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New Studies Say Unions Benefit Employers and Economies

While Missouri legislators debate legislation to weaken unions in Missouri, two new studies out this week say that unions are good for construction employers and for economic prosperity. The first, from researchers at Florida International University, found that construction workers at unionized firms in Ontario, Canada, took less time off work for injuries than did construction workers at nonunion firms in the same province Keep Reading

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St. Louis Mayor Orders Project Labor Agreements

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has issued an executive ordering requiring the use of project labor agreements (PLAs) on publicly-funded and publicly-assisted construction projects in St. Louis city. The executive order, number 53, applies to projects that cost $500,000 or more, where no more than half of the project funding comes from the State of Missouri. Keep Reading

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Construction Awards Celebrate Building Better Together

The St. Louis Construction Cooperative on Thursday honored businesses and individuals for building the union construction industry in St. Louis around "the principle that, working together, we can achieve greatness." The St. Louis Construction Cooperative, formerly known as PRIDE of St. Louis, Inc., is the nation's oldest, and first, voluntary labor-management organization in construction. Keep Reading

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$1 Billion Illinois Ameren Transmission Greenlighted

An order issued August 20 by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) paves the way for major new investment by Ameren that will build a power line across the state. Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE), has received approval from the ICC to build the majority of its nearly 400-mile, approximately $1.1 billion Illinois Rivers transmission project. The project consists of a new 345-kilovolt transmission line crossing the Mississippi River near Quincy, Ill., and continuing east across Illinois to the Indiana border. Keep Reading

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“Excellence” Defined: Diversity to Sea Lions

Projects ranging from a medical center that served as model for diversity and being a good neighbor, to a landmark library renovation that is winning national accolades, to a zoo sea lion exhibit that brings visitors face to face with underwater sea lions were among the winners in this year's St. Louis CNR Regional Excellence Awards. Now in their 24th year, the Regional Excellence Awards are the only comprehensive awards recognizing the best results of the construction industry when all the sectors, owners, designers, and contractors, work together as a team. The awards will be presented at a luncheon on Sept. 26 at Carmine's Steak House. Keep Reading

1,200 Expected for ASA BBQ, Showcase

Barbecue, beer, and booths will be the order of the day Wednesday, June 19th at the ASA Midwest St. Louis Construction Showcase and BBQ. The free event will take place from 3-7:30 p.m., rain or shine at Queeny Park. Over 1,200 attendees are expected to view the 53 tented exhibits, which will be erected in a parking lot at Queeny. A barbecue contest is part of the event. Judges for the event are Tony Twist, Ron Jacober, Dave Phillips, and Johnny Roland. Exhibiters are being creative in their approaches to the barbecue contest. Keep Reading

“I Thought I Was Bulletproof”

More than 600 construction crafts workers, foremen, superintendents and representatives from unions and government agencies came together at Orlando Gardens Banquet Center in south St. Louis for the area's largest construction safety event. This year's theme was "Safety Tool Box" and featured a power- and hand-tools giveaway. The keynote speaker for the evening was a rare survivor of a trench collapse, Eric Giguere of Safety Awareness Solutions. He was buried alive while digging a 5-foot deep trench in 2002. "I was 27 and thought I was bulletproof," Giguere told CNR. Keep Reading

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“St. Louis has Adjusted to New Reality”

Overlooking Forest Park from one of the future galleries of the Saint Louis Art Museum, The Associated General Contractors of St. Louis (AGC) observed "Build St. Louis Day - 2011" with a special ceremony Tuesday, November 1 at the construction site of the Saint Louis Art Museum Expansion Project. Keep Reading

10 Years of Green Building

It has been an astounding decade for advocates of sustainable construction in St. Louis. Ten years ago, when Bob Berkebeile helped people in St. Louis start one of the first local chapters of the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building rating system had been on the market for only a year. Keep Reading

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“All Low Price Buys Is Change Orders”

Owners have fooled themselves into thinking that low-price bidding equals low cost construction, author Bill Black said. It doesn't, he contends. "All the low price buys you is change orders." Black, co-author of The Commercial Real Estate Revolution, is coming to St. Louis next week to discuss "the nine transforming keys to lowering costs, cutting waste and driving change" in commercial real estate and construction in a program sponsored by the St. Louis chapter of CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) and the mid-America chapter of IIDA (International Interior Design Association). Keep Reading

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