Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Boost America’s Apprenticeship Programs

H.R. 5972, Leveraging and Energizing America’s Apprenticeship Programs (LEAP) Act would encourage employers to hire new apprentices registered with the US Department of Labor or a state apprenticeship agency by offering a federal tax credit. Read More
Proposal to Eliminate Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs IRAPs 

The Biden Administration and the U.S. Department of Labor issued a proposed rule to rescind the regulatory framework used to establish and govern IRAPs created under the previous administration. The IRAP rule exempted the construction industry but left the possibility of this exemption being withdrawn and IRAPs entering construction in the future. Rescinding the IRAP rule will help ensure the proven joint labor-management registered apprenticeship programs will be positioned to meet the workforce and career development goals of the Administration‘s Infrastructure and in expanding and strengthening the Registered Apprenticeship model. US Department of Labor Announces Proposal to Rescind Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program | USDOL News Release 11/12/2021 

Read the Construction Employers of America (CEA) statement about rescinding IRAPs here.
Dodge Data & Analytics

Total Construction Starts Soar in October rising 16% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.01 trillion. Richard Branch, Chief Economist for Dodge Construction Network stated, “Economic growth has resumed following the third quarter’s Delta-led slowdown. Long term, construction starts should improve, fed by an increase of nonresidential building projects in the planning pipeline and the recent passage of the infrastructure bill. While healing from the pandemic continues, there’s still a long road back to full recovery.”
Note: November data has not been released to date
Dodge Momentum Index Declines in November falling 4% to 171.7, down from the revised October reading of 178, which was up from the September reading of 164.91. Commercial planning fell 8% while institutional planning moved 5% higher. The value of nonresidential building projects continues to fluctuate between a month of gains followed by a loss. The Momentum Index remains near a 14-year high despite the issues of higher supply prices, labor shortages and a lack of underlying demand for some building types. A total of 10 projects with a value of $100 million or more entered planning in November and data continues to suggest a healthy level of construction to come in 2022. The new Omicron variant does show a potential impact on economic growth and uncertainty the construction sector will face next year.
New Jersey's Unemployment Rate Continues Decline

Garden State Records Tenth Consecutive Month of Employment Gains in October and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that New Jersey unemployment rate declined in October to 7.0% with total nonfarm wage and salary employment rising by 210,000 jobs. This decline continues from September when New Jersey added another 21,500 jobs to its workforce gaining back 68% of jobs lost during pandemic | NJBIZ.

The number of recovered jobs in New Jersey is now 512,900 or 72 percent of those lost since March and April of 2020.  8 out of 9 major private sectors saw employment increase, with construction showing a gain of 2,700 jobs in October.
Architectural Billings Index (ABI)

The October ABI Billings score of 54.3, although down from 56.6 in September and 55.6 in August, shows that business conditions remain generally strong and that most architecture firms are still seeing billings growth. The value of new Design Contracts for October is 58.0, up from 54.7 in September and 56.6 in August.

Business conditions at architecture firms remain strong heading into the last quarter of the year and billings continued to rise in October, although the pace of growth decreased modestly from that of the last few months. Inquiries and the value of new design contracts strengthened in October, signaling conversations of new projects and contracts in the coming months. Concerns of staffing, inflation and material prices/availability do not appear as a major deterrent to projects at this time.
The Architecture Billings Index is an economic indicator for nonresidential construction activity, with a lead time of approximately 9–12 months.
The Six Largest OSHA Fines for Third Quarter 2021

OSHA has wrapped up its latest quarter of fines for the period from July through September. Some contractors were penalized hundreds of thousands of dollars, with the highest fine totaling over $1 million, for a variety of violations ranging from a failure to provide adequate protection to preventable deaths on a jobsite, according to the agency. Read more here.
CMU Checkoff Update

As of November 15, 2021 the 30-day referendum period is officially closed.

According to this November 16, 2021 federal register notice, "...the effective date of the final rule published September 15, 2021, at 86 FR 51456, is delayed until December 18, 2021."

"There have been longer-than-expected delays in delivery of timely completed ballots, and the Department wants to ensure it has time to adequately review and process all ballots received," reads the DOC notice.

Further updates can be found on the CMU Checkoff website as they become available.
Helmets to Hardhats

Helmets to Hardhats is a national, nonprofit program that connects transitioning active-duty military service members, veterans, National Guard and Reservists with skilled training and quality career opportunities in the construction industry. The program is designed to help military service members successfully transition back into civilian life by offering them the means to secure a quality career in the construction industry.

It's Not Too Late to RSVP!

Masonry Contractors
of New Jersey's
Christmas Reception

December 15, 2021
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Mercer Oaks
725 Village Road West
West Windsor Township, NJ
Help us show a child
"It's a Wonderful Life"
this Christmas and bring one unwrapped toy per attendee
ICE's VOICE provides short updates of issues of interest
and links to more in depth articles.

Visit ICE's website for the November issue
and more updates from ICE.
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New Members


Historic Masonry Restoration
313 Colonial Drive | Wenonah, NJ 08090 | tel (856) 494-6535 |
Robert Fischer, President/Estimator


United Rentals (formerly Norris Sales)
668 Berlin Cross Keys Road | Sicklerville, NJ 08081 | tel (856) 740-1400 |
Ed Zoranski, Territory Sales Rep. | Cell (610) 636-4764


DiCara|Rubino Architects
30 Galesi Drive | Wayne, NJ 07470 | tel (973) 256-0202 |
Germano Rubino, AIA, Principal
Visit our website Membership Page under Membership Directory tab,
then select Contractor, Associate, or Architect and Engineer for company details. 
Dedicated to promoting Masonry Design and Union Construction
throughout the State of New Jersey
Visit our website for more information.