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See what delivers results and keep up to date with important news topics within our industry.
Project BEST gets development updates
Photo by Joselyn King Ohio County Board of Education President Zach Abraham, left, Project Best Co-Chairwoman Ginny Favede, and Bridgeport Schools Superintendent Zac Shutler speak following the Winter 2019 Networking Luncheon Tuesday sponsored by Project BEST. The event took place at Undo’s Restaurant in Elm Grove.
A sports complex at The Highlands, a proposed parking garage for downtown Wheeling and improvements to all Ohio County public school properties could keep local construction trades busy in the coming months.
How the Government Shutdown Affects Small Construction Contractors
The government shutdown that started on Dec. 21 has been running for more than three weeks. While the standoff between President Trump and congressional Democrats continues, its effects are already felt in numerous industries, including construction. It’s also costing the economy  $1.5 billion per week, as assessed by J.P. Morgan . Read More...
Significant Changes to AIA A201 That Contractors Need to Know About
In 1997, the AIA started updating the A201 every 10 years. The AIA has now introduced a 2017 version of the A201 and other contract documents, including the A100 series. 
Overall, the basic premise that the architect serves as the owner’s watchdog over the contractor remains in the new AIA 2017 documents. The architect continues to possess significant authority and rights over others, but without the corresponding responsibility. The owner’s main responsibility is to pay, and otherwise is largely deferential to the architect. Read More...
Changing the Way America Builds With Design-build
While it may seem as though there aren’t many things the American people agree on these days, the need for greater investment in community infrastructure is one issue with broad support. Many states aren’t waiting on Washington for new infrastructure investment and have taken the lead to finance, build, and rebuild the vital roads, bridges, public buildings and other projects their communities need.  Design-build  is at the heart of many of these efforts and new research details why this once “alternative” approach is now mainstream.  Read More...
Five Reasons to Diversify Your Supplier List
Diversifying your supplier base is often referred to as the procurement world’s best kept secret—but let us be the ones to spill the beans. If you’re looking to improve your bottom line, lower your overall operating costs and spend less on your procurement operations, then diversifying your vendor list is a decision you’ll want to make for your business. Read More...
For Generation Z, the value of a construction career is a no-brainer
Trades training is an attractive alternative to student loans for frugal Gen Zers, who seek financial success and entrepreneurial opportunities at a young age. Millennials have been, and continue to be, the target of training and recruitment strategies for many construction firms. While the defined age ranges for this generation, ages 23 to 38 this year — well into adulthood and already on a career track, for the most part. Read More...
Legislative Update
Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted were officially sworn into office on January 14th. DeWine has been busy assembling a leadership team and cabinet that some observers have called the most diverse in modern history. The Governor has nominated distinguished democrats, women and minorities to lead his departments for the next four years. 

Among the Governor’s appointments are:

Tax Commissioner - Jeff McClain. A former member of the Ohio House of Representatives and past VP of Tax Policy for the Ohio Chamber.

Bureau of Workers Compensation - Stephanie McCloud. Long time DeWine supporter and former member of the Attorney General’s  staff.

Economic Development - Lydia Mihalik. Current Mayor of Findlay, Ohio. Has been very active in Ohio and National Council Of Mayor’s organizations. She has a long history of working with urban and democratic mayors.

Department of Natural Resources - Mary Mertz. A former assistant Attorney General for Mike DeWine.

Chief of Staff - Laurel Dawson. She has worked for the Governor in a number of executive capacities from his time as Lt. Governor, in the US Senate, Attorney General’s  office and, now, as “keeper of the gate” in the Governor’s office.

Legislative Affairs Director - Dan McCarthy. Long time democratic statehouse lobbyist who was President of the Success Group, an influential lobbying firm in Columbus. He is the ultimate consensus builder.

We will report on other individuals nominated for administrative positions within the new DeWine cabinet.

In other news, newly elected Speaker Larry Householder is in the process of putting together his leadership team and Committee Chairs. Consequently, the Ohio General Assembly is not expected to reconvene until early February. Lawmakers will be busy formulating a transportation budget and the general biennial budget. Governor DeWine is expected to soon introduce both budget proposals for legislative consideration and markup. OVCEC Political Consultant and Lobbyist Pat McCune

What a difference a year makes. After three years of stagnant and reduced revenue collections, the state is poised to reap a budget surplus that could top $250 - $300 million by the end of FY 2019. General fund taxes and lottery revenues are so strong that Governor Justice has submitted a spending plan to the Legislature that is approximately $250 million more than last year’s budget. The total spending plan is expected to exceed the $5 billion level for FY 2019-20. 

These extraordinarily robust revenue collections are an indication of the strong economic activity taking place across the Mountain State. Collections are strong in all major tax areas: individual; corporate; sales; small business; severance; motor vehicles; lottery. The Governor is so confidant that the economy will remain strong that he has pledged another 5% raise for all teachers and state employees as well as a $100 million infusion into the fragile Public Employee Insurance Agency reserve fund. Governor Justice’s budget also contemplates a $40 million expenditure to combat the growing opioid epidemic through rehabilitation centers and new vocational training centers where struggling and former addicts can gain work related skill sets in areas that offer long term employment opportunities.

Notwithstanding the Governor’s confidence in the state’s economy, legislative leaders are expressing some reservations about the Chief Executive’s initial commitment to spending surplus revenues at such a high level. Some legislative leaders are urging a little spending restraint and, perhaps, a larger rainy day fund to weather the expected slowdown in next year’s economic activity. This tug of war between spenders and savers will continue until we get a final budget document in early March. 

On the policy side, there are a number of bills introduced in the Legislature that could materially affect OVCEC members and the construction industry. They include:

HB 2203 - creates a new Contractors Licensing Act and Contractors Licensing Board. The bill would transfer the existing duties out of the Division of Labor and place the new obligations in Chapter 30 of WV code, professional services. 

HB 2049 - would repeal the requirement that prime contractors are held responsible for wages and benefits owed by sub-contractors.

HB 2057 - would overturn the repeal of prevailing wage rates. As expected, the bill has been referred to three House committees. A signal ensuring a quick death and no debate.

SB 376 - called the “Local Government Labor & Consumer Marketing Regulatory Limitation Act”. A long title for a bill that would essentially prohibit local jurisdictions from requiring any wages, benefits, overtime, work stoppages and other employer-employee relations that are not allowed under state and federal law.

We will be reporting any legis lative activity or consideration on these bills and others affecting the building and construction industries. OVCEC Political Consultant and Lobbyist Pat McCune
Bills introduced this week in West Virginia
HB 2203  to move contractor license out of the DOL was on Monday’s Government Organization Committee’s agenda but withdrawn and then taken up on Wednesday. However a technical challenge led to a vote to table the bill. It then was to be on Friday but was pulled for staffing reasons.

HB2038 , this passed the full house and would sunset any professional license that was not found in 25 other states. Among many problems there is no list of which licenses are not found in 25 states.

HB 2049  to remove code that makes the Prime Contractor responsible for the unpaid wages of any subcontractor was discussed on Tuesday but the Labor & Industry Committee ran out of time. It will likely be back next Tuesday.

HB 2045  to eliminate Payroll reporting required by the WV Jobs Act was not addressed and will likely return on Tuesday.

Senate  SB 1  to provide free tuition for certain community college students has passed two committees in the Senate and now will go before the full Senate for passage next week.

SB 223 is a grouping of many rules bills that includes  SB225  regarding the additional residential HVAC license law that was worked out last year. It passed out of Senate Judiciary unchanged on Friday.
Welcome New Members
The Belmont Harrison Vocational School District provides career-technical education courses for students in grades 7-12 in Belmont and Harrison counties.  High school students may attend programs at our career centers or satellite locations during their freshman through senior years.
As employment trends continue to show growth in vocational and technical careers, the school district offer “state-of-the-art” training to students to meet entry level requirements into the job market or to further their education at the post-secondary level.
The Career Centers offer career-technical programs in Agricultural Mechanics, Allied Health Science, Auto Collision Technology, Automotive Technology, Business, CAD/Drafting, Carpentry, Culinary, Dental Assisting, Entertainment/Marketing, Hair Design, Hospitality & Tourism, Marketing, PC & Network Technology, Pharmacy Tech, Precision Machining, Small Engine Technology, Visual Graphics & Web Design and Welding for juniors and seniors. Freshmen and sophomores who are unsure about a future career field may enroll in the Connections (9th grade) or Occupational Lab (10th grade) programs and receive experience in small engine repair, welding, drafting, carpentry and more.  The school district also offers several other High School and Middle School programs at our satellite locations (Barnesville, Shadyside,  St. Clairsville High Schools).
Career-technical courses align curriculum with challenging academic and technical content standards to prepare students for careers or college.  Qualified senior students are eligible for early job placement during school hours. Many of the programs have state and national credential opportunities.  This advantage will give students the essentials needed in today’s highly technical workforce.
College Credit Plus (CCP), offered through the Career Centers, can help students earn college and high school credits at the same time by taking college classes from community colleges or universities. Taking a college course from a public college or university through CCP is free.  That means no cost for tuition, books or fees.  Students are also eligible for academic and career-technical scholarships to be used at post-secondary institutions.
For more information visit our website at, or call the Belmont Career Center at (740) 695-9130 or Harrison Career Center at (740) 942-2148.
Hazlett, Burt & Watson, Inc,
With better than a combined 45 years of experience in the investment world, Pete Holloway CFP® and Walker Holloway CFP® of Hazlett, Burt and Watson in Wheeling handle a broad range of clients ranging from individuals, businesses and trusts. Both are CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® certificants. 
The CFP® code of standards require that all certificants must always place the interest of the client above the interest of the CFP® professional and the CFP® professionals' firm. 
Each client is treated as a unique person or entity with investments and/ or plans tailored to their specific needs, goals and risk tolerance. 
Giving back to the community is vital to both Pete and Walker. Each has served or serves on locally based charitable organization boards including the Children’s Home of Wheeling, St. Johns Home for Children, Oglebay Institute, Wheeling Heritage, and the Rotary Club of Wheeling. 

Walker was named a Young Gun in 2018 by WVa. Executive Magazine.
Upcoming Events
Excellence in Construction Awards
Join us March 28, 2019 to Celebrate Excellence In Construction
The Project BEST Excellence in Construction Awards program is a celebration of the tri-state construction industry and everything that has been achieved over the past twelve months. The awards recognize companies teams and individuals that deliver outstanding results in the industry through collaboration and innovation. These prestigious awards provide one of the most effective platforms for leading companies to maximize their industry exposure for excelling in the Tri-State construction industry and recognition can help attract new clients, bolster existing relationships and raise overall company morale.
New Award Categories for 2019
Subcontractor of the Year Award
Supporting Business of the Year Award
Citizen of the Year Award
Project of the Year Award
General Contractor of the Year Award
Craftsman of the Year Award
Architect of the Year Award
Distinguished Service Award

Nomination Packets will be emailed this week! Watch your email and nominate a project or craftsperson. Submit a nomination today and help honor those who build our communities.
Project BEST 5th Annual Construction Job & Career Fair

Project BEST will be hosting the 5th Annual Construction Job & Career Fair on May 2nd at the Wheeling Park Ice Rink in Wheeling, WV. The career fair is meant to provide opportunities for students and their parents to gain a better understanding of the construction trades careers available and the path to pursue one.

With thousands of skilled workers in the construction trades set to retire this decade, more and more opportunities are arising for today’s youth to take advantage of the future of this industry. The construction trades offers students the opportunity to develop the hands-on skills and understanding necessary to continue on to high paying careers (construction and its related trades are projected to be the fastest growing industry through 2024 for employment opportunities.) 

The career fair will run  Thursday, May 2 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m
OVCEC's Under Construction
December's Under Construction is in your mailbox!! Here's whats inside....
Industry News

Legislative Update
By Pat McCune - West Virginia/Ohio
New Optimism In Monroe County
By Jason Hamman
Protecting Your Eyes at Work
By Dr. Lee Favede
Awards & Contracts
Construction Briefs
Safety and Education
Workplace Fatalities Declined in 2017
There were fewer workplace fatalities in 2017 than the previous year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2017 (CFOI) report  released in December. The fatal injury rate decreased from 3.6 percent in 2016 to 3.5 percent in 2017.
Crane-related workplace fatalities, and fatal occupational injuries in manufacturing and wholesale trade reached their lowest points since the CFOI started in 1992. The number of unintentional overdoses due to the nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol while at work increased by 25 percent – the fifth consecutive year that overdose deaths rose by at least 25 percent. See OSHA's statement  on the report.
OSHA Steps Up Oversight of Trenches and Excavation
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), trenching and excavation-related deaths  nearly tripled  between 2011 and 2016. That equates to 130 worker deaths during that time period.
“As construction activity has continued to grow, an increasing number of workers have been killed in trenches,” says LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan. “We must all work together to ensure the safety of every worker who enters a trench. The hazards that trenches can present are well-known, and the steps that must be taken to protect worker safety have been proven time and time again in the construction industry.” Read More...
Safety Versus a False Sense of Security: Challenges to the Use of Construction Cranes
The history of safety is, in part, the history of resistance to safety. From transportation and travel to sports and entertainment, the safeguards taken for granted were once too allegedly controversial or costly for companies to grant to consumers. Imagine driving a car without a seatbelt or being a passenger in a minivan without side-impact   airbags  or anti-lock brakes, or  playing football without a helmet  or r iding a roller coaster  without a shoulder harness. Imagine, too, pulling out of parking space without a  r ear-view camera , unable to see passing cars or pedestrians. Read More...
New Pamphlet on Snow Removal Addresses Worker Safety
OSHA has a new resource to help employers and workers involved in  snow removal operations  take precautions and focus on safety. Prior to beginning work, employers should check for worksite hazards, limit roof access for snow removal, train workers on the signs of cold stress, and ensure that powered equipment is used according to the manufacturers' instructions.
Advertising Opportunities
Safety Tool Box Talk
Click below for a listing of physical plans available in OVCEC's plan room.
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