Monthly News Update - April  2020
In This Issue
Chapter/Industry Events
COVID and Construction
Project Manager Classes
Austin Energy Meeting
New Username/Password
Health Insurance
Quick Links
 
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UPCOMING CHAPTER & INDUSTRY EVENTS
Safety Committee Meeting - May 4, online (contact Michael)
Austin Energy/Industry Meeting - May 12, online (contact Phil)
Networking Committee Meeting - May 13 (contact Toni )
Spring Golf Tournament  (postponed)  at   Lost Pines/Wolfdancer
Project Manager Development Program - Begins June 3, online

Safety training (OSHA 10/30, First Aid, etc...) available on demand. Contact Michael Welvaert to schedule.
COVID-19, CONSTRUCTION and the AUSTIN AGC
AGC safety stand downs on COVID-19 took place around Austin on April 9.
  
The construction industry, and the U.S. economy as a whole, is currently in the grips of one of the most challenging work environments most of us have ever experienced before, the result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  The good news is that AGC, from the national office on down to our local Austin Chapter, has been working around the clock to help promote and protect the construction industry during this pandemic. 

While some states and cities opted to shut down construction activity beginning in late March, our industry here in Austin has been able to continue to work while implementing heightened safety and health protocols to deter the spread of COVID-19 on jobsites.  There were several weeks, however, when our local elected officials seriously considered shutting down most construction. During that time in late March/early April, companies here were confused by the multiple and conflicting Stay at Home orders prescribing what construction work could  or could not continue in Austin and throughout Texas.   

During that challenging time the  Austin AGC did our best to let the local industry know what we were hearing through various channels about the different city, county, state and national rules being issued and what we were doing as an industry advocate to help. Also, contractors across the community all banded together for zoom call updates about how to best move forward here. It was incredible to see such a broad and deep group from the industry joining forces for the benefit of all.

It was also during this time when we here at the Austin AGC became fully reminded of both the power and necessity of professional trade associations. From the AGC of America at the top helping at a national level, on down to this Austin AGC helping folks navigate the choppy local waters, we all had our oars in the water and paddled in the same direction for the industry as a whole. People in the industry, whether with a member firm or not, were looking to the AGC both nationally and locally for help and guidance.

When the storm clouds are overhead, it's way too late to put in place an organization to provide shelter and help. The Austin AGC has been here since 1946 for exactly that reason. Some years may be quieter than others on the advocacy front, but when the pandemic crisis hit we were ready to roll and help. When the next crisis emerges (hopefully not for a long, long time!) we will be here to serve as well.

In the meantime, be sure to keep checking the AGC of America coronavirus web page for the latest news and guidance for contractors across the country.  On the local level, we will continue to post updates via our social media (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) as well as on our website here

Last, we want to recognize and thank every construction professional who has stepped up and worked tirelessly to keep building Austin safely.  Many firms participated in the national AGC Safety Stand Down on April 9 and continue to work on the jobsite front lines to screen workers for health issues and deter the spread of the virus in our community. Our industry has a proud tradition of rising to meet the challenges of our time, and the way we have been able to balance both lives and livelihoods during this pandemic reflects the "can do" spirit of every man and woman who puts on a hardhat to work and get things done.  
PROJECT MANAGER CLASS NOW OFFERED ONLINE!
 



 

The Austin AGC has partnered with the Austin office of Procore to host the NEW 2nd edition of AGC's Project Manager Development Program (PMDP) .  This training will now be held online via Zoom video conferencing on 5 consecutive Wednesdays beginning June 3 and ending July 1.  Participation from companies located outside of Austin, and even Texas, is welcomed and encouraged.
 
This 2nd edition of the PMDP is designed to specifically meet the needs of today's construction industry.  The curriculum combines activities and shared experiences to provide the necessary skills and knowledge to increase the participant's ability to work successfully with others to ensure project success.  This recently updated 40 hour training was developed by AGC member company project managers for aspiring and new construction project managers.
 
The revised PMDP curriculum takes participants through the management of the entire lifecycle of a construction project, and contains the following five units:
  • Unit 1: Introduction to Project Management
  • Unit 2: Initiating and Planning, Part 1
  • Unit 3: Initiating and Planning, Part 2
  • Unit 4: Executing
  • Unit 5: Monitoring and Controlling, and Project Closeout
This class is taught by Ben Ashburn who serves as a Construction Education Training Specialist in Procore's Austin office.  Ben is originally from the St. Louis, MO area and worked in construction for six years between high school and college.  As a non-traditional student, he graduated from Central Missouri State University in 2004 with a BS in Construction Management.  He spent the next eight years in estimating and preconstruction in both residential and commercial sectors, and also completed an MBA during that time.  In 2012, Ben made a transition to teaching in higher education and had the privilege of being a faculty member in construction degree programs at University of Northern Iowa, Murray State University, and Texas A&M.  He is now an education specialist for Procore Technologies, where he does much the same thing that he did as a professor, only now his students are company employees instead of undergraduates.
 
When:  8:00am to 5:00pm, every Wednesday beginning June 3 and ending July 1.
 
Where:   This class will be hosted online by Procore via Zoom video conferencing.  (Note that some Procore staff professionals will be taking the class as well.) 
 
Cost:   $1295 for AGC members or $1695 for non-members.  Fee includes 5 textbooks.  (A limited number of scholarships available for anyone who recently lost their job in construction due to COVID.  Contact Phil Thoden for more information.)
   

(If you are with an AGC company member at a Chapter other than Austin, or if you need your Austin AGC login information, contact Toni Osberry to register and receive the member rate.)


AUSTIN ENERGY STAKEHOLDER MEETING, MAY 12 ONLINE
 
The next quarterly meeting between Austin Energy and construction industry stakeholders will take place on Tuesday, May 12 from 10:30 until noon.  Due to COVID-19, this meeting will now take place online.  

Begun in 2019 as part of the Austin AGC's effort to work collaboratively with Austin Energy on issues related to local construction, these meetings have proven very helpful for us to share "front line" issues and help City staff understand and address some of the issues we face regarding electrical utilities when dealing with permitting and building. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 10:30 am | 1 hour 30 minutes | (UTC-05:00) Central Time (US & Canada)
Meeting number: 924 482 631
Password: CciVwpZ4g66
 
Join by video system
You can also dial 173.243.2.68 and enter your meeting number.

Join by phone
+1-469-210-7159 United States Toll (Dallas)
Access code: 924 482 631
 
If you have any questions or need additional assistance or accommodations, please contact Rebecca Ficke at 512-972-9590 or email  Rebecca.Ficke@austinenergy.com
NEW USERNAME/PASSWORD for NEW AGC WEBSITE
  

Don'f forget that in order to access any password protected pages on the new Austin AGC website - including the ability to update your company profile information - you will need an updated username and password. E-mail Toni Osberry for your new info!  
GET YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE QUOTE TODAY!

GET A QUOTE FOR YOUR COMPANY TODAY!
 
Did you know that the Austin AGC, in conjunction with OneDigital Health & Benefits, offers a health insurance option for your company?  This health plan through the Aetna network allows association member companies with 2 or more employees involved in the construction industry the ability to band together to purchase group medical insurance. The buying power, the ability to circumvent Affordable Care Act community ratings, reduced administrative third-party fees, lower pharmacy costs, etc....create significant savings for many of our member companies.
   
For more information or to get a quote, please contact your company's insurance agent, or Maria Venegas with OneDigital at 713-365-3800 or via e-mail at mvenegas@onedigital.com.  Also, you can review the plan brochure here.