May 25, 2017

Construction Employment Increases by 5,000 in April to Highest Level in Nine Years; But Labor Shortages Likely Limited Number of New Jobs Being Added

Construction employment increased by 5,000 jobs in April to the highest level in more than nine years amid strong demand for new construction services, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials cautioned, however, that a shortage of available qualified workers likely limited the number of new jobs added last month.

433 WORKSAFE Projects and Counting!

Master Builders of Iowa and Iowa OSHA Consultation enrolled the 400th construction project designated as a WORKSAFE job site in March! WORKSAFE was launched in the fall of 2012 and is a unique public-private partnership between the Iowa OSHA and MBI. The WORKSAFE program was developed jointly to encourage contractors to identify hazardous conditions before construction begins and conduct job site surveys to monitor safety goal implementation to ultimately prevent job site injuries.

MBI is a Certified CM-Lean Testing Center

MBI has taken the steps needed to become an approved CM-Lean exam testing center.  The AGC Certificate of Management-Lean Construction (CM-Lean) is an assessment-based certificate credential that denotes knowledge and understanding of concepts related to lean adoption, practice and process transformation outlined in AGC’s Lean Construction Education Program (LCEP).  Successful candidates will carry the CM-Lean designation.

Construction Golf Classic & Smoker – REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!

Registration is now open for the 18th Annual Construction Golf Classic and Smoker which will be held on Monday, August 14, 2017 at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines. 

For seventeen years, MBI has brought together construction colleagues from throughout the state to participate in the MBI-PAC’s top fundraising event. The “Smoker” is a great way to share good times with industry partners and play golf at Iowa’s premier golf venue, all while supporting your industry’s important and influential political action committee. Annually, this premier golf event attracts over 150 golfers from over 65 different companies and nearly 40 different sponsoring companies.

We’re Going to Playa del Carmen in 2018 – Who’s Coming With?!

On behalf of MBI’s Convention & Travel Committee, we would like to invite you to attend the Master Builders of Iowa “Out-of-Country Excursion” to Playa del Carmen, Mexico following next year’s Annual Winter Conference!  The trip is scheduled for March 1 – 6, 2018 at the luxurious adults-only Paradisus Playa del Carmen – La Perla, an all-inclusive beach resort.

2017 Legislative Summary

The focus of the public affairs program of the Master Builders of Iowa is derived from our Mission Statement, which reads:

 “The essential resource for improving member performance and promoting a business environment favorable to the construction industry.”

With our Mission Statement as a guide, MBI’s lobbying efforts maintained a constant presence at the Iowa Capitol each and every day during the 2017 Legislative Session.  MBI’s lobbyists saw nearly 1,000 different pieces of legislation being introduced and took time to review every bill to see what sort of impact, if any, each would have on the commercial construction industry in Iowa.  MBI also participated in multiple committee and subcommittee meetings, often adding the “construction industry’s perspective” to the debate. 

What Are You Missing?

It is common knowledge that investing in anything comes with an inherent degree of risk. Sometimes that risk is large… sometimes small. Most would agree, however, that an investment decision is typically based on the potential for return.

Plan Now to Pull the Trigger on a Sporting Clay Sponsorship!

There are sponsorship offerings available for MBI’s 5th Annual Sporting Clay Builders’ Classic.  Like many of MBI’s programs, the Sporting Clay Builders’ Classic brings together construction professionals from throughout the state for some great construction camaraderie.  Participation has grown each year and last year’s events saw 150 shooters, combining to raise nearly $32,000 for the MBI-PAC and our continued efforts to support pro-business, pro-construction policymakers.  These events have already become a highly anticipated annual offering by MBI.

Are you ready for OSHA to show up at your job site?

I don’t think anyone is really ever ready to have OSHA show up at their job site, however, it pays to be as prepared as possible.  The safety of your employees is important.  A safe worker is a happier worker.  Also, the costs of having an unsafe job site can be big.  Workers’ compensation claims, non-employees getting hurt as a result of a hazard your employees created and OSHA fines.  OSHA fines are going up across the nation.  OSHA is becoming less willing to settle citations like they used to.

MBI’s Labor Philosophy

Very few subjects in the business world, construction is no exception, evoke such passion as labor issues.  Constant conflict surrounds labor pursuits regardless of your choice to be union or non-union in some, or all, of your labor relationships.  There is conflict for union contractors during wage and contract negotiations with their labor counterparts.  The collective bargaining process is rarely easy, and more often very stressful, for both sides of the table.

Submit Your Nomination for the 14th MB EYE on the Future Class by May 26th!

MB EYE on the Future is an important initiative for sustaining leadership in the association and in the construction industry in Iowa.  This leadership program combines essential educational programs each month, as well as networking with past, present and future leaders across the state of Iowa. Over 200 graduates throughout the last thirteen years have sparked a new level of member participation in the organization.

Legislature Adjourns for the Year

Legislative Focus
April 24, 2017
Volume XVI, Edition 15

I have always said it is good for the Legislature to adjourn during the daylight hours.  However, I should have probably stipulated that a daylight adjournment should not be preceded by an all-night session.

The 2017 Legislative Session came to a close at 7:17 a.m. Saturday morning.  This was after House and Senate leaders worked through the night to find resolution on water quality, medical marijuana and final budget bills. 

Construction Week – October 2-6, 2017

Ask any contractor what keeps them up at night and 9 times out of 10 they will answer with something related to their ability to attract the next generation workforce. The shortage of workers in the skilled trades is high, and will continue to grow in the years to come. The mission of Construction Week is to promote awareness of the construction industry as a safe, exciting and rewarding career option.  This effort has been kicked off with Governor Branstad proclaiming the first week of October as Construction Week in Iowa, which will be celebrated October 2 – 6, 2017.

Help Us Promote the Construction Industry - Follow the Build Iowa Campaign on Social Media!

As many of you are aware, we launched a new website – – in August to bring more awareness to the great opportunities available within Iowa’s construction industry.  The site contains career options and path details on various construction-related occupations, which many people outside of our industry are not aware of.

MBI is Now Offering the Lean Construction Education Program!

To help contractors develop the knowledge needed to build lean, Master Builders of Iowa is excited to announce that we are now offering the Associated General Contractors of America Lean Construction Education Program!  Construction professionals at all experience levels will learn the building blocks necessary to transform their projects and companies into a lean operating system.