The Blog

March 2021 Chairman's Message

Once thought of as a seasonal, dirty, and scary “jobs,” a growing number ofmore and more people are realizing that careers in construction are far more than that. Construction technology utilizes computer-aided drawing and design tools, lasers, and even GPS positioning tools. As the industry advances and evolves, it provides ever-greater expands opportunities. It also. The United States today faces critical labor shortages as it attempts to meet ever-the growingconstruction demand of the future. The industry that built this great nation a couple of hundred years ago needs to do it again. That’s why it’s so important that we promote careers in construction to the best and brightest amongst us –because the industry that built this great nation once a couple hundred years ago, needs to do it again, and it’s going to take every one of us all to getdo it done. March is “Women in Construction” month, and although we recognize, appreciate, reward, and promote “women in construction” every day of every month, dedicat ...

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Kaplan Construction Completes Renovations and Addition to Greater Lowell YMCA

BOSTON – February 17, 2021 – Kaplan Construction, a WBE general contractor and construction management firm providing comprehensive building programs across Greater Boston, announced today it has completed interior and exterior renovations and an addition to the Greater Lowell YMCA located at 35 YMCA Drive in Lowell, Mass. Kaplan gutted approximately a third of the existing 45,000 SF building to update the YMCA for members, children, and staff and increase capacity by 50%. New floors, walls, windows, and lighting frame the modernized space, which features three state-of-the-art preschool classrooms with dedicated toilet rooms, serving 60 children ages 2.9 to 5 years. A second entrance with separate access controls was built, offering families and staff increased security. Kaplan also fit out a 26-station computer lab, active science room, and a common room with individual boys’ and girls’ bathrooms for school-age children. In addition, administrative areas received a facelift, featuring three new offices and ...

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Connolly Brothers Completes MarketPlace for Cardinal Cushing Centers

BEVERLY, Mass. – February 17, 2021 – Connolly Brothers, Inc., a construction management firm serving private commercial, industrial, and institutional clients, announced today it has completed construction of a new 20,000 SF MarketPlace Building in Hanover, Mass. to house the Cushing café, thrift store, and gift shop, along with state-of-the-art training classrooms for Cardinal Cushing Centers, Inc. After shutting down at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the retail stores resumed operation when the $10 million MarketPlace Building opened on December 1, 2020. A non-profit organization founded in 1947 in Hanover, Mass., Cushing Centers began as a day and residential school for students with intellectual disabilities. With additional locations in Braintree, Cushing now supports over 600 individuals of all ages, with the goal of helping each student and adult to become included and independent members of society. Programs include, among others, affordable housing, community programs, education, employment trai ...

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Apprenticeship Ratios Hinder Construction Job Growth

Unemployment is rising amid a pandemic and it’s clear the country needs jobs. The construction industry has jobs available – all we need is to be freed of the restrictions that keep us from filling them. That includes strict apprenticeship ratio requirements.Massachusetts has an apprenticeship requirement for all public work. The problem is the ratios of journeypersons to apprentices in many trades. Instead of the traditional one apprentice for each journeyperson, some trades require four or even five journeypersons for each employee. These ratios cripple contractors’ ability to fill the jobs that so many people desperately need.Even amid a deep recession, 80 percent of contractors are having trouble finding qualified workers to fill hourly jobs. Nationally, the construction industry will need an additional 500,000 workers in 2021 alone.These are good jobs with tremendous career potential. In an industry that has become exponentially more sophisticated thanks to technology, construction offers lucrative caree ...

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Connolly Brothers Honored with Silver Award from DBIA New England

BEVERLY, Mass. – January 26, 2021 – Connolly Brothers, Inc., a construction management firm serving private commercial, industrial, and institutional clients, is proud to announce that it has won a Silver Award from the New England chapter of the Design Build Institute of America (DBIA). The firm was recognized at a virtual Annual Award Presentation on Thursday, January 21, 2021 for the new construction of a two-story, 15,000 SF building for the Great Marsh Brewing Company. The newest craft brewery on the North Shore, it features a state-of-the-art craft brewhouse, taproom, restaurant, and beer garden. Selected as the design/build construction manager during the early stages of project conception, Connolly worked with the owner on site feasibility and budget estimating. Collaborating with Niemitz Design Group (NDG), Connolly produced the construction documents and secured the necessary Town approvals and permits. “Design-build is the fastest-growing method for construction project delivery in the U.S. and w ...

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February Chairman's Message

Those of you who have been ABC members for a while are probably familiar with the phrase “Get into politics or get out of business.” Engaging with political leaders is an essential piece of representing the interests of our member companies. The newly elected Biden administration will bring a very union-centric view of our industry and his designee for labor secretary, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is representative of that. Walsh, a long-time leader of the Laborers Union, will work diligently to promote the role of unions in the construction industry. The ripple effect from Biden’s election will also be felt locally. If, as expected, Mayor Walsh is confirmed as labor secretary, Boston City Council President Kim Janey of Roxbury will take over as mayor. Prior to Walsh’s selection, two other city councilors, Michelle Wu and Andrea Campbell, had announced their intention to run for mayor this year. It’s unclear if a new mayor will still be chosen in November, or if a special election will be held before then.A ...

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Connolly Brothers Finishes Work at Bio-Techne Corp. HQ

BEVERLY, Mass. – January 19, 2021 – Connolly Brothers, Inc., a construction management firm serving private commercial, industrial, and institutional clients, announced today the completion of a 26,000 SF addition to the corporate headquarters of Bio-Techne Corporation (NASDAQ: TECH), a leading developer and manufacturer of high-quality purified proteins and reagent solutions. Located at 7 Jackson Road in Devens, Mass., the construction of the new, single story addition provides a combination of manufacturing and warehouse space for the life sciences company.Bio-Techne products are integral components of scientific investigations into biological processes and molecular diagnostics, revealing the nature, diagnosis, etiology, and progression of specific diseases. They aid in drug discovery efforts and provide the means for accurate clinical tests and diagnoses. Designed by Maugel Architects, the new space is broken into three areas: an extended shipping area, storage and warehouse, and manufacturing. Before con ...

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January 2021 Chairman's Message

As 2020 turns to 2021 it’s impossible to not be optimistic about a better year ahead than the last one. I look forward to the year with additional excitement as I become chairman and will have the unique and humbling experience of leading the finest construction trade organization in the country. As Joe Camilo’s vice chair in 2020, I had a front row seat to watching how adaptive, responsive, and professional the ABC staff handled all that was thrown at them. We entered 2020 with a focus on restructuring ABC and the Gould Construction Institute (GCI) and in spite of the turbulence that hit us all quickly we were able to deliver on that initiative. As we enter 2021, we are uniquely organized to reap the benefits of two good organizations working in concert to form one great one. Speaking of the turbulence, as the pandemic took hold across the Commonwealth, all our companies sought advice and direction on operating our businesses safely and it was often ABC MA that was out front with inform ...

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Recognizing the Best of 2020

On December 29th, 2020, ABC Massachusetts virtually held its annual Excellence in Construction Awards evening, a safe way to recognize and celebrate ABC members’ award-winning construction projects this year. Selected companies received either an Eagle Award, representing the pinnacle of achievement, or the Merit Award, for work that stands above the rest. The awards recognize overall excellence in project execution, craftsmanship, safety, innovative elements and challenges, and client satisfaction. Each winner was selected for high standards of craftsmanship, safety, and quality thanks to the talents of merit shop workers and the efficiency of the merit shop approach. “Our chapter is thrilled to recognize the outstanding work of our member contractors through the ABC Excellence in Construction Awards. Although the pandemic required our event to go virtual this year, we have never been prouder of these winners who proved that merit shop contractors are always prepared to perform under tr ...

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Kaplan Construction Completes Work at Holyoke Farms

New three-story apartment building creates 229 units of mixed income family housing BOSTON – December 17, 2020 – Kaplan Construction, a WBE general contractor and construction management firm providing comprehensive building programs across Greater Boston, announced today that it has completed a new 17,000 SF, three-story apartment building and renovations to existing apartments at Holyoke Farms in Holyoke, Mass. The project creates 229 units of mixed income family housing across 32 buildings, including 217 renovated two- and three-bedroom townhouse apartments. The owner is Holyoke Farms Redevelopment LLC, a long-standing partnership between Maloney Properties and the Whiting Farms Tenant Association, and the developer/sponsor is Maloney Development LLC. “Kaplan sensitively responded to the occupied rehabilitation component of this project, ever mindful of the residents and minimizing disruption whenever possible. Despite a global health pandemic, we were able to meet all our goals with little interference to ...

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