ACEC OKLAHOMA UPDATE
June 19, 2020
In This Update:

  • Town Hall With Tim Gatz Recording Available

  • ACEC Research Institute Compilation of COVID-19 Business Impact Survey Series

  • Revised PPP Loan Forgiveness Applications

  • ACEC Releases Guide for Returning to the Office and Job Site in the Time of COVID-19

  • House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Passes INVEST in America Act

  • ACEC Research Institute to Host Expert Roundtables on Post-COVID-19 Engineering Industry

  • REMINDER - INCOG Kicks-Off Oklahoma C-PACE Clean Energy Program

  • Three Stages of Working From Home
Recording of Town Hall With Tim Gatz Available
ACEC OKLAHOMA hosted a special "Members Only" Town Hall with Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz earlier this week. Some 125 ACEC OKLAHOMA members participated in the Town Hall.

If you were unable to participate, the Town Hall was recorded and is available for viewing. Here's the link and password:

Password:  ACEC06172020

We Thank to Secretary Gatz for his time and for sharing some great information!
ACEC Research Institute Compilation of COVID-19 Business Impact Survey Series
The COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented disruption in America’s economy, which extended to the engineering industry. To gauge the effect of the economic shutdown on design firms, the ACEC Research Institute – the research arm of the American Council of Engineering Companies – conducted a series of surveys to accurately measure the pandemic’s effect on the industry. The summary of those surveys is now available.
 
“The Business Impact Surveys are the first of their kind to accurately measure our industry’s response to a real time crisis,” said ACEC Research Institute Chair John Carrato. “The data collected from week to week enabled firm executives to plan with knowledge of how their peers were reacting to the economic shutdown and Federal assistance programs.”
 
Over seven waves of polls, the Business Impact Survey delivered a weekly measurement of the engineering industry as it navigated the challenges of hiring, workplace culture, operations, travel and overall economic sentiment.
 
“The pandemic was an unforeseen and unique challenge for our industry,” said Charles Gozdziewski, ACEC’s Board Chair. “Firm executives were forced into uncharted waters, adapting to forced changes to workplace operations, commuting, project work and financial planning. The Business Impact Surveys gave our members a roadmap to check their own planning against industry trends on a weekly basis. Its value underscored the importance of the Institute’s mission.”
 
Now that the final survey has been analyzed, the ACEC Research Institute is pleased to release its executive summary, which tells a story of an industry that quickly pivoted to absorb the initial shock of the economic shutdown, utilized federal assistance through the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program, and looked to turn challenge into opportunity by expanding into new business lines.
 
The executive summary and a supporting infographic can be downloaded here . Contact Jeff Urbanchuk at the ACEC Research Institute for comment.
 
For more information about the ACEC Research Institute, visit its website at www.acecresearchinstitute.org .
ACEC Research Institute to Host Expert Roundtables on Post-COVID-19 Engineering Industry
The  ACEC Research Institute  will host two more virtual expert roundtables over the coming month exploring the post-COVID-19 engineering industry and the challenges and opportunities for engineering firms. Right now, we are focused on the short-term, but these sessions will look farther out to the horizon to help firm leaders think about what the marketplace will be like and what they need to do to succeed.

The Institute will live-stream the roundtables and invites ACEC members—and non-members—to attend and participate in the discussions. Each roundtable will be an hour-long and will allow for questions from the audience. To register for one or more of the roundtables, click on the links below.

REMINDER
INCOG Kicks-Off Oklahoma
C-PACE Clean Energy Program

INCOG  is developing the Oklahoma C-PACE Program and is requesting your support to get the program off the ground!

Commercial property assessed clean energy, or “C-PACE” financing is a form of long-term, non-recourse debt that facilitates private financing for energy- and resiliency-related upgrades to non-residential properties. C-PACE financing drives private sector investment in local communities, creates energy efficiencies and energy jobs, helps local governments meet efficiency and clean energy standards, and lowers the cost of energy in Oklahoma.
 
INCOG will be launching a series of online webinars, the first of which will be on June 24th , to raise awareness about the program and elicit feedback for the development of the program. Click here for more information.
 
This is an opportunity for you and your firm to have your voice heard in the development of this program. 
 
If you would like more information, contact Adriane Jaynes of INCOG.
Revised PPP Loan Forgiveness Applications
by Katharine Mottley, Vice President,
Tax and Regulatory Affairs, ACEC
The SBA has released two new versions of the PPP loan forgiveness application: the standard PPP loan forgiveness application  and the  EZ loan forgiveness application . Both are designed to implement the PPP Flexibility Act (HR 7010).

The EZ application is available to borrowers that:

  1. Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
  2. Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
  3. Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

There are also further revisions to the PPP interim final rule , the substance of which starts on page 7 of this document . We will continue to provide you with additional information as we receive it.
ACEC Releases Guide for Returning to the Office and Job Site in the Time of COVID-19
To help firms meet the challenge of safely returning to the workplace and job site while managing legal risk, ACEC has released the first digital edition of its  Guide to Returning to the Office and the Job Site in the Time of COVID-19.

“There is significant uncertainty and apprehension when it comes to reopening an office during this pandemic,” said ACEC President & CEO Linda Bauer Darr. “We are in uncharted waters for firm leaders who want to reopen their doors and get out to meet with clients at job sites. This guide is aimed at answering some of those questions so the industry can get back to work safely.”

The Guide is divided into five sections: (1) Planning the Return; (2) Health Policy and Procedures; (3) Returning to the Office; (4) Returning to the Job Site; and (5) links to additional COVID-19 resources. It incorporates information from a number of sources, including the CDC, OSHA, FDA, private sector organizations both in and outside the engineering industry, and legal counsel.

Due to the ever-changing nature of the coronavirus pandemic, the Guide will be updated, as needed to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information possible for firm leaders and their administrative staff. The Guide can be downloaded for free on the ACEC Coronavirus Resource Page . or by clicking on the link below.
House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Passes INVEST in America Act
Last night the House T&I Committee voted to approve the  INVEST In America Act and sent it to the full House. The bill passed on a party-line vote.

Thankfully, ACEC was able to defeat the two amendments offered by Congressman Garamendi (D-CA), although one of them may come back when the bill goes to the Floor. Congressman Garamendi did not offer the amendment to require DOTs to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before contracting out for engineering and design services. He offered and withdrew the amendment to mandate that only public employees perform construction inspection services, but asked that the chairman work with him to modify the amendment for potential consideration in the House. ACEC will closely monitor this, and be in touch as that issue develops.

Yesterday, House Democratic leaders also announced that the surface transportation bill would be one component of a broader $1.5 billion infrastructure package, which will also include public school construction, housing, broadband deployment, and energy provisions, as well as tax measures on bonding and other infrastructure financing. 

The bill is scheduled for the full House the week of June 29.

Watch for further updates from ACEC, and be ready to take action when asked!
Three Stages of
Working From Home
  • Yea, I get to work from home!

  • It would be nice to talk to people.

  • I hope that pigeon sits on the window today.
James F. Sullins, CAE
President & CEO
220 N.E. 28th Street, Suite 135
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Phone: (405) 525-7696
Cell: (405) 826-6481
Fax: (405) 557-1820
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