Tuesday| May 29 2018
Justice: Bonds sold for Roads to Prosperity program
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice announced Thursday that $800 million in bonds have been sold on Wall Street this week to finance the first phase of the Roads to Prosperity projects.
Gov. Jim Justice
“This is a huge step forward in our $2 billion-plus program that is going to absolutely transform West Virginia,”Justice said in a news release. “The benefits from this are just tremendous – all kinds of construction jobs now and then long-term economic gains from improved roads and bridges.”
The state secured a 3.575 interest rate on the bonds. With interest, the state will borrow approximately $915 million.
Retail investors purchased $167.7 million of the bonds Monday with $17 million purchased from those with state ties, Justice said. Read More...
Dodge: Worker acceptance, IT integration top challenges to construction tech adoption

A new Dodge Data & Analytics  study , commissioned by B2W Software to explore technology trends in heavy civil construction, found that the top barrier to contractors’ adoption of new cost management technologies is concern about getting field workers' acceptance. Out of the 153 U.S. and Canadian contractors surveyed, 61% cited this as one of their top three obstacles, while 51% expressed concern about new mobile applications for managing operations in the field. Only 14% of respondents said they were satisfied with their current means of tracking field costs, according to information presented during a May 16 webinar on the findings.
Contractors said their three biggest cost-management challenges are an inability to conduct real-time or daily financial tracking, poor resource utilization and the office’s lack of visibility into cost-related issues in the field. 
According to the study, the top technologies that address these challenges are mobile devices, mobile applications that manage operations in the field and real-time connectivity via the web and the cloud.  Read More...
The association’s officials urge the Trump Administration to reconsider new tariff proposals.
In a new analysis of Labor Department data, the Associated General Contractors of America have found that the costs of goods and services used in construction have risen at steep rates over the past year, and that the costs of goods used in construction rose at the fastest year-over-year rate since 2011 in April of this year. 
"Contractors have started to boost the prices they charge, but they are falling further behind on the cost of materials they buy," says Ken Simonson, chief economist of the Associated General Contractors of America. "This imbalance poses two risks—either contractors will suffer decreased profit margins or project owners with fixed budgets will cut back on the projects they undertake." Read More...
Project Best Is in Step With Ogden Half Marathon
Favede: Donations make difference in families’ lives
WHEELING — Project BEST is proud to be a sponsor of the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic, which steps off this morning in downtown Wheeling, said Ginny Favede, Project BEST co-chairman.
The Ohio Valley course is well known for its changes in elevation and often referred to as the  “Toughest Half Marathon in America.”  BEST is a longtime supporter of this event. The race will donate its proceeds to a local charitable cause that supports children and families.
The 42nd running of Wheeling’s annual distance race comprises several events, including the 13.1-mile half-marathon, run relay and walk, with hundreds of participants also taking part in the 5K Run & Walk for Health and the Ogden Fun Run and Tiny Tot Trot.
“At Project BEST, giving back to our community is more than just a catch phrase,”  said Favede.  “We work and live here too. And through charitable donations like this, we continue to make a difference in the lives and well-being of those who need our help the most.”
“Project BEST represents the construction industry as a labor-management organization serving the Upper Ohio Valley,”  said co-chairwoman Bengy Swanson.
“Today, we have over six thousand of the area’s finest craftsmen and over 400 building trade’s contractors in our organization. We also serve the community with scholarships, partnerships, and apprenticeship programs.” Read More...
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Retiring Early
It’s no accident that age 65 remains a popular retirement age. By that point, most retirees will have become eligible for both Social Security and Medicare, and any company pension payouts can begin. Even so, many people are drawn to the prospect of  early  retirement with its promise of decades’ worth of time for travel or other passions. A recent survey found that 15% of adults in the US expect to retire before age 60, and 29% expect
to retire between 60 and 65.
Early retirement might be wonderful if you can afford it…but there are some very dangerous ways that many early retirees sabotage their own retirements.
Making an early-retirement dream a reality requires even more careful planning than with a  typical retirement . You have fewer years to save and a longer wait for government retirement benefits. What’s more, recent economic trends could present additional challenges for early retirees. Health-care costs continue rising…inflation may be increasing as well…and some financial professionals are predicting an end to the stock bull market before long, which could threaten the value of retirement savings. Read More...
The Kiplinger Letter
With the  American labor  pool aging swiftly ..... Employers need to take steps now to adjust so that they can secure the talent they'll need later, when many of their most-skilled workers call it quits. The demographic forecasts are sobering. By 2020, 35% of all workers will be over 50, versus just 25% of the work force back in 2002. By 2030, 20% of all Americans will be 65 or older...the age usually associated with retirement. Skilled occupations are especially vulnerable to the coming brain drain...financial workers, nurses, teachers, utility workers, etc. Government agencies in Washington and the states will also be squeezed. Read More...
Apprenticeships critical in talent shortage for skilled trades

From an employment standpoint, Zarius Mayes sees only bright days ahead.
The 20-year-old Center Line resident’s ability, potential and attitude have caught the attention of his employer, Warren-based industrial manufacturer Ceratizit. Even before his apprenticeship was complete, company officials decided recently to train him for a sales position.
“The room for growth in this company is extraordinary,” Mayes said, “They’re really investing in the future.”
His education and work path exemplifies efforts by employers, high schools and colleges striving to fill a talent shortage in skilled trades that’s expected to grow in coming years. As partners, they’re trying to steer young workers to a pipeline of sort. For those with an early interest as high school students, they can take career technical education courses. From there, community colleges offer courses in advanced manufacturing and other technical jobs that in many cases involve apprenticeships in which employers pay for tuition. Read More...
OSHA proposes new crane rule addressing operator qualifications
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has  proposed a new crane safety rule  that would introduce new factors to be used in determining the competency of operators and hand back to employers the responsibility of making sure operators are qualified, according to an  agency statement .

The new rule, which should cover about 100,000 crane operators, would eliminate the requirement that operators be certified based on rated lifting capacity of equipment, an unenforced provision with which a segment of the industry strongly disagreed. There is no mention of removing the requirement that operators be tested on crane type. 

OSHA's preliminary estimate of the total annual cost of compliance with the new rule is $1.6 million. OSHA estimates a large, one-time cost savings of roughly $25.5 million by removing the requirement that crane operators be certified by capacity, "because that change would eliminate the need for a very large number of operators to get an additional certification," the agency said in its proposal. The agency is accepting public comments on the proposed regulation until June 20. Read More...