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February 23, 2018

More Work to Come

With all of the ways the industry attempts to forecast future work, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is probably the most relied upon barometer. It is a measurement of design service billings, and historically has been very accurate in predicting the amount of nonresidential construction work that will take place 9-24 months down the road.

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.

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. 

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.

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 – www.BuildIowa.org – 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.

Lee Hollatz Receives the First Master Builder Achievement Award

For those of you that have not heard the news yet, we were able to present the first Master Builder Achievement Award during the Annual Winter Conference!  We are pleased to announce Lee Hollatz, Project Manager/Safety Director of The Hansen Company, Inc., Johnston, Iowa as a Master Builder Achievement Award recipient!  Lee was presented with the award during the Masters Award Luncheon on February 28, 2017 in front of a sold out crowd of industry professionals.

It’s Official – Governor Branstad has Proclaimed the First Week of October as Construction Week in Iowa!

On April 12th, Governor Branstad proclaimed October 2 – 6, 2017 as Construction Week in Iowa.  Construction Week is a time to celebrate the built environment and showcase those who create it, increase public dialogue about the shortage of construction workers and bring construction to life for students, educators and parents.

To view the Construction Week 2017 proclamation video, CLICK HERE.  Be sure to SHARE the video on social media to begin spreading the word about #ConstructionWeek17!

Governor Signs Reduction of Statute of Repose and PLA Prohibition

Legislative Focus
April 7, 2017
Volume XVI, Edition 13

Governor Signs Reduction of Statute of Repose and PLA Prohibition

Two of MBI’s top policy priorities came to fruition on Thursday with Governor Branstad signing into law SF 413 and SF 438.

As you may recall, SF 413 reduces Iowa’s statute of repose from 15 years to 8 years on commercial construction and 10 years on residential, and SF 438 is a prohibition of government-mandated Project Labor Agreements (PLAs).

MBI has been working to reduce the statute of repose on improvements to real property for the last seven years. We’ve had some success in each of those years, but invariably our efforts would stall due to the pressure that the Trial Lawyers and the Iowa State Bar Association would apply in the Iowa Senate.  However, with a new Republican majority in the Senate and a Republican House and Governor, our chances were greatly improved this year as we found that the House and Senate leadership was much more sympathetic to the plight of the constructor.

With the passage of SF 413 and the Governor’s signature, all contracts entered into on or after July 1, 2017, will have the newly reformed repose parameters.  It is important to note, contracts entered into prior to July 1, 2017, will in all likelihood remain under the 15 year repose period.

The following is a rundown of the bill:

Build Iowa Initiative

In the construction business, job sites are full of problems that need to be solved and obstacles that need to be overcome.  But what about the problems facing your company that can’t be solved on the job site? How do you remedy those issues that can’t be dealt with in a day, week, or even a year? Tackling these issues requires an overall industry perspective and a collective industry effort.

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