March 18, 2020
Dear Friends,
 
We are living in unprecedented times.
 
Various governmental agencies are attempting to limit large gatherings of people due to the Corona Virus. They have encouraged employers to utilize telecommuting where possible for their employees.
 
At ABC SEMI, we want to be good citizens who are not only limiting the exposure and risk to our employees, but also playing a role to stop community spread of the disease. As such, ABC will continue to operate, but we have initiated only light coverage in the office, while having our employees do much of their work remotely. We have had the capabilities to work off-site already due to the nature of our work, so the interruption should only be limited.
 
In order to keep our students and members safe we have taken the precaution of postponing a number of ABC SEMI/SEMCA events including but not limited to the Meet the Generals event, SEMCA Graduation Ceremony and ABC SEMI Excellence in Construction Awards. All ABC SEMI/SEMCA meetings and committees will be postponed as well unless online or teleconference options have been implemented or otherwise instructed directly by ABC SEMI or SEMCA.
 
As a construction trade association, frankly, our concern right now is focused on our members themselves. Telecommuting isn’t much of an option for construction workers in the field. So far, we’ve not seen widespread closures of worksites, but companies should be making contingency plans in the event either owners or government agencies stop the work. 
 
We’ve been told in some communities, permitting and inspections have been limited, which has the impact of slowing or stopping construction projects. Hopefully, this will only occur in limited circumstances, but it’s impossible to know given the sudden and unexpected events of the past few weeks.
 
ABC National is providing a series of technical resources to help construction companies to weather the storm. We’ve attached that guidance below.
 
It appears that restricted public events and gatherings will be the new norm for a while. The CDC suggests that we can expect these kinds of disruptions for at least the next eight weeks. Even then, it will likely take a while before things are back to the way we are accustomed to living.
 
Let us know if we can help you in any way during these challenging times ahead.
Keith Ledbetter, President/CEO
Associated Builders and Contractors Southeastern Michigan Chapter 
  ABC NATIONAL LAUNCHES WEBINAR SERIES TO ADDRESS CORONAVIRUS QUESTIONS
WHAT DOES MIOSHA HAVE TO SAY ABOUT COVID-19
ABC APPLAUDS THE NLRB JOINT EMPLOYER FINAL RULE
WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 - Associated Builders and Contractors Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs Kristen Swearingen today issued the following statement about key provisions in the National Labor Relations Board’s joint employer final rule, which will go into effect April 27, 2020:

“Associated Builders and Contractors and our 21,000-plus members applaud the National Labor Relations Board’s final rule on the joint employer standard under the National Labor Relations Act. The final rule reinstates the traditional joint employer standard and provides clear criteria for companies to apply when determining status, which is especially important for industries such as construction. With further clarification of the standard, contractors will be better able to work and coordinate with multiple employers without fear of being unexpectedly and unfairly found to be joint employers.”
NEW HEALTH INSURANCE RATES JUST RELEASED
The Builders of Michigan Health Benefit Trust Insurance rates have just been released for the next plan year of 04/01/2020 – 03/31/21. This is the perfect time to review against your current health plan or look into options if you don’t have anything in place currently.  The Trust only requires a 5 minimum employee enrollment and has many plan designs to choose from.
 
Contact Brad Richards at Sterling Insurance Group at brichards@sterlingagency.com or 586-843-2779 for a brief call to discuss options within the Builders of Michigan Health Benefit Trust along with other options on dental, vision, life and disability coverages. 
CORONAVIRUS ANNOUNCEMENT
Dear SEMCA Students, Instructors and Employers:

By now, you’ve all seen news accounts related to the COVID-19 virus that has been classified as a global pandemic. Government institutions have been trying to limit the infectious spread of the virus by cancelling a number of large group meetings and in some cases, schools across the region. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced a state of emergency in Michigan. In addition, most state universities announced on Wednesday that they were cancelling all in-person classes through at least April 20th. We anticipate the likelihood that many other schools will do the same shortly.

It appears that metro Detroit now has its first confirmed cases of Coronavirus. 

The challenge we have at the Southeast Michigan Construction Academy is we have a large number of students at our campuses who all are in close proximity to each other for three hours at a time. If the school were to remain open, students could be subjected to health concerns or else risk poor grades or attendance violations. That would be a choice between two poor alternatives.

As a result, SEMCA has decided to suspend classes for one month starting Monday, March 16, 2020 and resuming on April 13, 2020.

We thought it was important to be decisive in this time of uncertainty and also show leadership out of an abundance of caution for the welfare of our student body and the community as a whole.
 
The Department of Labor sets guidelines related to our program for classroom hours. We have counted the number of hours SEMCA second semester students have attended class so far this term, and we are already beyond the required amount under federal guidelines for those students who have missed minimal classes. We added additional days into our calendar at the beginning of the year to account for potential snow days and other student absences.

While we have technically met our required student instruction hours, we plan on resuming classes under a streamlined schedule as noted below.

Questions can be directed to SEMCA at 248-298-3600(o), or Deanna Morley, Director of Education at  dmorley@abcsemi.org  or Keith Ledbetter, President/CEO at  kledbetter@abcsemi.org .
NEW SEMCA 2020 SCHOOL SCHEDULE

Schedule for Students Who Began Class in the Fall 2019
Close – March 16
Open – April 13
Last Day of 2019-2020 School Year – April 29 & April 30
First Day of 2020-2021 School Year – August 26 & 27
 
Schedule for Students Who Began Class January 2020  
Close – March 16
Open – April 13
Last Day of 2019-2020 School Year – August 19
First Day of 2020-2021 School Year – August 26 & 27