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I n yesterday’s marquis statewide election, incumbent US Senator Joe Manchin withstood a spirited challenge from current AG, Patrick Morrisey, and will return to Washington, DC for his second full term. Manchin won by a 49.5% - 46.5 margin. 

All three of the state’s US Congressional seats were easily won by Republican candidates: Incumbent Congressmen David McKinley (R-WV1) and Alex Mooney (R-WV2) were re-elected by comfortable margins and Delegate Carol Miller defeated State Senator Richard Ojeda in the highly contested open seat to replace Evan Jenkins in the WV3 District.

There were a few surprises in races for the West Virginia Legislature. The most surprising result was the defeat of current Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns by former federal prosecutor and Wheeling attorney, William Ihlanfeldt. Ferns defeat, coupled with the loss of Charleston Senator Ed Gaunch, gives the Ds a net gain of two seats in the State Senate. The Republicans still maintain caucus control by a 20-14 margin. State Senator Charles Clements (R-2nd District) won handily in his re-election bid. 

In the House, Democrats picked up a net gain of five new seats, leaving the Republicans with a new 59-41 majority. Although, the House remains solidly in republican control, the minority party becomes more relevant and important, especially on 
parliamentary rules procedures requiring 60 or more votes. Similar to the Senate loss of Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, newly elected House Majority Leader, Riley Moore, (grandson of Arch Moore) was defeated by former Delegate John Doyle. It will be interesting to see if Moore’s loss has any material bearing on current Speaker Roger Hanshaw’s campaign to retain the Speaker’s position in December’s caucus vote. 

In another notable area loss, Republican incumbent Mark Zatezalo (R-Hancock) was defeated in his re-election bid by former Delegate Randy Schwartzmiller. Local winners were: Shawn Fluharty (D) and Erikka Storch (R), who led the ticket, in the 3rd District. Delegate Pat McGeehan (R) won his re-election in the 1st District. Incumbent Delegate Phil Diserio won another two year term in the 2nd District. In the 4th District, winners were incumbent Joe Canestraro and newcomer, Lisa Zukoff. Zukoff replaces former Delegate Mike Ferro who was successful in winning the Marshall County Commissioner’s seat. Dave Pethtel (R) returns for another two year term in the state’s 5th Delegate District.

Lastly, both newly appointed Supreme Court Justices, former Congressman Evan Jenkins and former Speaker Tim Armstead, were successfully re-elected to fill out the remaining terms of two former Justices, Robin Davis and Menis Ketchum, who resigned from the bench before the House impeachment results. Jenkins and Armstead will join incumbents Margaret Workman and Beth Walker as sitting Justices. The fifth and remaining Justice, Allen Loughry, has been suspended pending his appeal of a guilty verdict on criminal charges brought by Mike Stuart, the federal prosecutor for southern West Virginia. Cabell County Circuit Judge Paul Farrell has been appointed to replace Loughry until his resignation or the final resolution of the criminal charges brought against him.

Interesting night in the Buckeye State last evening. The biggest story was the continued success and domination of the Republican Party in statewide elections. Notwithstanding recent credible polling that reflected some democratic successes, the Rs swept every important statewide office including the prized Governor’s seat where current AG Mike DeWine defeated former AG Richard Cordray by a 52 - 47% margin. The rest of the new Republican state office holders: David Yost - Attorney General; Robert Sprague - Treasurer; Keith Faber - Auditor; Frank LaRose - Secretary of State.

On the federal side, US Senator Sherrod Brown won his re-election bid by beating current republican Congressman Jim Renacci by a 53 - 47% margin. All Republican Incumbent Congressmen were easily re-elected, including OVCEC area Congressmen, Bill Johnson and Bob Gibbs. Republicans now enjoy a 12 - 4 advantage in the US House of Representatives.

In the Ohio General Assembly, the Ds, as most expected, picked up a net five (5) seats in the House of Representatives. Even with the minority gains, the Republicans still maintain a strong controlling majority, 62-37. The Rs picked up one new seat in the State Senate and will possess a whopping 25 - 8 caucus majority. 

Rep. Jack Cera (D- Belmont County), who represents OVCEC’s interests in eastern Ohio, was easily re-elected for a fourth and final term in the Ohio House. State Senator Frank Hoagland was in mid term and not included in yesterday’s ballot.

There is one interesting night twist. Current Representative Larry Householder’s (R-Perry County) bid to become the next Ohio House Speaker May have experienced a temporary setback. Four of Householder’s pledged candidates were defeated. These losses may help current Speaker Ryan Smith hold off any credible challenge from within the party and allow him to lead the majority caucus through the end of 2020.

Midterms 2018: Which voters said yes — or no — to funding infrastructure?

No matter which candidates prevailed during yesterday's midterm elections, the fact remains that most local and state governments will continue to struggle to find enough money to fund road and other infrastructure repairs, never mind the cash to launch new initiatives like light-rail or high-speed-rail systems. Read More...
White House: 'Pledge to America's Workers' will create 6M training opportunities

The Trump administration's Pledge to America’s Workers will create at least 6 million training opportunities, the White House  said last week . The Pledge, launched in July, called for stakeholders to sign on; 20 companies and associations did so initially, agreeing to create almost 4 million training opportunities during the next five years. Read More...
After House Victories, Pelosi Pledges 'Transformational' Infrastructure Plan

With Democrats winning enough House seats on Election Day to gain a House majority, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says that major infrastructure legislation will be high on the party’s agenda.
Speaking shortly after media organizations projected that Democrats would gain at least the 23 seats needed to take House control, Pelosi said, “We will deliver a transformational investment in America’s infrastructure to create more good-paying jobs, rebuilding our roads, bridges, schools, water systems, broadband networks…housing and beyond.” Read More...
Women are the solution to the construction industry’s labor shortage 
But getting them into the field will require overcoming significant obstacles

Megan Ross is an assistant superintendent for a large Maryland-based general contractor. Ross, a former architecture major, had realized she’d rather build structures than design them, and is now on construction sites every day, coordinating subcontractors and monitoring the progress of jobs. Read More...
October's Under Construction is in your mailbox!! Here's whats inside....
Industry News

By Pat McCune
OSHA Inspections
By Nelva J. Smith
By Pat McCune - West Virginia/Ohio
By Nicholas Homrighausen
By glenn F. Elliott, Jr.
Safety and Education
Election day winners and losers HR execs should watch
Democrats took the House, Republicans held their Senate majority and a number of state minimum wage initiatives passed.

A historic midterm election with "unusually high turnout,"  according to The New York Times , allowed the Democrats to capture the House, ending one-party control of Congress and potentially laying the groundwork for a focus on healthcare policy changes.
"While it is too soon to tell, it is likely the Democratic-led House will look to expand upon the [Affordable Care Act], to improve the public exchanges and expand Medicaid; consider some type of expanded role for Medicare; fight efforts to weaken the public exchanges; build upon efforts to control prescription drug prices, and consider paid employee leave legislation," St eve Wojcik, vice president of public policy at the National Business Group on Health, said in a statement. Read More...
25% of small businesses are still tracking finances by hand
A quarter of small businesses still use paper and pencils to do their accounting, according to  a new survey by Clutch , a business-to-business research, ratings and reviews company. Slightly more than half of small businesses use an accounting software to manage their finances. Read More...
Winning Work Cultures
As the business environment becomes more competitive, organizations are looking at ways to change their workplace culture not only to remain relevant to a new generation of employees but also to employ a strategy that improves the productivity and profitability from their human capital. A recent article on understanding and developing an organization’s culture by the Society of Human Resource Management stressed having a culture based on a strongly held and widely shared set of beliefs that were supported by strategy and structure. Read More...
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Safety Tool Box Talk
Plan Room News
What Is the OVCEC Plan Room?
  • It is a conveniently located source of construction plans for the Ohio Valley area
  • It publishes a weekly Construction Report listing projects out for bid, due dates, apparent low bidders and contracts awarded
  • It provides updates on projects throughout the week by email
  • It provides online access to plans and specifications for your review and downloading
  • It provides bidders lists
  • It has staff that will get the plans you need whenever possible

Submit Plans & Specs
As an Owner or Architect of a project, placing your project plans in the OVCEC Plan Room will help to insure the success of your project.
The Plan Room will:
  • Help you publicize your project
  • Increase the quantity and quality of bids you receive for your project
  • Help you get addenda out to bidders
  • Reduce your cost of blueprint duplication by allowing electronic submission to Plan Room Online