careers is Recruiting Pre-Apprenticeship Candidates for September 2021

  ABC Massachusetts' workforce development arm, Building Mass Careers, is recruiting candidates for the MassHire Metro North Pre-Apprenticeship Program in Facilities Maintenance or Construction Trades that will begin on September 13, 2021. This program is free to participate in.   Building on the success from the first pre-apprenticeship program from the spring of 2021, ABC MA's Director of Workforce Development, Steve Sullivan, will instruct the group as they progress through the 160-hour training program which is designed to prepare Metro North residents for registered apprenticeships in facilities maintenance or trade-related construction occupations. Training will include an introduction to facilities maintenance, construction, financial literacy, and job readiness.  Successful program graduates will receive assistance applying for an apprenticeship in their chosen pathway.   Cadidate Requirements: Residents of the Metro North region who are unemployed or ...

Read the rest of entry »

Haynes Group and Maugel Architects Complete Construction on Lightforce Orthodontics New Location

  Burlington, MA – The Haynes Group, in collaboration with Maugel Architects, just wrapped up renovations on a 12,236 square foot one-story steel framed structure for Lightforce Orthodontics.  Headquartered in Cambridge, MA., Lightforce Orthodontics is a breakthrough company responsible for engineering the first ever 3D printed bracket made of ceramic polycrystalline alumina, marking the first-time orthodontists were able to create personalized fixed appliance treatments.  Haynes Group, founded in 2001, has a successful track record of completing office buildouts of various sizes and scopes for companies throughout Eastern New England.  “Every job has their unique qualities,” said Emily Bozek, Project Manager at Haynes Group, Inc. “Our goal is to ensure the client receives great customer service no matter the size or project type.”  Having the right team is the key to any successful project. “On this project we had a ...

Read the rest of entry »

ABC Meets with Boston Mayor Kim Janey

  ABC MA met with Mayor of Boston Kim Janey last week and discussed how the lack of opportunity for open shop construction in Boston exacerbates the city’s housing costs and closes off employment opportunities for Boston residents, including minorities.      ABC discussed recent data from a City of Boston disparity study that was presented by the chairman of Boston Employment Commission (BEC) at a recent oversight hearing of the Boston City Council. The data shows that between 2014 and 2019 the City of Boston spent $986 million on construction that was essentially all union, and of that only 11.8 million, or 1.2 percent, went to businesses owned by minorities.  In contrast, just three open shop projects during the same time (Olmsted Green, Granite Lena and Whittier II) spent $25.6 million minority contractors and related businesses.     “In other words, one or two non-union projects have directed the same amount of money to black and ...

Read the rest of entry »

There are currently no comments.