July 17, 2020

CEO REPORT
Transformative Changes Taking Shape at AGC

The fire driving transformative social change can be lit by a small spark igniting willing tinder, or a lightning bolt that brings forth raging flames. The horrible killing of George Floyd lit the smoldering fire of public outrage borne of long-standing social injustice. The ashes of destruction we now look upon in reflection have laid bare some of the deepest divides of our community while providing a very necessary and painful self-examination of personal truths and cultural attitudes. Our communities have been ripped apart, exposing moral and civic failures, yet spirits are moved to commit to changes that will build a better tomorrow.  

The construction industry is certainly not alone in our long history of complacency and complicity on these important social issues, nor will it be immune to the winds of change that now blow strong and steady. In this regard, I am pleased to report the AGC Board of Directors has taken some decisive actions to set the association on a more deliberate and intentional path to help drive the transformative change of inclusiveness into all that we do. Here are some recent developments:

AGC 2020-2023 Strategic PlanThe newly approved plan includes a specific strategic direction aimed at inclusivity and transformative change in the work AGC does and the resources we provide to members. Association financial resources have been redirected to help advance these objectives in the next three years of the plan.

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Staff Complement: In the coming weeks, AGC will be hiring and onboarding a new staff position - Director of Community Engagement and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. A posting for the position is now available on the AGC website. The D&I staff addition will work to engage members and external stakeholders in critical conversations that help bring awareness and transformative change to AGC and our member firms. Additionally, AGC will soon be forming a Diversity and Inclusion Council to provide a forum for member discussion, best practices sharing, and other inclusive interactions that can be implemented across the industry.
 
Strategic Alliances and Partnerships with MBEs to Build Capacity: MaKee Company is a new tenant leasing space within the AGC office. The firm provides a slate of business development training and strategic solutions for minority business enterprises (MBEs) and emerging small business in the construction and related supply industries. Led by Lynn Pingol, MaKee Company has emerged in the marketplace as a leader in the MBE capacity and development space helping MBEs to establish meaningful business relationships with general contractors to build business equity with long-term community enrichment goals. We are thrilled to have this strategic partner co-located with AGC and look forward to many future collaborations and interactions between AGC members and MaKee clients.
 
There is arguably much work needing to be done along the road to increasing opportunity and inclusivity in the construction industry. Every journey is comprised of a series of small steps leading to a destination. In this space, the destination provides a morally just and noble journey long overdue and worth travelling.

Tim Worke, CEO
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS NEWS
Bonding Bill Negotiation Continues

The second special session began on Monday with bonding, criminal justice reform, and a tax discussions at the forefront.
 
Governor Walz and leaders of the House DFL and Senate Republican majorities have agreed to an $1.8 billion bonding bill. This would be the largest public infrastructure bill in the state's history. However, bonding bills require 60% approval. The minority causes in the House and the Senate have not signed off on the agreement. House Republicans want the governor to give up some of the peacetime emergency powers he has used in response to the pandemic.
 
On Tuesday, the House Ways and Means Committee voted on a party-line vote to pass the bill to the House floor. The bill has not been scheduled for a full vote as leaders continue negotiations. Several officials, including the governor, have publicly stated they have a goal of passing the bill next Monday and Tuesday. Watch your email for any breaking developments.
 
 
Highlights of the bonding bill currently being discussed:
  • $1.35 billion in general obligation bonds (plus more in appropriation and trunk highway bonds that totals $1.8)
  • + $300 million in trunk highway bonds
  • $254 million for the Public Facilities Authority for water infrastructure grant and loan programs
  • $230 million for local roads and bridges
    • $70 million for the local road grant program
    • $30 million for the local bridge grant program
  • $100M for housing infrastructure bonds
  • $55 million for bus rapid transit expansion
  • - $102 million for Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) 
Reach out to AGC Government Affairs staff with any questions.
DLI COVID-19 Response Plan Requirements

AGC member  Arthur Chapman Kettering Smetak & Pikala, P.A.  has created a  Template COVID-19 Preparedness Plan , following the issuance of new requirements from the MN Department Of Labor and Industry (DLI). This template is free for members to use.

Member questions and concerns should be submitted in writing to OSHA Consultation to elevate the significance of the challenges these requirements pose. 

OSHA Workplace Safety Consultation can be reached at:
OSHA.consultation@state.mn.us

Additional MN Dept. of Labor and Industry Resources here.

Article by AGC & Larkin Hoffman on revised DLI guidance here.
How to Find a Used Backhoe and
the Right Attachments

It digs and lifts. It moves and fills. It's easy to move around the jobsite and from one site to another. It's the backhoe and, while it has faced stiff competition from the excavator as the most popular construction machine, the backhoe still is one of the most versatile, highly-utilized machines on the jobsite.

What makes the backhoe the Swiss Army knife of equipment? Versatility. And it comes from pairing it with the right attachment. 
Learn more
 
Written by Dennis Howard, Vice President of Fleet and Remarketing, RDO Equipment Co. 
EVENTS & EDUCATION
2020 Sporting Clays Fundraiser

Team spots and sponsorships are still available for the 21st AGC Sporting Clays Fundraiser, which will take place on September 16, 2020 at Minnesota Horse & Hunt Club.

Click here for more information, to register, and for sponsorship opportunities. Contact Lisa Larson with any questions.

The Sporting Clays Fundraiser benefits the AGC of Minnesota Foundation, which provides scholarships to students pursuing a degree in the construction industry. 
AGC of Minnesota 2019/20 Scholarship Recipients

The AGC of Minnesota Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce the 2020/21 scholarship recipients.
 
C.S. McCrossan Scholarship
Brandi Rutten | U of M Minneapolis | Civil Engineering
 
AGC Foundation Scholarships
Olivia Januszewski | Minnesota State Moorhead | Construction Management
Matthew Henderson | Stanford University| Civil Engineering (Master's Degree)
Karli Schmitt | U of M Minneapolis | Construction Management
Adam Wardak | U of M Minneapolis | Construction Management
Gunnar Cowing | North Dakota State University | Civil Engineering
Brandon Sloniker | U of M Minneapolis | Construction Management
 
Total Awarded: $13,500
2021 AGC American Scholarship Opportunity

The AGC America Education and Research Foundation is accepting scholarship applications for 2021 from students enrolled in an ABET or ACCE accredited construction management or construction related engineering program. The application period opened July 1, 2020 and closes November 1, 2020.

More information can be found here or by contacting
Courtney Bishop.
GENERAL NEWS
$1.1 million in grand funds available from MPCA for diesel vehicle replacement
  • Apply by September 18, 2020. 
  • Priority given to vehicle replacements that benefit overburdened communities.
  • For more information about applying for a grant, click here.
  • Small business assistance also available
In Minnesota, people of color and lower-income residents are exposed to more air pollution, especially pollution from vehicles.  Fine particles are one of the main pollutants from old diesel trucks, construction equipment, trains, and boats. 

Some small businesses may not have the immediate funds to purchase new equipment up front (and then be reimbursed for a portion of that cost). Small business applicants are also encouraged to consider zero-percent interest Small Business Environmental Improvement Loans up to $75,000 for capital equipment purchases that help meet or exceed environmental regulations. Loan funding can be used as gap funding for a grant or to leverage funding for a larger project.
2020 MNDOT Specification Changes

Attorney Hugh D. Brown with Fabyanske, Westra, Hart & Thomson, P.A., drafted this helpful paper on 2020 updates to the MN Department of Transportation Standard Specifications for Construction.
Jeff Jensen Memorial Construction Safety Excellence Awards

Nominations are being accepted for the Jeff Jensen Memorial Construction Safety Excellence Award  . This award, based on safety standards achieved in 2019, will presented in three different categories. The awards will be recognized this fall at the 2020 AGC Recognition Evening. 

Read more about the award here.

Completed applications are due no later than August 24, 2020 and should be returned to Merry Beckmann or mailed to the AGC office.

   

CAREERS

Associated General Contractors of Minnesota 

525 Park Street, Suite 110  |   St. Paul, MN 55103
651-632-8929