February 23, 2018

Construction Spending Slips in May but Rises for First Five Months of 2016, With Robust Year-to-Date Increases in Monst Private and Public Categories

Construction spending dipped in May but posted strong, broad-based gains for the first five months of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said the construction spending gains come amid signs that contractors are having an increasingly hard time finding qualified workers to hire.

How Are You Planning to Celebrate the 1st Annual Construction Week?!

The first annual Construction Week celebration is set for October 3 – 7, 2016!  The purpose of Construction Week is to promote community awareness of the construction industry as a safe, exciting and rewarding career option.  Construction Week is an opportunity for those in the construction industry to reach out to their local schools in an effort to inform students, parents, teachers, counselors, and administrators on the commercial construction industry and the opportunities for great careers within it.  It is easy to get involved in promoting Construction Week as a compa

Construction Headcount Dips in May but Outpaces Overall Rate of Job Gain Since May 2015; Rising Pay, Plunging Unemployment Suggest Worker Scarcity

Construction employment dipped for the second consecutive month in May, but rising industry pay and plunging unemployment suggest contractors would be hiring more workers if they were available, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials cautioned that worker shortages may be reaching the point where they undermine the sector’s growth.

Notice to Bidder Changes Go into Effect on July 1, 2016

On March 23, 2016, Governor Terry E. Branstad signed SF 2170, which amends the notice to bidder timeframe provisions of Iowa Code Section 26.3.  The new law will increase the estimating time between a notice to bidders being published to when a public owner can actually set a bid letting date.  Effective July 1, 2016, a notice to bidders shall be “posted” at least once, not less than 13 days and not more than 45 days before the date for the bid letting.  Previously, the timeframe was 4 days and 45 days.


Trenching & Excavating: What You Need to Know!

Cedar Falls
February 20, 2018
8:00 am - 12:00 pm

West Des Moines
March 13, 2018
8:00 am - 12:00 pm

In this course, we will explore the many different types of excavation hazards faced in construction. We’ll focus our training on classifications of soil types, OSHA approved protection system methods, discuss common hazards and how to correct them on job sites, and even focus on some case-studies from previous accidents across the United States. Upon completion of this course, attendees will have the basic knowledge needed to protect themselves from excavation hazards on a job site, as well as a thorough knowledge of OSHA standards related to this scope of work. With recent construction excavation fatalities in Iowa being all over the news, your company cannot afford to miss this opportunity to train your workforce on this scope of work!

Annual Winter Conference

February 26 - 28, 2018

The MBI Annual Winter Conference offers two full days of educational sessions and popular annual events, which attract all aspects of the construction industry.  Learning opportunities will include a great combination of sessions focused on leadership and project management on Tuesday, as well as the annual Safety Day of training on Wednesday.  There is something for everyone, from the construction worker, to the President and CEO of a company.  Great values can be found at this popular annual event!

Webinar - Ready...Set...BIM! Are You Ready for the Technology Race?

March 6, 2018
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Presenter:  Art Theusch, CM-BIM LEED AP BD+C - Lansing, MI

In this webinar, we will explore the wide spectrum of what Building Information Modeling (BIM) is capable of bringing to your job sites.  Each day contractors are finding ways to utilize BIM on their projects to increase their productivity and reduce their risks.  BIM is about more than just the flashy 3D Models that are showing up on your job sites.  This webinar will introduce you to the some of the major impacts BIM is having on companies.  We will address 3D Modeling, 3D Site Logistics, MEP Coordination, 4D Scheduling, 5D Quantification, BIM Facilities Management, and more.  These are just a few of the tasks contractors are using BIM for.  We hope you will enjoy this introductory course on how BIM can help you today.

Webinar - Legislative focus

9:00 am - 10:00 am

March 16, 2018
April 20, 2018

Presenter: Ben Hammes, Master Builders of Iowa - Des Moines, IA

There is always something interesting going on at the Iowa Statehouse during the legislative session and in an effort to enhance MBI’s advocacy efforts and keep members informed, MBI’s public affairs team will host a series of webinars during the 2018 Legislative Session. On the third Friday of each month in which the legislature is in session, MBI Director of Public Affairs, Ben Hammes, will provide members their insights on what is going on at the Capitol, as well as help to keep members informed on construction-related issues. Participants will have an opportunity to hear first-hand what our elected-officials are talking about, while also learning how they can help move MBI’s legislative agenda forward.

Registering for this webinar will also register you for the remainder of the 2018 series.

Webinar - Do You Know Where Your Training Records Are?

March 20, 2018
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Presenter:  Tom Fulcher, Master Builders of Iowa - Des Moines, IA

The MBI Training Vault is an electronic tool that is designed to make the process of tracking and documenting training records easy, organized, accurate and accessible. This product is a value-added membership service, which can only be accessed by MBI members.  In 2017, the MBI Education Advocacy Committee and Technology & Innovation Committee provided suggestions for enhancement to the system that will add significant value to MBI members and their employees who utilize it. At the conclusion of this webinar, you will have a better understanding of the wealth of information that is stored in the Training Vault, uses for the employees and administrator, and a clear picture of the latest enhancements that have been added to the MBI Training Vault.

WORKSAFE Certified Training

March 21-22, 2018

March 27-28, 2018


WORKSAFE Certified is a newly developed safety training and awareness program that will enhance the knowledge base of jobsite supervisory personnel. To become WORKSAFE Certified, individuals would need to satisfactorily complete a 2-day training curriculum that is primarily focused on hazard awareness and mitigation. Some of the topics covered include – but are not limited to – pre-planning; excavations & trenching; demo & abatement; roofing & high elevation; electrical hazards; as well as corrective actions; OSHA Inspection Protocols and Hierarchy of Controls.

Though this program is not meant to replace a 30 hour OSHA class, it does provide a higher degree of focus on construction-specific safety education and training. The WORKSAFE Certified is also an important component of the new WORKSAFE Tiered Program (see below).

To request WORKSAFE Certified training or to learn more about the program, please contact Troy Porter at or (515) 657-4392.

Master Builder Designation Credits: Safety - 16

OSHA 10 Hour

Cedar Falls
March 29-30, 2018

Attendees of the 10 Hour OSHA class will walk away from this training with a knowledge of OSHA requirements, the importance of learning and adhering to proper safety procedure, as well as practical understanding of why safety conscious behavior is vital for each and every worker on the job site.

All who attend will receive multiple documents to help them comply with OSHA standards. 10 Hour OSHA participants will receive a card of completion issued by the OSHA Institute.

Leading the Next Generation - FMI 

West Des Moines
April 24, 2018
8:00 am - 5:00 pm


Leaders today are challenged to achieve more with less, enhance the performance and effectiveness of their staff, and grow the bottom line. Those who can do this consistently over time recognize that leadership is not about tactics, fads or spreadsheets. It is about a leader's ability to win the hearts, minds, and commitment of their people. However, our culture is changing so fast that the leadership of yesterday is not enough. This highly interactive session will help current and emerging leaders understand themselves, those they lead, and the critical changes that are happening in today's construction environment. 

Master Builder Designation: Leadership - 8 Credits

FLSA Salary Threshold Increases

On May 18, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) released its final rule implementing changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations.   The rule will be officially published in the Federal Register on May 23.  The most significant change is a doubling of the standard salary threshold for exempt employees – from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year).  The rule takes effect on December 1, 2016.

Construction Employment Rises in 42 States and the District of Columbia Over Latest 12 Months, While Only 23 States Add Jobs From March to April

California and Hawaii Add Most Jobs for the Year, North Dakota Has Biggest Actual and Percentage Declines; California and Idaho Top Monthly List of Gainers, Tennessee and Rhode Island Have Largest Monthly Decreases 

Are You Taking Advantage of the Free MBI Training Vault Program?

As a value-added membership service, Master Builders of Iowa offers the MBI Training Vault to MBI member firms at no charge.  The Training Vault is an electronic tool that is designed to make the process of tracking and documenting training records easy, organized, accurate and accessible. Your company-specific Training Vault contains all training conducted by MBI dating back to 1998. This internet-based credential tracking system gives company management, as well as employees, easy access to training records. To reap the maximum benefits of the Training Vault system, you are encouraged to include ALL additional training, past and future, that your employees receive and to include all of your employees.

Within the MBI Training Vault there are two types of users for your company - Administrator and Employee. The Administrator has access to the training records of all of their respective company’s employees.  In addition, the Administrator is able to view and edit all employee records, add company training classes, as well as add and remove employees.  Each MBI member company is assigned one Administrator username and password.  To learn more about the Administrator role and who has been assigned from your company, please contact Tom Fulcher at the contact information below.  Company employees are able to login and view their own personal training records, as well as view and register for upcoming MBI and company provided training. To receive employee login credentials, please contact Aly Schmidt at or (515) 657-4380.