February 26, 2021
Establishing an Inclusive Space to Share and Learn: the AGC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council

It is sometimes said we are born with one mouth and two ears and are best served by using them proportionately. To wit…achieving higher quality dialogue requires active listening skills. But in a world that often bends to loud voices and a “me first” approach, we can easily talk past each other and never get to a deeper understanding of divergent views or an appreciation for varying perspectives. Business and personal relationships, politics, and daily interactions can suffer. Over time, we may gradually eschew the discomfort of challenged thinking and embrace the safety of uniform views that only frame the dialogue that conforms to our existing beliefs.
Personal growth, like business development, requires pushing the bounds of conventional thinking and leveraging collaborative processes that value diverse viewpoints. In furtherance of these principles, I am very pleased to announce that AGC of Minnesota has created a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council. The DEI Council provides a collaborative and active learning space where members will regularly share DEI best practices, hear and discuss relevant topical content, and learn how to leverage DEI to create value, advance business development opportunities, and promote inclusive workforce practices. 

The DEI Council will kick off later this spring under the joint leadership of Ramona Wilson (Knutson Construction) and Cathryn Camacho (Camacho Contractors) as Co-Chairs, with assistance from AGC Director of DEI Yolanda McIntosh. Once initial administrative and governance details are established, the first DEI Council meeting will be announced and open for AGC member participation. Initially, all meetings will be held virtually with the prospect of in-person meetings in the fall. One of the initial tasks of the DEI Council will be to consider establishing criteria for an annual AGC of Minnesota DEI award and to discuss and prepare content for an upcoming construction industry learning and development conference.

If you have questions or comments concerning the DEI Council, please reach out to Yolanda McIntosh.     
Budget Shortfall Erased: State Has $1.6 Billion Dollar Surplus
Today, Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) released their latest economic forecast, which now projects a positive balance of $1.6 billion. The swing from a $1.2 billion dollar deficit in November was due to a higher revenue forecast, lower state spending, and an increased surplus from large federal assistance measures and were not incorporated in earlier projections. Legislators will use this forecast to set the state’s budget for the next two years. Governor Walz will submit a supplemental budget by mid-March, as he presented his budget proposal at the end of January with the previous forecast in mind. This is standard practice by Administration in a budget year. For more information about the budget forecast, click here.
The past week, MnDOT presented their technical policy bill to the Senate Transportation Finance and Policy Committee. One of the provisions, as written, would remove the project cap (currently at ten) for the Construction Manager/General Contractor procurement method. The provision was presented within their technical bill, which typically contains noncontroversial provisions and other updates to state statute. However, AGC believes the language should have been presented as a work in progress among MNDOT and the industry. The bill was laid over for consideration later in the Spring in an omnibus transportation bill. The companion bill will be heard on Tuesday in the House Transportation Committee, where it will likely be held over for consideration later in session as well. AGC has had consistent communication with the Commissioner on this issue as the Department desires to push CM/GC legislation and we’ve emphasized the need for additional dialogue among and with the horizontal construction industry.
Congress to Vote on PRO Act

Take action now and tell your members of Congress and President Biden to oppose the Protecting the Right to Organize” Act (PRO) Act (H.R. 842/S. 420), as the House of Representatives is anticipated to vote on it the week of March 8.

If enacted, the PRO Act would, among other things, eliminate all prohibitions on picketing against any employer, even those having nothing to do with a labor dispute; impose a “backdoor card check” exception to employees’ well-established right to a secret ballot election; and impose mandatory third-party arbitration in which a union and employer do not reach agreement, undermining the collective bargaining process. To contact your federal officials and for more information, click here
Union Negotiations

This year union agreements are expiring for Cement Masons (Duluth & NW MN HH; ND), Laborers (ND), Carpenters (ND & SD), and Operating Engineers (ND). AGC of Minnesota is coordinating with AGC of ND on many of these agreements. If you are signatory to any, be sure to send in your termination notice ASAP and let Mike know which negotiations you’d like to be kept in the loop on.

Northern MN Carpenters

Contractors successfully reached an agreement with the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters to convert its pension to a Lifetime Income Benefits plan—a conversion that will help the industry, carpenters, and the partnership between contractors and the union. The conversion cost ($1.11/hour) will take effect January 2022. If you are signatory with Carpenters to perform Building or Highway/Heavy work in Northern MN, please download the new To Be Bound form and return to Ana. Contact Mike if you have any questions.
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New AGC Form Contracts

The AGC Contracts Committee has been working to create a new Owner-Contractor form, which will be perfect for times when contractors need a Minnesota industry short form to work directly with owners. This form will also be available as part of a full suite of contracts: Owner-General-Subcontractor-Material Purchases-ITO.

The new contracts will be released in the next month. If you currently are using an AGC form contract, we are extending that license through March 2021.
Winter Load Increases End March 3

Winter load increases will end at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, March 3, in the South, Southeast, and Metro frost zones. MnDOT will continue to evaluate weather forecasts to determine the start date for spring load restrictions in these zones.
Frost zones can be found on the MnDOT load limits map.
Start and end dates and other load limit information are shown at mndot.gov/loadlimits.

Partners in Technology

Today, new machine announcements focus on software and program upgrades as much as horsepower and fuel economy as manufacturers find new ways to incorporate technology. On top of that, gadgets and devices that typically existed outside of the industry have been reimagined and engineered to focus on construction. As equipment evolves and software improves, so must you. Learn more

By Road Machinery & Supplies Co.
Would you like your content featured in this section of AGC's Weekly Update?
March and July 2021 are still available!
Contact Jennifer for details (jsiorek@thewymancompany.com or 352-448-5875).
AGC of America's COVID Survey Helps Advocacy

AGC of America is conducting a new coronavirus survey to determine how the pandemic has impacted operations over the past year. The association will use the survey results to educate officials about the current state of the construction industry and advocate for additional relief measures designed to boost demand for construction.
Please take the survey by the close of business on Thursday, March 4. The association will then analyze and release the results by mid-March to members, the media and elected and appointed officials.
Celebrating the Historical Achievements of African Americans in Minnesota

In honor of Black History Month, AGC of Minnesota is celebrating the historical achievements of African Americans in our state. Despite the challenges of racial discrimination and civil unrest, then and now, African Americans in Minnesota continue to press forward to achieve, above all, human rights. Each week this month, we will recognize their accomplishments and contributions to Minnesota in an effort to educate, inspire, and encourage human and civil rights for all people. Each week this month, we will provide a brief introduction and links for more information.
Tina Burnside (L) and Coventry Royster Cowens (R), co-founders of the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum & Gallery (MAAHMG)

The Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery (MAAHMG) is a Minnesota non-profit organization that was founded in 2018. The Museum's purpose is to preserve, record and highlight the achievements, contributions, and experiences of African Americans in Minnesota. This mission is carried out through exhibits, workshops and events that educate and inform the public about the history, culture, and art of African Americans in Minnesota

Learn more here.
Racial Equity in the Workplace: Learning Series

Join the Washington Business Journal for a 4-part virtual series that will help participants uncover the historic foundations of systemic racism, how that system is intertwined with the business community and what business leaders are doing to create a more equitable future. More info and registration here.
Lean in Construction Cohort Begins March 9

Last chance to register for the March/April Lean cohort! Everyone related to the construction process has an incentive to get the project done faster and at a lower cost. Lean Construction is based on the holistic pursuit of continuous improvements aimed at minimizing costs and maximizing value on a construction project.

Become CM-Lean trained and certified! Participants can save money by taking the entire series, or may register for individual units.

  • March 9 & 11: Unit 1 (Variation in Production Systems)
  • March 16 & 18: Unit 2 (Pull in Production)
  • March 23 & 25: Unit 3 (Lean Workstructuring)
  • April 6 & 8: Unit 4 (The Last Planner System)
  • April 13, 14 & 15: Unit 5 (Lean Supply Chain and Assembly)
  • April 20 & 22: Unit 6 (Lean Design and Pre-construction)
  • April 27, 28 & 29: Unit 7 (Problem-solving Principles and Tools)
Women in Construction Week: March 7-13

Governor Walz has proclaimed the week of March 7-13, 2021 as Women in Construction Week in Minnesota. WIC Week 2021 begins in just over a week, and there are many ways to connect and participate! Click the image on the right for a larger version of the flyer, and click here for event registration information.
Minneapolis Fed Hosts Free Webinar to Discuss Survey Results

Thank you to AGC members for your participation in the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis' recent survey on the impacts of the pandemic on the construction industry. A free webinar on Friday, March 5 at 9:00 am will present broad survey results.
Materials Matter: New Educational Series

AIA Minnesota is launching a new continuing education series customized for the Minnesota industry. Get all the details here.
AGC Webinar: Outlook for Construction Priorities

Join AGC of America CEO Steve Sandherr and the association’s team of experts on infrastructure, tax, labor, and environmental policy on March 3 as they share the latest on the path ahead for construction industry priorities, the wins from the previous year, and the plan for the future. Register here.
Save the Dates for Golf and
Sporting Clays

Summer may feel far off, but hold these dates on your calendars now!

AGC Golf Tournament: Friday, August 6th at Keller Golf Course

AGC Sporting Clays Fundraiser: Wednesday, September 15th at Minnesota Horse & Hunt Club.
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