Home Builders Association Donates $15,000 to Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis


On behalf of the Home Builders Charitable Foundation (HBCF), 2021 HBA President Bill Wannstedt of Consort Homes (left) presented a $15,000 donation to Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis director of resource development Harper Zielonko.

The donation will be used for the organization’s 2021 Build with a goal to have 16 families close to moving into their homes by the end of this year. Prospective home buyers will provide sweat equity volunteer hours to help build their homes and also take coursework covering subjects including finance, budgeting, insurance and home maintenance. Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis currently has homes under construction in the Gate District, Lookaway Summit and LaSaison developments. 

The HBA is a local trade association of more than 600 member firms representing the residential construction industry. The Home Builders Charitable Foundation, the HBA’s charitable arm, is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing housing assistance to people or organizations with special shelter needs.


Urban Land Institute St. Louis Examines Innovative Affordable Housing Solutions


“Making the Dollars Work” while Creating Safe, Quality & Attainable Housing

Meeting critical affordable housing needs can be enormously challenging, even in a more affordable market like St. Louis. The Urban Land Institute St. Louis (ULI STL) will host a virtual program examining how developers are approaching affordable, high quality housing solutions in ways that create a solid investment while building equity in our community.  The virtual program will be held from 7:45 a.m. to 9:35 a.m. on Sept. 30, 2021. Registration can be found at this link

The affordable housing program “Making the Dollars Work” will be moderated by Colleen Hafner, CDFI director, Rise Community Development and will feature panelists that include:

  • Joel Oliver, managing director & senior vice president, development Green Street St. Louis;
  • Pastor Andre Alexander, president, Tabernacle Community Development Corp. (CDC); and
  • Kaveh Razani, Kranzberg Arts Foundation and director of operations, St. Louis Art Place Initiative.

The panelists will detail where they believe affordable housing challenges and opportunities are the greatest, where the tools need adjusting or reinvention, and how they think St. Louis can rise to the challenge of providing safe, quality, attainable housing for all who need it.

With more than 250 members, ULI St. Louis unites thought leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.  Its members include real estate, design, construction, institutional, legal and accounting professionals along with civic leadership.   For more information, visit


Southern Illinois Builders Association Soliciting Scholarship Applications


The Southern Illinois Builders Association began offering scholarships in 2012 and have awarded 119 scholarships totaling approximately $222,500. 

SIBA solicits candidates for the SIBA Scholarships in the fall and requests that information be submitted by mid-November (deadline to submit all information is November 5, 2021) for the SIBA Education Committee to meet and make their selections. 

  • To be eligible for an SIBA Scholarship: 
  • candidates must be pursuing a degree in the field of Construction Management / Construction Related Engineering / Architectural;
  • cumulative minimum grade point average of 3.0/4.0;
  • submit a personal recommendation from person unrelated to the applicant; planning to enroll as a full-time student and maintain full-time student status (12 hour minimum); part-time students working full-time in the construction industry will be awarded partial awards (written verification from full-time employer required);
  • show evidence that individual applying is related to an individual employed full-time by an SIBA Member firm for a minimum of 4 years (written evidence from employer required); and
  • a typewritten report (minimum of 500 words) on career goal and what events they have experienced in their life that made them decide to decide to pursue a career in the construction field and the quality of the essay will be judged. 

To obtain a complete list of requirements for the SIBA scholarships, please contact Donna at the SIBA office 618-624-9055. 

The Southern Illinois Builders Association is a trade association of contractors representing approximately 500 commercial and industrial building, highway and utility construction contractors throughout Southern Illinois.


Masonry Institute Seminar Schedule 2021-2022


The Masonry Institute of St. Louis (MISL) is excited to announce its 2021-2022 Seminar Series is now available. They have an impressive year of educational opportunities lined-up at the Masonry Institute of St. Louis.

The MISL is further announcing the seminars are currently scheduled for in-person events.They appreciate your attendance and support of their educational programs. The Institute will continue to monitor conditions of the COVID-19 and will inform you of any changes to their upcoming schedule.

To access the Full Seminar Schedule, please click here.

To access our Updated Masonry Resource Guide 2022, please

click here.  


Materials Costs Outrun Bid Prices for the Year Despite Drop in August


Submitted by the AGC

Job Openings Set Record for July

Materials costs continued to outstrip bid prices in the 12 months ending in August despite a recent drop in lumber and fuel prices. The producer price index (PPI) for new nonresidential building construction—a measure of the price that contractors say they would charge to build a fixed set of buildings—increased 0.3% from July and 5.0% year-over-year (y/y) since August 2020, while the PPI for material and service inputs to construction industries climbed 20.6% y/y despite a decline of 1.7% for the month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Friday. The PPI for lumber and plywood plunged 17% for the month but was still 16% higher y/y. The PPI for diesel fuel slid 2.0% for the month but soared 67% y/y. Other materials continued to rise in price, with double- or even triple-digit percentage increases y/y. The PPI for steel mill products soared 5.1% for the month and 123% y/y; copper and brass mill shapes, 1.0% and 45%, respectively; aluminum mill shapes, 3.7% and 35%; plastic construction products, 3.0% and 30%; gypsum products, 0.5% and 23%; insulation materials, 4.4% and 17%; truck transportation of freight, 0.9% and 14%; asphalt felt and coatings, 3.5% and 15%; and architectural coatings, 0.5% and 10%. There were smaller but nevertheless unusually large y/y increases for flat glass, down 0.3% for the month but up 7.1% y/y; concrete products, 1.0% and 6.0%, respectively; asphalt paving mixtures and blocks, 0.6% and 5.6%; and construction machinery and equipment, 0.8% and 5.4%. Bid prices, as measured by PPIs for new buildings and subcontractors, have risen at diverse rates. PPIs rose 7.1% y/y for new warehouse building construction, 6.0% for offices, 5.0% for industrial buildings, 4.4% for health care buildings, and 3.4% for schools. PPI increases for new, repair, and maintenance work ranged from 6.9% for roofing contractors to 5.6% for concrete, 4.0% for electrical, and 3.9% for plumbing contractors. AGC posted tables and graphs of construction PPIs.

There were 321,000 job openings in construction, seasonally adjusted, at the end of July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Monday in its latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) release. Openings represented 4.2% of the open and filled positions. Both numbers were the highest in the 21-year history of the series. Construction openings increased 23,000 (7.7%) y/y. Hires totaled 384,000, very close to July totals for the past four years. Layoffs and discharges totaled 177,000, down 12,000 (-6.3%) y/y, with a layoff rate of 2.4 per 100 employed, the second-lowest July rate in series history. Quits totaled 199,000, a jump of 54,000 (37%) y/y, with a quit rate of 2.7%, the second-highest in series history. Together, the record-high openings and decline in layoffs suggest flat hiring totals reflect the difficulty contractors are experiencing in filling positions, not stagnant demand for workers. Such an interpretation is consistent with results from the 2021 Autodesk-AGC Workforce Survey that AGC posted on September 2: of 1,642 firms that employ hourly craft workers, 90% reported openings and 89% of those with openings reported difficulty filling them.

BLS on Wednesday issued its biennial projections of 10-year employment change, covering 2020-2030. The agency projects construction industry employment to increase by 315,000 or an annual average of 0.4% per year, half the growth rate for total nonfarm payroll employment of 0.8% (7.7% over 10 years). Among construction occupations, laborers are projected to have the largest 10-year numerical increase, 103,000 (8.0%). One construction occupation, solar photovoltaic installers, is listed among the 10-fastest growing, with a projected increase over the decade of 52%, but this would be an addition of only 6,100 jobs. The report also includes projections of average annual openings, taking into account projected retirements, and reasons for employment change for each occupation. For instance, BLS projects a 10-year increase of 51,400 (11.5%) for construction managers, with average annual openings totaling 38,900, due to “Demand change – share increases as technical and process improvements increase the need for construction managers to track costs, materials, and schedules.” Total employment among construction trades is projected to increase by 294,000 (5.5%) over the decade, with 558,100 openings per year.

The Dodge Momentum Index fell 3% in August from a downwardly revised July reading, Dodge Data & Analytics reported on Wednesday. The index “is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. The commercial planning component lost 2% in August, while the institutional component fell by 6%….The decline in August was the third consecutive drop in the Momentum Index, which is now off 14% from the most recent high in May. Since May the commercial component is down 10% and the institutional component is 22% lower. This reversal comes as prices for materials used in nonresidential buildings increase in combination with a shortage of labor and a rising number of new COVID-19 cases from the Delta variant, all working in concert to undermine confidence in the fledgling construction recovery. There were some pockets of strength in August, however, as more data center, education and warehouse projects moved into planning relative to the prior month. Additionally, the overall level of the Momentum Index is 19% higher than one year ago; institutional planning was up 17% and commercial planning was 20% higher than last year.”

The Census Bureau on August 27 posted a notice in the Federal Register inviting comment by October 26 on forms used to conduct the Construction Progress Reporting Surveys (CPRS) and collect information on the dollar value of construction put in place. The agency does not currently plan to revise the forms. Readers who currently or formerly filled out series C-700 forms are invited to send a copy of their comments to


Electrical Connection Marks 10th Year of Saint Louis Science Center Support


The year 2021 kicked off with an incredible scientific achievement – the Mars landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover – a moment that should inspire greater commitment to STEM education.  And now in its 10th year of supporting the Saint Louis Science Center, the Electrical Connection is recommitting to focus its support on the St. Louis institution’s STEM education programs.  The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)

“When the Science Center lit the James S. McDonnell Planetarium red to salute the Perseverance landing, it also honored this nation’s commitment to science, technology, engineering and math,” noted Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection. “We remain committed to supporting dedicated teachers and inspired students in creative STEM programs like those of the Science Center.”

The Electrical Connection has sponsored the lighting of the Planetarium since 2013 and has provided relevant electrical industry expertise on the applications of STEM subjects, including robotics, building automation, smart infrastructure, renewable energy and electric vehicle charging stations.

            “Our long partnership with the Electrical Connection has been invaluable in advancing our mission to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning,” said Todd Bastean, president and CEO of the Science Center.

A centerpiece of that mission is the Science Center’s Youth Exploring Science (YES) program.  For more than 22 years, the YES program has fortified STEM education in underserved communities in St. Louis.  It targets high school students from underserved communities, offering learning experiences in fields such as integrated medicine, agri-science, cybersecurity, aerospace, renewable energy and even esports programming. Since the program launched, more than 1,185 teens have graduated from YES and more than 206,000 St. Louis community members have been engaged in STEM learning through YES outreach initiatives.

“The YES program mirrors our ‘earn while you learn’ hands-on training program that has defined the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center for 80 years,” said Frank Jacobs, business manager, IBEW Local 1.  “In our outreach for greater diversity in the electrical industry, YES strengthens the potential to excel in engineering and installing electrical and communications infrastructure, the very foundation of everything we teach.” Jacobs serves with Curran on the Science Center board of trustees.

Among YES notable graduates are Dajae Williams, a NASA engineer, and Isaiah Collins, who was awarded the 2020 St. Louis American Foundation Scholarship.

“There’s so much potential out there to become the next 21st century innovator,” noted Doug Martin, executive vice president, St. Louis Chapter NECA. “It will always be the Electrical Connection’s mission to help St. Louis realize that potential through our support of creative STEM programs.”

Reflecting on the current Mars mission, Curran lauded homegrown businesses that can inspire STEM achievements by supporting the Science Center’s mission, including Masterclock, based in St. Charles, Mo.  After being engaged with the Science Center by the Electrical Connection, MasterClock CEO John Clark donated a precision clock made by MasterClock and similar to one supporting NASA Mars missions, where a day is 39.6 minutes longer than on Earth.”

“Masterclock was proud to support our friends at the Science Center by providing an updated timing system and displays to keep operations and visitors in sync,” said Clark.   “Our technology powers some of the most cutting-edge work being done on (and off) the planet, and we’re proud to provide the same deployment capabilities to our local institutions as we do to the folks who make missions like the Mars rover possible.”

Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  For more information, visit


Construction Companies Counting on Cards to Open Conversation


Job site stand-downs scheduled during National Suicide Prevention Week Sept. 5-11

Talk to any safety director from a construction company and he or she will tell you that one of the biggest challenges the industry faces is suicide prevention and awareness.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that in 2018 there were 1,008 construction fatalities but 5,242 suicides by construction workers that year, equating to a rate of 45.3 per 100,000. This compares with an average male suicide rate of 27.4 per 100,000.  The CDC also reports that construction is the second highest profession for suicides, second only to fishing/farming/forestry.

Already known as a “tough guy” occupation, construction brings with it the added stress of tight deadlines, overtime, physical trials, requirements to often travel or work outside in inclement weather, and proximity to dangerous tools and heavy equipment. The problem has only been exacerbated in the last 18 months by isolation, masking, social distancing and other COVID-19 restrictions.

            The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Missourihas made suicide prevention and awareness a top priority for the past several years, creating a special task force to tackle the problem.  In 2019, AGCMO partnered with Washington University in St. Louis to develop a series of toolbox talks on the topic. Part of AGCMO’s Pledge of HOPE campaign to help raise awareness for suicide and mental health in construction, materials also include job site/workplace posters, hard hat stickers and HOPE (Hold on Pain Ends) challenge coins  to be shared with fellow workers. (Pledge of HOPE campaign:

             According to Brandon Anderson, AGCMO vice president, safety, the association has added another innovative arrow to its quiver for its 2021 Pledge of HOPE campaign – Let’s Talk Mental Health – a deck of 52 cards dealing with various topics such as depression, anxiety, alcohol and opioid abuse, fatigue, bullying, racism, etc.

            “It’s a non-confrontational way to the start the conversation and break stigma,” said Anderson.  “Our hope is that by pulling out a card and sharing or asking the question on the card; that it takes some of the pressure off the individuals ( both employee and employer) to start the conversation on mental health. Our most important message is that of HOPE and ‘you are not alone’ and that there are resources available for everyone.  Our materials all carry the suicide hotline, 1-800-273-8255; Text: 741741; and Website:  A QR code also leads to all resources.

With National Suicide Prevention Week scheduled Sept. 5-11, construction companies around the state are planning job site stand-downs when work will stop and workers will gather to focus on mental wellness for their co-workers and themselves.  Among others, large stand -downs are scheduled on Wed., Sept. 8:   10 a.m. at the new MLS stadium job site in downtown St. Louis and 7 a.m. at the NEXTGEN project at the University of Missouri-Columbia job site in Columba, MO.  For more information on planned stand-downs, to request materials, or to come alongside AGCMO and help lead the way and make a difference through the AGCMO’s Pledge of HOPE campaign, contact Brandon Anderson at

“Our goal is to let construction workers know it’s ok to talk about mental health and through our Pledge of HOPE campaign our mission is to have one person on every jobsite certified in mental health first aid. “This problem won’t be solved overnight, but creating a “welcoming’ environment for discussion and awareness is a great starting point.” added Anderson.

The Associated General Contractors of Missouri is the leading voice of the construction industry in Missouri, representing over 500 commercial, industrial, heavy and highway contractors, industry partners and related firms in 110 counties throughout Missouri. In 2020, Missouri’s chapter was named AGC of America Large Chapter of the Year.


Construction Employment Remains Below Pre-Covid Peak in 36 States


Submitted by the AGC

Seasonally adjusted construction employment in July trailed the February 2020 level in 36 states, exceeded it in 14 states, and was unchanged in the District of Columbia, according to AGC’s analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data posted today. (February 2020 was the month in which employment peaked nationally before plunging during widespread shutdowns in March and April 2020.) Texas lost the most construction jobs since February 2020 (-56,200 jobs or -7.2%), followed by New York (-52,600, -13%), California (-35,100, -3.8%), and Louisiana (-2,100, -15%). Louisiana recorded the largest percentage loss, followed by Wyoming (-14%, -3,100 jobs) and New York. Utah added the most jobs (7,900, 6.9%), followed by North Carolina (5,700, 2.4%) and Idaho (4,500, 8.2%). Idaho added the highest percentage, followed by South Dakota (7.5%, 1,800) Utah, and Rhode Island (4.9%, 1,000). For the month, construction employment declined in 18 states, increased in 30 states, and held steady in Kansas, Tennessee, and D.C. North Carolina added the most construction jobs from June to July (4,300, 1.8%), followed by New Jersey (4,000, 2.7%) and Illinois (3,700, 1.7%). The largest monthly percentage increases occurred in New Jersey and Connecticut (1,500 jobs), followed by South Carolina (2.4%, 2,600) and Wyoming (2.1%, 400). Colorado lost the most construction jobs for the month (-1,600, -0.9%), followed by losses of 1,500 jobs in Pennsylvania (-0.6%), Texas (-0.2%), and Oklahoma (-1.9%). New Hampshire had the largest percentage loss (-2.2%, -600 jobs), followed by 1.9% losses in Oklahoma and Arkansas (-1,000 jobs). (BLS reports combined totals for mining, logging, and construction in D.C., Delaware and Hawaii. Because there are few, if any, mining and logging jobs in these locations, AGC treats the levels and changes as solely construction employment.)

Construction starts, not seasonally adjusted, leaped 19% y/y in July from July 2020, data firm ConstructConnect reported on Monday. Year-to-date starts for January-July 2021 rose 6.1% from the same months in 2020. Year-to-date nonresidential starts declined 7.1%: nonresidential building starts fell 11% (commercial, -14%; institutional, -12%; and industrial [manufacturing], -1.3%), while engineering (civil) starts dipped 0.6% (including road/highway, up 4.5%; water/sewage, up 11%; power and other miscellaneous, up 7.6%; bridges, down 27%). Residential starts soared 26% year-to-date (single-family, 36%, and apartments, 1.5%).

Total construction starts (in dollars) slipped 3% from June to July at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, with “all three sectors (residential, nonresidential building and nonbuildings) moving lower in July,” but unadjusted starts soared 15% year-to-date, Dodge Data & Analytics reported on Wednesday. Nonbuilding starts dipped 1% in July. Year-to-date, nonbuilding starts edged up 2%: environmental public works starts were up 35%; utility/gas plant starts, up 5%; highway and bridge starts, down 4%; and miscellaneous nonbuilding starts, down 19%. Nonresidential building starts slipped 7% in July. Year-to-date starts were up 4%: commercial, up 5%; manufacturing, up 45%; institutional, down 1%. Residential starts fell 6% in July. Year-to-date starts were up 30%: single-family, up 34%, and multifamily, up 19%.

Housing starts (units) slid 7.0% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate from June to July but rose 2.5% y/y from the July 2020 level, the Census Bureau reported on Wednesday. Year-to-date starts for January-July 2021 rose 22% from the same months in 2020. Single-family starts fell 4.5% for the month but rose 27% year-to-date. Multifamily (five or more units) starts fell 14% for the month but rose 9.7% year-to-date. Residential permits increased 2.6% from June and 26% year-to-date, as single-family permits declined 1.7% for the month but increased 29% year-to-date, while multifamily permits climbed 11% and 19%, respectively.

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) slipped in July to 54.6 from 57.1 in June and 58.5 in May, the American Institute of Architects reported on Wednesday. AIA says, “The ABI serves as a leading economic indicator that leads nonresidential construction activity by approximately 9-12 months.” The ABI is derived from the share of responding architecture firms that report a gain in billings over the previous month less the share reporting a decline in billings, presented on a 0-to-100 scale. Any score above 50 means that firms with increased billings outnumbered firms with decreased billings. Scores by practice specialty (based on three-month moving averages) topped 50 for the sixth time in a row: commercial/industrial, 58.4 (down from 59.0 in June); institutional, 55.4 (down from 56.0); multifamily residential, 54.7 (down from 57.0); mixed practice, 54.4 (down from 56.0). A design contracts index slipped to 58.0, down from 58.9.

Delivery times for imported cargo have worsened again. “Anchored off the adjacent ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in recent days were 37 container ships, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California, the highest number since February, when 40 ships waited there,” the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. “Just a couple of months ago, the number of container ships at anchor in the two ports, which together handle more than a third of all U.S. seaborne imports, had dwindled to nine. In normal times, the number is one, or none….The crush of imports is overwhelming Southern California warehouses, driving up rents and making space harder to find. Last month, the two main railroads carrying containers from the ports temporarily restricted shipments from the West Coast into Chicago because boxes were piling up at their Midwestern hubs as containers arrived faster than they could be switched for onward transport. Containers are stacking up at marine terminals, too, as the record volumes strain truck and rail capacity. At APM Terminals in Los Angeles, part of the A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S group, boxes are being stored for an average of nine to 10 days before they move inland, compared with a pre-pandemic average of two to three days, said Tom Boyd, a spokesman.”


CREW-St. Louis Recognizes Members, Carolyn Kindle Betz with Networking Awards


Members lauded for contributions to organization’s mission; Kindle Betz receives honors as Woman of Influence in St. Louis region

The St. Louis chapter of CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) continued its tradition of honoring members with its 16th Annual Networking Awards. In addition to members, CREW-St. Louis presented its sixth annual Woman of Influence Award to Carolyn Kindle Betz. The award recognizes a female leader who has impacted the commercial real estate industry through her leadership, accomplishments and service to the St. Louis region.

The awards ceremony took place on Aug. 26 at La Verona at the Marketplace in St. Louis. Maxine Clark, Founder and Former Chief Executive Officer, Build-A-Bear Workshop, and CEO and President at Clark-Fox Foundation, served as the master of ceremonies. Clark was honored in 2020 as CREW-St. Louis’ Woman of Influence.


Missouri Public Transit Association Selects Lochmueller Group to Lead Statewide Transit Needs Assessment Study


The Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA) has selected St. Louis-based Lochmueller Group – a full-service survey, planning, engineering and environmental firm – to lead a Statewide Transit Needs Assessment Study. The firm will examine public transit access across Missouri, identify existing and potential service gaps and help establish a guide for the development of optimum personal mobility as transit providers are forced to make service modifications and respond to changing rider demographics.

Lochmueller Group was chosen by the MPTA Selection Committee from a pool of proposals based on its experience, cost, qualifications, project approach and proven track record.

“Personal mobility matters as it is the sole means by which many are able to get where they need to go,” commented Kimberly Cella, executive director of the Missouri Public Transit Association. “We want to get a better grasp of the current landscape and identify next steps in furthering public transit access for Missourians.

Once the study is completed, the MPTA will provide the findings to each of the 34 transit providers in the state of Missouri, the Missouri Department of Transportation, state policy makers and others. It will help in the decision-making process tied to transit funding prioritization, programming needs and the establishment of new and revised local services.

To learn more about the Missouri Public Transit Association, visit Individuals can also like the organization on Facebook or follow them on Twitter at @MOPublicTransit.

Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA) was established in 1980 as a Missouri non-profit corporation. It was formed to provide a unified voice for public and specialized transportation providers in Missouri and to work toward elevating the status of public transit as a national priority.

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