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AGC of America News
  • AGC Leading Veteran-Employment Initiatives

    The Alabama AGC is sponsoring in cooperation with Auburn University a construction-specific job fair – Veterans2Construction — for those with military experience at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Miss. on August 6, 2014.

    Also, the Associated General Contractors of America is joining the national Hiring Our Heroes program as part of the construction industry’s effort to add 100,000 veterans during the next five years.  The new partnership will make it easier for construction contractors to find, recruit and hire veterans, association officials added.

    The goal of the Veterans2Construction initiative is to create a permanent pipeline for separating military service members to enter the construction industry.  In doing so, the Veterans2Construction program will help veterans find meaningful, construction-related careers and serve as a key workforce development strategy for the construction industry.

    Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport was chosen as the first site for a construction-specific job fair.  It is the homeport for the Atlantic Seabees, the Navy’s construction force.  Gulfport was selected because it is the home base of four (4) Naval Mobile Construction Battalions.  Each Naval Construction Battalion has approximately 600 officer and enlisted personnel, the majority of which are construction trained. Seabee Battalion personnel have the following skills:

    Navy Title                                   Construction Skills

    • Builders:                                     Carpenters, masons, concrete finishers
    • Engineering Aides:                  Surveyors, material testing, draftsmen
    • Steelworkers:                             Welders, steel erection, and rebar installation
    • Utilitiesmen:                               Plumbers, HVAC installation
    • Construction Electricians:       Electricians, linemen, control systems
    • Equipment Operators:              Heavy equipment operators and truck drivers
    • Construction Mechanics:        Heavy equipment and automotive mechanics

    Participating construction companies should find a high percentage of construction-trained and- skilled job candidates.  It is anticipated that 200-300 Seabee personnel will attend the job fair.  Air Force personnel from nearly Keesler Air Force Base will also be invited to attend.

    AGC member firms are invited to sign up for the job fair at the earliest opportunity.  Help to make this job fair a success for both veterans and the construction industry.  To reserve a space, contact Josh Caton at or by calling 205.451.1420.

    Meanwhile, the AGC of America’s partnership with the national Hiring Our Heroes program will give members of the AGC of America access to veterans’ job fairs and other resources designed to streamline the process to recruit and employ veterans.

    “The only thing keeping many of our members from hiring vets is figuring out how to find them,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer.  “This new partnership will make it easier for construction firms to find, recruit and hire veterans.”

    The association’s members, commercial and civil construction firms across the country, are committed to hiring at least 100,000 veterans each year, Sandherr said.  He added that the new partnership will give member firms access to job fairs and other recruiting tools operated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program.

    The construction association official added that the new partnership comes at a time when two-thirds of construction firms report having a hard time finding skilled workers to fill positions.  The partnership with Hiring Our Heroes will make it easier for firms to fill vacancies with highly qualified workers and will be a key part of the association’s Workforce Development Plan.

    “Construction firms are always eager to hire veterans because they make such great professionals,” Sandherr said.  “As the economy continues to expand our members will be looking to hire even more veterans than they already do.”

    Sandherr added that construction firms already hire a significant number of veterans, noting that veterans are more likely to be hired in construction than non-veterans, according to federal employment data.  But he added that many firms report having a hard time figuring out how to identify soldiers, sailors and airmen that are about to leave active duty and enter the private-sector workforce.

    The association will begin distributing information to its members and state and local chapters about the new partnership, Sandherr said, and help recruit expanding construction firms to participate in job fairs and other hiring events organized by Hiring Our Heroes.


  • Primary Election Results

    Primary Election Results

    June 5, 2014

    One of the leading political blogs in the state had the following headline recapping Tuesday’s primary election, “Alabama’s Republican primary was an unmitigated disaster for the AEA”.  If this true, then one could say that your decisions in the primary were an “unmitigated success” for your association.

    Your PAC was involved in twenty legislative races.  Currently, candidates backed by you have won or are leading in seventeen of those races with only two possibly headed to a runoff.  Only three candidates have lost, and there may be a recount in one of those primary races.  All three of the races where your candidate lost or is trailing were in the House of Representatives.  Not one senate candidate that you backed lost.

    So briefly, our PAC was successful in 85% of the races in which AGC was involved.  Financially speaking, out of all contributions made in the races we supported, only three thousand dollars went to losing causes, representing a 98% success rate.  Any organization would love to have this kind of success.  These are numbers that you should be proud of.

    Much appreciation and kudos goes to your PAC committee.  Their hard work and due diligence ensured the best investments from your contributions.

    We also thank you, our members, for your support as well – your attention to races and issues, as well as your financial contributions, go a long way to supporting your industry and this association works with government.

    Chris Williams
    Director, Governmental Relations


  • Sending a Work Zone Message

    AGC of America’s Brian Turmail on Thursday, May 22, joined Alabama AGC CEO Billy Norrell and Keith Dillard, vice president of Alabama Guardrail, on the Dunn Construction I-20/59 jobsite to promote work zone safety.

    Black/Benak, working closely with Alabama AGC, coordinated the event to promote work zone safety as the summer travel season begins. Media from Birmingham participated in the event, spreading the word that drivers have a responsibility to observe traffic rules to keep highway workers safe.

    “These type events are an important function of the Alabama AGC as we work to represent our members,” Norrell said. “We were pleased to have Brian here from our national office and we appreciate the cooperation of our members in this effort.

    “The tragic fatal accident on a work zone on I-459 a couple of weeks ago points out the importance of safety on our highways. The people who work there deserve the right to be safe and to get home to their families. The contractors are doing their part to keep their employees safe, but so much of it is in the hands of those of us who drive on our highways.”

    Here are links to a story on ABC 33/40 and pointing out the need for safety in work zones.

    abc3340 video story

    Since 2007 there have been more than 15,000 work zone crashes in Alabama Highway work zones and more than 120 of those have been fatal, Norrell said.

    A recent AGC survey reveals 50 percent of contractors reported at least one crash in their work zones in Alabama. Construction workers were injured in 25 percent of those crashes.



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