The Fourth Annual “Big Machine’s Day” at McWane Center – sponsored by CraneWorks, the Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute and Alabama AGC — drew thousands of young students to learn about careers on construction.
“This is a natural fit for ACRI’s Go Build Alabama campaign,” said Jason Phelps, ACRI director. “’Big Machines Day’ and ‘If I Had a Hammer’ are both excellent opportunities to promote the construction industry to the younger generation. The children enjoyed getting to play on the big equipment.
“CraneWorks does an excellent job with ‘Big Machines Day’, providing the opportunity for younger people to learn about our critically important industry.”
WBRC Fox 6’s Mickey Ferguson was on hand to cover the event and interviewed CraneWorks’ Tom Yielding, Alabama AGC’s Jeff Rodgers, and Katie Baasen with the McWane Science Center.
Amy Templeton, McWane Center CEO, said more than 4,000 people attended last year and this year’s attendance far exceeded that.
Industry representatives at the event were Kevin Garrison, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, and Berkowitz; Owen Trotter, Dunn Building Company; Brian Conklin, Brasfield & Gorrie; Jeff Rodgers and Josh Caton, both of AGC, and Jason Phelps, ACRI director.
“If I Had A Hammer,” designed to help children understand the construction industry by letting them work with craftsmen, will be March 6 and 7 at Susan Moore School. On March 20 and 21 “If I Had A Hammer,” will be at the Locust Fork School. On April 3and 4the Cleveland School will be the host and to end the tour with Montevallo School 23and 24.
“The AGC Alternative: A Private Insurance Exchange” to Debut as Early as Summer 2014
AGC of America is planning to launch a new private insurance exchange in cooperation with Willis North America this summer. The new exchange, which will be called “The AGC Alternative,” will allow member firms to deliver better health insurance and related benefits to their employees at a lower cost.
“This new exchange will make it far easier for member firms to provide top quality health insurance and related benefits for their employees,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Our members will now be able to secure the kind of convenient and discounted benefits that a growing number of large employers already enjoy.”
The new private exchange should reduce costs and the administrative burden of providing insurance benefits for the 95 percent of member firms that report they already provide health insurance to their employees. And because the exchange will offer a broader range of options than typically available to individual firms, employers and their employees will get more of the benefits that meet their particular needs.
The new exchange will also make it easier for firms to comply with the Affordable Care Act requirements, Sandherr added. And, unlike many public exchanges, the new private exchange will also provide employees with the guidance and support they need to make good decisions.
Once AGC and Willis complete preparations, including securing a national insurance provider, each member firm will each be able to set up its own private company benefits exchange site for employees. Participating firms will then provide a stipend to their employees, who will use those funds to shop for health insurance and other benefits offered through the exchange.
National Coalition Launches “Hardhats for Highways” Campaign to Alert Congress to
Highway Trust Fund Crisis, and the Connection Between Jobs & Transportation Funding
(LAS VEGAS, NEV.)— With the federal Highway Trust Fund projected to be unable to support any new highway, bridge and public transportation improvements in fiscal year 2015, a national coalition of associations and labor unions announced today that it is launching a campaign to help educate Congress about the connection between local jobs and federal highway and transit investment.
“Hardhats for Highways” is aimed at encouraging transportation construction firms and their employees to contact their U.S. representative and senators and let them know how many local jobs depend on federal transportation funding, officials with the Transportation Construction Coalition said. The announcement was made in Las Vegas at CONEXPO/CONAGG, one of the world’s largest construction trade shows, where more than 125,000 industry professionals are gathered March 4-8.
“Members of Congress need to understand how many people back home are counting on federal transportation investments,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the coalition’s co-chair and chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America. “Investing in roads and bridges not only makes our broader economy more efficient and vibrant, it puts a lot of men and women to work in every part of the country.”
“There will be a lot fewer hardhats on America’s highway, bridge and transit improvement projects if Congress doesn’t fix the Highway Trust Fund soon,” says Pete Ruane, American Road & Transportation Builders Association president and coalition co-chair. “The livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of workers and their families depend upon Congress finding a long-term and sustainable solution to financing the nation’s surface transportation network.”
Ruane and Sandherr said the coalition is launching the campaign to escalate its efforts to ensure members of Congress understand the need to address the pending Highway Trust Fund revenue shortfall that, if left unaddressed, is predicted to threaten the Federal Highway Administration’s ability to reimburse states for already approved federal-aid projects later this year and prevent any new highway and public transportation investment in fiscal year 2015. Federal highway investments support more than half of all U.S. road and bridge capital improvements each year, and the loss of that investment in 2015 would jeopardize hundreds of thousands of jobs in the construction and related industries, the coalition co-chairs noted.
Coalition officials said they would begin shipping special “Hardhats for Highways” decals to construction and related employers and local unions within the coming days. They are asking employers and workers to write onto the decal how many jobs at their firm rely on federal highway funding, affix the decal to the firm’s hardhat, and present the hardhat to their local congressman and senators as they encourage them to support new federal transportation investments.
In addition to presenting members of Congress with the special hardhats, employers and employees will be able to send “e-Hardhat” messages to Congress explaining how many jobs at their firms rely on federal transportation funding and encouraging the elected officials to support new federal transportation funding. The coalition will track how many firms and their employees present the “Hardhats for Highways,” officials added.
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