The Ohio Valley Construction Employers Council, Inc. is dedicated to the advancement of the construction industry and the protection of its members and the general public.
Filling the gap: Shell's cracker a game changer for construction industry
Pouring concrete at Royal Dutch Shell’s ethane cracker plant is providing a solid foundation for Charles Chilelli and his family. After a stint in the military, Chilelli joined the Keystone + Mountain + Lakes Regional Council of Carpenters union as an apprentice in February 2015. He first did drywall and other work at an interior company, but when he heard about the opportunity to do construction work at Shell’s cracker in Beaver County, he jumped at the chance to get more experience with exterior work.
Chilelli began work at the cracker June 5, pouring concrete for foundations, columns and “everything else.” The job – and the pay — has “been way better than expected,” and he hopes to continue working there for the next three years.
“What’s great about the cracker plant is the pace of it,” he said. “I didn’t have any concrete experience, but it’s so safety-oriented that the pace is a little slower and good for learning. … [At the same time], you can see what you completed every single job.”
The work — and being part of a union — also comes with its perks, including an associate’s degree, health benefits and a pension, all of which was important to Chilelli, who has a wife and two kids to support. Read More...
Construction workers among most susceptible to opioid abuse
Dive Brief:
  • Those in the construction trades are more susceptible to opioid abuse than those in all but the food service industry, according to a Bisnow report published in Forbes. Estimates from CNA put illicit drug use among construction workers at 15.1%.
  • The industry's statistical tendency toward abuse can partially be attributed to its male-dominated primary workforce. Men are twice as likely to use drugs in an illicit manner than are women.
  • Construction workers also tend to face greater physical wear, often leading them to be prescribed opioid pain medication that would allow them continue to work on the job site. Read More...

ENR's First National Top 20 Under 40 Speak Out on Key Issues

This diverse and multicultural group of contractors, engineers, entrepreneurs, futurists, architects and educators sat down with ENR to discuss key topics, including workforce development, technology and sustainability, providing insights into how today’s rising leaders view the future of the construction industry and ways to bridge the gap between the generations.

What are the best strategies to increase the future workforce’s quantity and quality?
Derek Hoffine: The lack of manpower with people overlooking opportunities within the trades is becoming somewhat of an epidemic for our industry. We really need to focus on high schools because the construction industry has various paths that lead up to management that are great opportunities for a lot of folks who can’t afford college when they graduate.
Enrique Elizondo: We need to be engaging a lot of these people a lot sooner. I’m talking about even at the elementary-school stage. For the longest time, construction work has been stigmatized as secondary or almost as a career of last resort. We’re far from that. I think what we can all benefit from is almost hitting a reset and allowing the current youth to understand that this is an actual, viable, well-paying career. Read More...
White House considers 7-cent federal gas tax hike to fund infrastructure 
Dive Brief:
  • Gary Cohn, an economic adviser to President Donald Trump, reportedly told House lawmakers Wednesday that they would be voting on a 7-cent federal gas tax increase next year, according to The Hill, as a funding mechanism for the president's proposed $1 trillion infrastructure initiative.
  • The move is supposedly in response to Republican pushback against the administration's attempts to establish a revenue stream for infrastructure as part of the tax reform legislation now under consideration.   
  • The federal gas tax, currently 18.4 cents for gas and 24.4 cents for diesel, has not seen an increase since 1993 and feeds the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), which allocates money to each state for surface transportation construction projects. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the HTF will be completely tapped in the next 10 years without an increase in or new source of funding. Read More...

Supreme Court Justice William O'Neill became the latest Democrat to announce his candidacy for the Governor's office in 2018. O'Neill advanced an agenda that included the legalization of recreational marijuana, a higher minimum wage, lowering of tuition at state colleges and universities and increased funding for mental health efforts in Ohio. 

O'Neill is the only Democrat currently sitting on the seven member Supreme Court. He has incurred a suspect ethical view from legal scholars by announcing his intention to remain on the Court until the ballot nominations expire in February. Some say his continued involvement in court dealings is highly improper and, perhaps, a violation of Ohio Ethics Law.

Shareholders of Pittsburgh based EQT Corporation will vote this week to approve a previously announced acquisition of Rice Energy. Rice has a significant acreage position and operating footprint in Belmont County. The Rice acquisition is an example of the continued consolidation of Exploration & Production companies in the Appalachian gas basin. 

The General Assembly will be meeting for a few more weeks in lame duck session before wrapping up their 2017 deliberations in early December. Most of the fall session has been devoted to criminal justice reform, charter school regulation and Medicair programs.

Most political capital is being exhausted on the considerable jockeying for statewide office and legislative leadership positions that will be voted on in 2018. Source: OVCEC Lobbyist Pat McCune

Moody's, the nation's premier bond rating agency, has reaffirmed a favorable rating on the expected highway bond sale that voters approved on October. Moody's si11g706ted the states improved economic climate, recently passed taxes dedicated to the bond amortization plan, rainy day fund and lower debt servicing costs as reasons to bestow a more favorable interest rate on thee bonds. The state is expected to go to market with the bond sale in early 2018.

The West Virginia Legislature will meet November 12-14 for three days of Interim meetings. These monthly meetings are used to discuss and explore possible policy initiatives that can be endorsed by leadership leading into the 2018 legislative session.

Governor Justice has named two individuals to positions inside his administration advisory team: Donny Adkins, former assistant General Counsel to the WV Senate, was appointed to to new chief policy advisory role unbdert chief of staff, Mike Hall; secondly, the Governor has named former State Treasurer candidate, Ann Urling, as part of his legislative team. Mr. Urling spent 30 years in the financial service sector and will now be part of the Governor's team responsible for passing Justice's policy priorities in the next round of state budget process.

Lastly, the state Commnerce Secretary, Woody Thrasher , has publicly called for the elimination of the state's business inventory tax. Thrasher states that the tax is the number one impediment to a more robust economic development climate in WV. School districts and local jurisdictions will likely oppose the tax cut. The reason for the opposition -- the inventory tax generates $65 million a year in revenues that are used by these agencies.  Source: OVCEC Lobbyist Pat McCune
Prevent the Spread of Seasonal Flu
OSHA's  Seasonal Flu webpage  offers information about how to reduce the spread of the flu in workplaces. It provides information on basic precautions that should be used by  employers  and  workers  in all workplaces, such as frequent hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue. OSHA provides additional precautions that should be used in healthcare settings, such as strictly following infection control practices; using gloves, gowns, and other protective equipment to reduce exposures; and encouraging sick workers to stay home.
Share Your News

Do you have news you want the OVCEC to promote? Email us and let us know....
Ohio Valley Construction Employers Council

Ginny Favede Executive Director

Telephone 304-242-0520 Fax 304-242-7261 Website
21 Armory Drive Wheeling West Virginia 26003