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As the job market changes, so do college majors 
As the future of work quickly morphs, shifting with the development of new technologies into something barely recognizable by the current workforce, colleges and universities face the challenge of training a generation of students who will hold positions that do not even exist yet. Read More...
Winning New Business Starts in the Field
Contractors Expand Their Pipeline of Work by Empowering People, Maintaining Expertise and Upholding Their Reputation
The pipeline of construction work is strong for many contractors across the country, which makes winning that next job an ongoing project itself. Business development never ceases for industry go-getters, who leverage their people, expertise and reputation to land additional jobs.  Read More..
By the numbers: Women in construction
The pervasive shortage of construction workers has led some in the industry to target women for recruitment. But women don’t seem to be choosing the construction industry, at least not in the numbers that some have hoped for and not in the trades, where workers are desperately needed . Read More...
Shop class is back, ready to tackle the construction skills gap
Shop class is making a comeback in Texas, where immigration enforcement has left the construction industry with a lack of skilled workers,  Dallas News reported . The Dallas-Fort Worth area alone is short about 20,000 to 30,000 construction workers. Read More...
I- 70 Bridges Project in Ohio County will bring traffic concerns
Sections of one of the busiest interstates in West Virginia will be shut down for months at a time starting in 2020 and into 2021. Read More...
Is the Independent Contractor a Thing of the Past?
Analyzing the Dynamex Decision Within the Construction Industry
A recent California State Supreme Court Decision, Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (2018), has surprised many industries and may affect the way a lot of construction companies form themselves, hire workers and structure their business.  Read More...
Processes to Help Contractors Deal With the Skilled Labor Shortage
From 2006 through 2011, the construction industry lost 2.3 million jobs. There are 1 million fewer residential construction industry jobs today than there were a dozen years ago. Yet 80 percent of construction companies are having a hard time finding qualified skilled labor, according to  Tradesman International . Qualified skilled labor should be plentiful; however many of construction workers left the industry during the recession of 2007 to 2008 and never returned. Read More...
Surety Bonding in 2019: What Should Contractors Be Ready For?
This year will see a number of new surety regulations taking effect across the country. These will require contractors to obtain construction bonds or contractor license bonds in different amounts and adjust to new compliance standards implemented by sureties. Moreover, questions about the state of the economy and what contractors can expect in terms of government spending are also on the table and require attention. Read More...
Legislative Reports
West Virginia

With just seven days left in the2019 Legislative Session, lawmakers will be working frenetically to adopt a balanced state budget that can pass both houses and be sustained by Governor Justice’s signature. On Saturday, the House passed its $4.66 spending plan that included a 5% pay raise for teachers, school service personnel and other state employees. The Senate’s $4.659 budget plan, however, does not contain the 5% pay raise that had been promised earlier by the Governor and Senate leadership.

The Senate is still stinging after the House rejected all of its controversial education reform plans. Those reforms (charter schools, work stoppage penalties, education savings accounts and non- severability clause) were stripped from the Senate bill after teachers staged a two day walk out and threatened to call another prolonged strike similar to 2018. Senate leadership has indicated that they are committed to including a clean pay increase into their 2019-20 spending plan. 

The final budget will ultimately be decided by a budget conference committee, usually five representatives from both the House and Senate whose responsibility is to find compromise on their respective differences and submit that document to the full legislature for approval. That conference committee is expected to begin its deliberations by midweek.

Besides the contentious budget work, there are other important issues that lawmakers will be addressing this week. One divisive issue has been the bill advocated by Ohio County legislators that would allow a satellite casino to be built in the same county as a licensed racinos. This allownce is necessitated by the expected five year long Interstate #70/Wheeling highway bridge and decking project as outlined in the Roads To Prosperity bond issue. The Wheeling Island Casino, fearing significant revenue loss caused by the highway disruption, wanted to build a free standing facility at the Highlands to compensate for the loss of revenues. Unfortunately, that effort failed in Senate Finance by a 7-8 vote. Proponents are looking at other possible bills that might be germane enough to warrant another amendment attempt. 

Lawmakers are also expected to deal with the issue of municipal home rule. The original home rule legislation had a five year sunset provision. Cities have introduced legislation (SB 4) that would broaden homerule designation and make it a permanent status. The House is expected to consider the bill before the session concludes. It is important to OVCEC members that the House does not try to prevent the cities ability to make contract and project RFP decisions based on their specific needs and expectations. The Senate version excludes that clutter.

In other policy issues, the legislature cant seem to muster the appropriate support for lowering or eliminating the property tax on business inventory and machinery. The loss of revenues to school boards and counties is just too much drag on the long debated policy change. It also appears that the three year effort to create an intermediate court of appeals is close to dying once again. On a positive note, the Legislature is expected to approve a bill that would establish the legal framework for cannabis related banking services. Presently, national and certain state chartered banks are prohibited from accepting deposits generated from the sale of medical cannabis sales. This bill would allow certain credit unions and other financial service designations made by State Treasurer to earn a legal status and shield from prosecution.

 The coal industry is poised to receive a steam coal severance tax reduction. Industry lobbyists have long advocated for a lower severance rate as a means for staying competitive with other states who possess cheaper coal and lower transportation costs. It looks like lawmakers will likely approve a 1% reduction (5% grass receipts tax will goe to 4%) for the next fiscal year with the possibility of another 1% reduction in 2021 should revenues remain robust. The full Senate vote is the last hurdle.

Here is a list of other bills of interest to OVCEC members:

SB 1, the bill which would guarantee tuition for any technical school coats not covered by grants and scholarships, has passed the Senate and has passed out of House Education Committee. It will be voted on by the full House on Wednesday.

HB 2203 - create a new Contractors Licensing Board and removes it from Division of Labor oversight. Sits in House Judiciary where it has languished with little support. Dead for another year.

SB 258 - establishes a common law “veil piercing” protection act that eliminates claims used to impose personal liability on corporate executives. Passed the Senate and sits in House Judiciary where it will likely die from lack of majority committee support.

HB 2646 - would establish a safe harbor for employers to correct underpayments or nonpayments of wages and benefits if certain conditions are met. Died in House Judiciary.

HB 2365 - clarifies the definition of an employee for purposes of unemployment and workers compensation to conform with federal IRS riles. Passed the House and has been referred to Senate Judiciary awaiting placement on agenda.

SB 266 - creates an Intermediate Court Of Appeals and WV Appellate Review Organization Act. It has passed the Senate and has been sent to House Judiciary Committee. It is highly unlikely that it will pass out of Judiciary.

In other political news, WV received another round of unwanted national news coverage this week when House democratic lawmakers strongly objected to an offensive poster on display at the capitol during the “republican party day” at the capitol. One republican activist juxtaposed a picture of the hijacked airline crashing into the Twin Towers with a picture of democratic Muslim Congresswoman from Minnesota. Lawmakers engaged in a heated exchange with the republican activist who stated that “all Muslims are terrorists” while some allegedly heard the woman say that “Muslims were murderers”. It was an embarrassing display caused by a complete lack of civility, grace and common courtesy. Speaker Henshaw admonished House members and staff for their lack of restraint and decorum. Political leaders from all persuasions took to the airwaves and bully pulpits to remind West Virginians that we are better than this and these displays of intolerance have no place in our public spaces. ( Pat McCune)

Governor Mike DeWine has recently submitted his transportation budget to the General Assembly. After much deliberation, the Governor has proposed raising the gas tax by another 18 cents per gallon. If approved, Ohio’s gas tax would rise to 46 cents per gallon. 

House Speaker Larry Householder has come out in strong support of the gas tax increase while Senate President Obhof has been quick to express doubt about the need and level of increase. Obhof has intimated that any increase in gas tax should generate a commensurate reduction in personal income taxes. With such a disagreement between the two Ohio legislative leaders, it will be incumbent on Governor DeWine to engage his political skills and leverage to produce an acceptable level of gas taxes. 

There is another interesting policy question looming beneath the legislative surface in the Buckeye State. It is expected that First Energy Solutions will ask the state and the PUCO for significant monetary subsidies ($300 million annually) necessary to keep two large nuclear plants in operation. The plants, Davis-Bessy near Toledo and East Lake near Cleveland, are extremely old and in need of significant upgrades if they are to remain part of First Energy’s fleet. Proponents of the bailout emphasize the plants low carbon footprint, hundreds of jobs and dependable base-load power supply. Opponents argue that the two plants are too old expensive to maintain, don't offer competitive power rates and should be replaced new power generation that is fueled by the prolific reserves of natural gas found in the Appalachian shales. ( Pat McCune )
Naylor Solutions Partnership
I want to share with you that we have proudly partnered with  Naylor Solutions , a leader in Membership Directories and Industry Resource Guides to produce a new membership directory for the Ohio Valley Construction Employers Council. So if you're receiving phone calls, emails or mail from  Naylor Solutions   on behalf of the OVCEC. I encourage you to have a conversation with them. As a member you will  STILL  have a free membership listing but our new directory will provide you with some new opportunities to market yourself and your organization. With the phenomenal growth we are witnessing in the construction industry that only promises to increase with the much-anticipated announcement of the PTT Ethane Cracker, now is the time to promote yourself and I can think of no better place to advertise and market your company than in the OVCEC's Membership Directory. We are the Voice of the Construction Industry! 

The    NEW  OVCEC Membership Directory will be produced annually to ensure all our new members have ample opportunity to be featured. Historically the OVCEC membership guide has been the industry's 
go-to since its original printing in 1954. In our new guide, you will find contact information for general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers, as well as companies that provide support services, like wealth management, insurance, and more. It's not unusual to find well-worn, dog-eared copies on the desks and in the work vehicles of building managers, project managers and superintendents. It is the #1 resource for West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania contractors!
More than 6,000 printed copies of this comprehensive construction industry directory are distributed each year. The  NEW  Ohio Valley Construction Employers Council Membership Directory will offer  Advertising Opportunities  available through a special classified section. List your company information today, along with goods, products and services to the construction industry. 

The    NEW  Membership Directory will also be featured in digital form on the new OVCEC website providing your company even more exposure

Contact Ken Kepler at (352) 333-6022 or kkepler@naylor.comfor more information.
Upcoming Events

Need More Time? 
We get it. Everyone's busy, and deadlines can creep up on you without warning. 
Sometimes you just need a little more time.
That's why we're responding to numerous requests and extending the application deadline for    ALL    of Project BEST's Excellence in Construction Awards to    Friday, March 8   !
We urge you to take advantage of this extension to tell the entire tri-state community about your incredible accomplishments over the past year. 

Don’t miss out on this year’s awards!

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
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Safety and Education
Automating Access Control for Improved Safety and Security
Effectively managing security, safety and compliance on a construction site can be a daunting task. Construction executives are under pressure to tightly manage crews and correlate productivity with actual hours worked. They are also responsible for the health and welfare of their workers and for ensuring that jobsites are secure and compliant with owner and government mandates.  Read More...
You Shouldn’t Have to be James Bond to Keep Track of Your Tools.
Why does the warehouse manager have to be James Bond to track down tools and equipment? The construction industry loses billions of dollars in tools and equipment every year to theft, damage and general loss. In most contracting companies, a single person is responsible for tracking and finding all these tools. How can one person keep track of hundreds of tools that dozens of people are constantly moving around? They can’t. Read More...
Get Ready for Safe + Sound 2019
Safe + Sound, OSHA's year-round campaign to encourage every workplace to have a safety and health program, includes both employers and workers. Participate in quarterly events on building an effective safety and health program in your workplace. Learn about best practices during webinars and put them into action during the 30-day challenges. These events also focus on management leadership, worker participation, and finding and fixing hazards. Share your safety successes during Safe + Sound Week, August 12-18, 2019. Sign up on the  Safe + Sound website .
Safety Tool Box Talk
OVCEC Bid Calendar
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