Jason Hughes Elected President of Home Builders Association (HBA) of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri 


Jason Hughes, president of T.R. Hughes Homes, has been elected the 88th president of the Home Builders Association (HBA) of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri. Hughes has worked in many capacities within the home building industry for nearly three decades. “Participation in the HBA is vital to the home building industry. Serving as HBA President is humbling, an honor, and worthy of my time and effort,” Hughes said.

The HBA is a local trade association of nearly 600 member firms representing the residential construction industry.

AGCMO Keystone/SCOTY Awards Celebrate Excellence in Construction

Inaugural Show Me Excellence in Craftsmanship Award Presented to Cement Mason, Alvero Gomez

The Associated General Contractors of Missouri (AGCMO) announced the winners of the 2023 Keystone construction industry awards at its Construction Awards gala at the River City Casino Hotel.  Tom Ackerman, KMOX Radio sports director, served as emcee for the program that showcased the achievements and talents of Missouri’s construction industry.    AGCMO also celebrated First Place Specialty Contractors in 12 disciplines and named a Specialty Contractor of the Year.

The inaugural Show Me Excellence in Craftsmanship Award was presented to Alvero Gomez, a member of Cement Mason 513 and 22-year employee of Elastizell of St. Louis.  Recognized as an expert in leveling and finishing lightweight concrete floor toppings with skill and precision, Gomez has traveled across the country and internationally to ply his trade.

“Alvero represents just one of the tens of thousands of hard-working craftspersons in our state who contribute their skill and expertise to our built environment,” said Leonard Toenjes, CAE, AGCMO’s president.   “His enthusiasm and optimism inspires those around him, and the high standards he sets for himself are contagious to all who are privileged to work with him.”

            Eight First Place Keystone Awards were presented to contractors on projects ranging from a residential center for priests, to an art museum and sports venue, to a dam project, to renovation of an historic building and construction of a proton therapy vault. An enormous rail/transit joint venture project in Boston took home a Keystone in the national class.

            Keystone Project of the Year winners for building construction included: BSI Constructors, Inc. for the new Saint Louis University Jesuit Center; Russell for the Stanley Museum of Art at the University of Iowa; and a Mortenson|Alberici|Keeley Joint Venture for the CITYPARK Stadium and Downtown West Campus. Additional winners in the building construction category included Acme Erectors, Inc. for 3681 Lindell (former Masonic Temple);Tarlton Corporation for Proton Therapy Vault Concrete in Peoria, IL; and IWR North America for the CITYPARK Stadium and Downtown West Campus. For highway and transportation construction, Alberici Constructors received a Keystone for rebuilding the overlook buildings at the Melvin Price Locks & Dam in Alton, IL.

The Green Line Extension project by GLX Constructors (a joint venture of Fluor Enterprises, Inc., The Middlesex Corp., Herzog Contracting Corp., and Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc.) captured first place in the national class, recognizing projects beyond Missouri and its eight contiguous states. The work occurred inside a 90-foot-wide, 100-plus-year-old Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority rail corridor, requiring a three-phase track staging plan, an extensive track drainage system, and a difficult viaduct alongside 60 daily Boston area commuter trains.

“The Keystone Awards carry great pride and prestige for our winners and finalists because they are judged by an independent panel of experts,” observed Toenjes. “The projects span a broad range of building types and disciplines, but they also have many aspects in common, including exceptional teamwork and innovation used to overcome challenges – all while keeping safety, workforce diversity & inclusion, budgets and schedules in mind.”

The Construction Keystone Awards were judged by an independent  panel of experts that included Dennis Bolazina, principal, Bolazina Architects and Consultants, representing American Institutes of America (AIA) of St. Louis; Steve Prange, PE, senior vice president, director of business development & strategy, Crawford, Murphy & Tilly|Engineers & Consultants, representing the American Council of Engineering Companies-Missouri (ACEC-MO); Ryan Spell, owner, Precision Analysis, Inc., representing American Subcontractors Association (ASA-Midwest); Katherine (Kate) Stockton, AIA, LEED green associate, assistant teaching professor, University of Missouri-Architectural Studies, representing US Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter; and Chris Gordon, Ph.D., LEED AP, associate dean, School of Engineering, Southern Illinois University, representing Institutes of Higher Learning.

Specialty Contractor of the Year Awards

            The AGC of Missouri also recognized 12 specialty contractors with Specialty Contractor of the Year (SCOTY) Awards. The specialty contractors were voted “First Place” in their discipline by the general contractor members of AGCMO.  The general contractor members were asked to consider a specialty contractor’s timeliness in regard to completion of project(s), ability to stay within budget and their overall experience with the specialty contractor.  The 12 First Place Specialty Contractor of the Year (SCOTY) award winners are:  ROSCH Company (Ancillary Services); Elastizell of St. Louis

 (Concrete / Paving); Drilling Service Company (Earthwork & Utilities); Guarantee Electrical Company (Electrical); Spirtas Wrecking Company (Environmental Remediation & Demolition); TJ Wies Contracting, Inc. (Int. & Ext. Finishes, Openings & Fixtures); R.F. Meeh Company (HVAC/Piping);

Heitkamp Masonry, Inc. (Masonry); Boyer Fire Protection (Plumbing & Fire Protection); BAM Contracting, LLC (Structural & Finish Carpentry); ACME Erectors, Inc. (Structural & Finish Metals); and IWR North America (Thermal & Moisture Protection).

            TJ Wies Contracting, Inc., the specialty contractor receiving the most votes by general contractors, also was presented with the Specialty Contractor of the Year award.

The Associated General Contractors of Missouri (AGCMO) represents the united voice of the construction industry throughout the state of Missouri. AGC of Missouri represents nearly 550 commercial, industrial, highway, transportation, and utility infrastructure contractors, industry partners and related firms in 110 counties across the state of Missouri. AGCMO operates offices in St. Louis, Jefferson City and Springfield. Visit:

2023 Construction Keystone Award Winners & Finalists

Mid-America Class (Projects located in Missouri or contiguous states)

General Contractor / Construction Manager / Prime Contractor Building Construction

Project Under $20 Million

BSI Constructors, Inc.

Project:  Saint Louis University Jesuit Center

Owner:   Saint Louis University

Project Location:  St. Louis, MO

S. M. Wilson & Co.

Project:  Granite City High School Softball Field

Owner:  Granite City CUSD #9

Project Location:  Granite City, IL

S. M. Wilson & Co.

Project:  R. P. Lumber Center

Owner:  City of Edwardsville

Project Location:  Edwardsville, IL

General Contractor / Construction Manager / Prime Contractor Building Construction

Project $20 – $50 Million


Project:  University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art

Owner:   University of Iowa Facilities Management

Project Location:  Iowa City, IA

Helmkamp Construction Co.

Project:  Bill Simon Field House

Owner:   The Principia

Project Location:  St. Louis, MO

Keeley Construction

Project:  Marlowe

Owner:   Keeley Properties

Project Location:  St. Louis, MO

General Contractor / Construction Manager / Prime Contractor Building Construction

Project Over $50 Million

Mortenson │Alberici │Keeley Joint Venture

Project:  CITYPARK Stadium and Downtown West Campus

Owner:  TKFC

Project Location:  St. Louis, MO

Brinkmann Constructors

Project:  Expo at Forest Park

Owner:   Tegethoff Development

Project Location:  St. Louis, MO

PARIC Corporation

Project:  Carle at the Riverfront

Owner:   Carle Health

Project Location:  Danville, IL

General Contractor / Construction Manager / Prime Contractor Highway & Transportation Construction

Alberici Constructors, Inc. 

Project:  Melvin Price Locks & Dam

              Main Lock Overlook Alterations

Owner:  U. S. Army Corps of Engineers

Project Location:  Alton, IL

Goodwin Brothers Construction Company

Project:  MacArthur Bridge – West Approach Modifications

Owner:   Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis

Project Location:  St. Louis, MO

Herzog Contracting Corp.

Project:  I-35 Project

Owner:  Missouri Department of Transportation

Project Location:  Clinton, Dekalb, Caldwell & Daviess Counties, MO

Specialty Contractor / Subcontractor Building Construction

Project Under $3 Million

Acme Erectors, Inc.

Project:  3681 Lindell (Former Masonic Temple)

Owner:  Brandonview LLC

Project Location:  St. Louis, MO

CNC Foundations

Project:  NEO Vantage Pointe

Owner:  Mills Properties

Project Location:  Maryland Heights, MO

G&S Architectural Products

Project:  Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center

Owner:  Missouri Botanical Garden

Project Location:  St. Louis, MO

Specialty Contractor / Subcontractor Building Construction

Project $3 – $9 Million

Tarlton Corporation

Project:  Proton Therapy Vault Concrete

Owner:   OSF HealthCare & POINTCORE Construction

Project Location:  Peoria, IL

TD4Electrical LLC/Guarantee Electrical Company

Project:  Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center

Owner:  Missouri Botanical Garden

Project Location:  St. Louis, MO

IWR North America

Project:  Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center

Owner:  Missouri Botanical Garden

Project Location:  St. Louis, MO

Specialty Contractor / Subcontractor Building Construction

Project Over $9 Million

IWR North America

Project:  CITYPARK Stadium and Downtown West Campus

Owner:   St. Louis City SC

Project Location:  St. Louis, MO

IWR North America

Project:  Forsyth Pointe

Owner:  Brentwood-Forsyth Partners 1, LLC

Project Location:  St. Louis, MO

icon Mechanical

Project:  3rd Floor Fit-Out

              4240 Confidential

   Biotech Laboratory

Owner:   Confidential Client

Project Location:  St. Louis, MO

National Class

(Projects located in lower 48 states, excluding Mid-America Class)

GLX Constructors

(A Joint Venture of Fluor Enterprises, Inc., The Middlesex Corp., Herzog Contracting Corp., and Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc.)

Project:  Green Line Extension

Owner:   Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

Project Location:  Boston, MA

Millstone Weber, LLC

Project:  Second Mainline Project

                 Ash Fork, AZ

Owner:   BNSF Railway Company

Project Location:  Ash Fork, AZ

Millstone Weber, LLC

Project:  Concrete Repair Mats 1-7

                             MCAS Camp Lejeune

Owner:   Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command

Project Location:  Jacksonville, NC

2023 Specialty Contractor of the Year Awards

First Place Awards by Discipline


ROSCH Company


Elastizell of St. Louis


Drilling Service Company


Guarantee Electrical Company


Spirtas Wrecking Company



R.F. Meeh Company


Heitkamp Masonry, Inc.


Boyer Fire Protection


BAM Contracting, LLC


ACME Erectors, Inc.


IWR North America


TJ Wies Contracting, Inc.

SIBA Immerses High Schoolers into Hands-On Trades Experiences


       An increasing number of high school students are exploring the work and benefits of paid apprenticeships in the construction industry’s skilled crafts or trades, according to Southern Illinois Builders Association CEO Donna Richter.

       The builders group has been sponsoring a fall construction careers expo for more than 20 years, and this year’s student enrollment from the eight-county Southwestern Illinois Metro East area jumped 23 percent from last year, Richter said.

       The construction careers expo provides high school students a range of interactive hands-on experiences with experienced journeymen. This year the journeymen included boilermakers; bricklayers; carpenters; cement masons and plasterers; electricians; iron workers; painters; plumbers, pipefitters and gasfitters; operating engineers; sheet metal workers and steamfitters.

       “Students are telling us they are attracted to the skilled crafts because of good pay and paid training,” Richter said. Other reasons include the constant challenge of developing new construction skills and the exciting technology being developed to enhance construction such as GPS-guided equipment, drone scanning, three-dimensional modeling and planning and also robotics.

       “The area’s construction industry needs hundreds of trained workers so the students can be comfortable in knowing that there will be full-time work after their paid apprenticeships,” she added.

       The construction careers expo is produced in conjunction with the Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program and with the cooperation of local school district and county education offices.  

        Detailed information about specific construction related apprenticeships is at

Employment Rises Year-Over-Year in 43 States


Seasonally adjusted construction employment rose from September 2022 to September 2023 in 43 states and the District of Columbia and declined in seven states, according to AGC’s analysis of data the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) posted today. Texas again added the most construction jobs (19,900 jobs or 2.5%), followed again by California (14,200, 1.5%), Ohio (12,700, 5.4%). Wyoming had the largest percentage increase (11%, 2,300 jobs), followed by Arkansas (10%, 6,400) and West Virginia (9.3%, 2,800). Missouri again lost the most jobs (-6,500 jobs, -4.6%), followed again by Colorado (-4,200, -2.3%) and North Dakota (-1,400, -5.4%). The largest percentage losses again occurred in North Dakota, Missouri, and Colorado. Construction employment rose in September in 28 states and D.C., fell in 21 states, and was flat in New Hampshire. Oregon added the most jobs over the month (3,200, 2.6%), followed by Tennessee (2,600, 1.7%), California (2,200, 0.2%), and Oklahoma (2,000, 2.4%). Rhode Island had the largest percentage gain (2.8%, 600 jobs), followed by Oregon, Oklahoma, and Iowa (2.2%, 1,800 jobs). (For D.C., Delaware, and Hawaii, which have few mining or logging jobs, BLS posts combined totals with construction; AGC treats the changes as all from construction.)

The value of construction starts in current dollars (not adjusted for inflation) tumbled 26% from September 2022 to last month, data firm ConstructConnect reported today. Nonresidential building starts declined 34%, with the largest component—institutional starts—up 0.9%, commercial starts down 21%, and industrial (manufacturing) starts down 76%. Engineering (civil) starts declined 11%, with roads/highways down 32%, power and miscellaneous civil up 321%, water/sewage down 9.3%, bridges down 49%, dams/marine down 5.1%, and airports down 40%. 

Total construction starts in current dollars fell 6% from August to September at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, Dodge Construction Network reported on Wednesday. Nonbuilding starts fell 9%: highway and bridge starts lost 15% and environmental public works starts fell 29%, while miscellaneous nonbuilding starts rose 4%, and utility/gas plant starts gained 14%. Nonresidential starts fell 9%. “Commercial starts rose 6% due to strength in data center work (classified as an office structure in the Dodge database) and retail. Institutional starts fell 8% in September despite a healthy gain in education starts, and manufacturing starts declined 13%.” Residential building starts fell 6%. Single-family starts gained 1%, while multifamily starts lost 17%. 

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) registered a score of 44.8, seasonally adjusted, in September, the lowest reading since August 2020 and down from 48.1 in August, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported on Wednesday. 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. Thus, any score below 50 means more firms reported decreased billings than increased billings, compared to the month before. AIA calls the index “a leading economic indicator that leads nonresidential construction activity by approximately 9-12 months.” “The September ABI score reflects a marked downturn in business conditions at architecture firms, with the sharpest decline observed since the peak of the pandemic,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “While more firms are reporting a decrease in billings, the report also shows the hesitance among clients to commit to new projects with a slump in newly signed design contracts. As a result, backlogs at architecture firms fell to 6.5 months on average in the third quarter, their lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2021.” Readings for practice specialties (based on three-month averages) varied: institutional, 50.1 (up from 49.7 in August); mixed practice, 46.2 (down from 46.7); commercial/industrial, 45.0 (down from 48.3); and residential (mainly multifamily), 43.5 (up from 43.4). The new design contracts index slipped from 47.9 in August to 46.2.

Housing starts (units) in September increased 7.0% from August but fell 7.2% year-over-year (y/y) at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, the Census Bureau reported on Wednesday. Single-family starts rose 3.2% and 8.6%, respectively. Multifamily (five or more units) starts jumped 17% for the month but plunged 31% y/y. Residential permits fell 4.4% for the month and 7.2% y/y. Single-family permits rose for the eighth-straight month, by 1.8% from August and 12% y/y. Multifamily permits tumbled 14% and 32%, respectively. There were 986,000 multifamily units under construction, just 7,000 units less the August rate and 15,000 units less than in July, which was the highest in the 54-year history of the series.

American Society of Concrete Contractors Presents its Sixth Gaining Strength Award


The Emerging Leaders Committee of the American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC), St. Louis, Mo., presented its sixth Gaining Strength Award to Leo Zheng, Virtual Construction Manager for The Conco Companies, Fontana, CA, at the 2023 ASCC Annual Conference in September. The award was established to acknowledge up and coming individuals aged forty and under, from member companies, who go above and beyond to promote and professionally represent the concrete industry, through their actions in their company and industry organizations. Candidates are judged based on letters of recommendation and letters of acknowledgement from industry organizations, with emphasis on participation, commitment, safety awareness, role modeling, and personal skills and knowledge.

Chad Watson, Senior Project Manager at The Conco Companies had this to say about Leo in his nomination letter, “During his time at The Conco Companies, Leo was initially involved in BIM estimating working with the preconstruction department on BIM software R&D, BIM-based quantity takeoff, 4D planning, and estimating. Leo wanted to go above and beyond by getting his boots dirty to gain more field experience. He proposed a Robotic Total Station Layout and 3D Laser Scan idea, set up demos, evaluated vendors, and connected with field crews to build and further develop this service. Leo has built, grown, and managed the Conco NorCal layout/laser scan team. He has been taking more responsibilities regarding layout/laser scan by covering Conco’s Pacific West offices in Seattle and Portland and the Sothern California office in Los Angeles within seven years.

“Additionally, Leo has worked with Conco’s Estimating, Detailing, Safety, and Scheduling team. Leo is passionate about using advanced visual data-driven methods to improve quality assurance and quality control, scheduling, project management, and safety. Leo is a valued and trusted team member and his team members always put safety first by conforming to Conco safety policy and attending OSHA training. Leo doesn’t stop with existing means and methods. He has also developed the Conco drone program, 360 photo site documentation, and Ground Penetrating Radar scan in addition to the other services he is providing and is looking into testing new solutions such as Layout robot, lean construction (takt planning), sensors for safety, etc.

“Besides exceeding work expectations, Leo has actively participated in organizations like ACI and ASCC since 2018 and demonstrated commitment to our industry. Specifically, he took part and was one of the top performers in the ASCC laser scan study in Walnut Creek, CA in 2018. He also shared his best practices in an ASCC meeting in 2019. In 2021, Leo worked with Bruce Suprenant and Jim Klinger from ASCC on another study regarding textured concrete finish, non-destructive testing for SOG slab, and laser scan on a SOG slab in Conco’s Martinez yard. He was able to publish three articles in Concrete International within 2022. Leo is currently serving as the chair of the ACI 117L – Laser Scanning subcommittee and has been working diligently to develop documents to guide concrete professionals on how to utilize laser scanning for the concrete industry. He also serves as a voting member of the ACI131-Building Information Modeling of Concrete Structures committee.”

The ASCC Emerging Leaders is proud to recognize Leo with this much deserved award.

The American Society of Concrete Contractors is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the capabilities of those who build with concrete, and to providing them a unified voice in the construction industry. Members include concrete contracting firms, manufacturers, suppliers, and others interested in the concrete industry such as architects, specifiers, and distributors. There are approximately 720 member companies in the United States and thirteen foreign countries. For more information, visit or call the ASCC office at (866) 788-2722.

Citizens For Modern Transit Hires Karen Troxell as Program and Membership Manager


Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT) today announced that Karen Troxell has joined the transit advocacy organization as Program and Membership Manager. In this capacity, she will be responsible for managing day-to-day programming and membership activities, overseeing social media channels and developing website content.

Troxell brings experience in sustainability and advocating for public transit access. For two years, she served as the Commute Trip Reduction Coordinator at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash, where she advocated for sustainable transportation use among staff, faculty and students. There, she organized events, workshops, and webinars to educate university employees on commute-related resources – focusing primarily on public transportation – and developed educational campaigns and resources for students and employees. Her background also includes serving as an environmental communications assistant at Michigan State University and working as a Medicaid Billing Coordinator and Compliance Officer in Spokane. Troxell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Cultures and Politics from Michigan State University. She currently resides in the City of St. Louis.

“We are excited to welcome Karen to our team,” said Kimberly Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit. “Her background and experience will play a key role as we continue our work of championing and advocating for public transit access in an effort to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life in the St. Louis region.”

Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT) is the region’s transit advocacy organization. It was established in 1985 to help bring light rail to St. Louis and works to develop, support and enhance programming and initiatives to ensure safe, convenient and affordable access to the region’s integrated public transportation system. CMT champions, challenges, encourages and advocates for public transit to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life in the St. Louis region.

The ASA Midwest Council Elects 2023-24 Officers, Board of Directors


The American Subcontractors Association (ASA)-Midwest Council recently elected its officers and board of directors for the 2023-24 fiscal year.

Mr. Dennis Voss, Golterman & Sabo, was elected as the 2023-24-chapter president. 
Voss succeeds Mr. Dan Tucker, MC Mechanical Services.  Voss will serve a one-year term as president, which began July 1 and will expire June 30, 2024

“I am honored and humbled at the opportunity to serve as President of the ASA Midwest Council,” said Dennis Voss. “ASA is a great organization and has so much to offer its members.  As president I look forward to continuing this long-standing tradition and work to promote the many benefits of the ASA.” 

Ryan Spell, Precision Analysis, was elected vice-president., Matt Tucker, Affton Fabricating & Welding Co., will serve as secretary, and Mark O’Donnell of Schmersahl Treloar & Co. will serve as the association’s treasurer. Mr. Dan Tucker, MC Mechanical Services will serve one additional year as the immediate past president.

Members of the 2023-24 Board of Directors also include: Steve Cummins, Bell Electrical Contractors; Rose Kastrup, CSA Advisors LLC; Scott Meyer, Meyer Painting Co.; Rob Meeh, R.F Meeh Co.; Ryan Hermann, T.J. Wies Contracting; Stephanie Woodcock, Too Creative.

The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) Midwest Council is a construction trade association made up of quality specialty subcontractors, suppliers & service providers,  serving the construction industry and the community in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area and southern Illinois. The ASA Midwest Council’s purpose is to improve the construction process through active participation in education, advocacy, and collaboration. For additional information about the ASA Midwest Council, visit or contact executive director Susan Winkelmann at 314-845-0855. ASA Midwest Council | Building. Community. for 56 years | Est. 1967

Photo above (L to R): Matt Tucker, Affton Fabricating & Welding; Ryan Spell, Precision Analysis;
Dennis Voss, Golterman & Sabo; Mark O’Donnell, Schmersahl Treloar; Dan
Tucker, MC Mechanical.

ULI St. Louis Names Beth Letscher New Executive Director


Beth Letscher, AICP has been named executive director of the Urban Land Institute St. Louis (ULI St. Louis). Letscher previously held roles at the Cortex Innovation Community and St. Louis Economic Development Partnership focusing on real estate and community development. 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

“ULI St. Louis has the unique role of bringing best practice real estate knowledge to all local market practitioners while also working to diversify the real estate industry by providing in-depth training to women and people of color,” noted Letscher. “I am excited to work with the dedicated local leadership team and national ULI office to bring engaging opportunities to the St. Louis region.” 

Letscher succeeds Kelly Annis as executive director.  Annis is shifting to serve ULI nationally as a consultant focused on its industry-leading Advisory Services Panels and Technical Assistance Panels. Annis will remain in St. Louis and support ULI St. Louis with her work, as needed.

“The ideal ULI director is an industry expert who is a humble leader willing to serve our community of professionals,” noted ULI St. Louis Board Chair Aaron Williams. “We are lucky to find all these strengths and more in Beth. The future of ULI St. Louis is bright. We couldn’t be more excited.”

Letscher previously served as vice president of strategic communications with the Cortex Innovation Community, working on master planning, real estate, public-private partnerships, and strategic planning.  She has been an active ULI-St. Louis member, volunteering as a mentor for the organization’s Real Estate Diversity Initiative (REDI), serving as an UrbanPlan volunteer, and serving on a Technical Assistant Panel (TAP).

Letscher will work with ULI St. Louis leadership to increase ULI St. Louis’ impact and provide greater engagement opportunities for its members while advancing its many benchmark programs, including REDI, UrbanPlan, TAP, informative real estate programming and its annual “Emerging Trends in Real Estate.” Letscher seeks to increase organizational membership and sponsorship, plus continue the development of a continuum of real estate development programs aimed to catalyze development careers for the next generation of diverse leaders.

Letscher is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).  She earned her history and political science degree from Loyola University Chicago and has a master’s degree in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois Chicago.  In addition to serving the Cortex district in various capacities for more than five years, Letscher has also been honored as a planning champion by the American Planning Association, St. Louis Metro Section in 2020.  She was also part of the Leadership St. Louis Class of 2015-16, FOCUS St. Louis.

September Construction Employment, Hourly Wages Climb; August Job Openings Hold


Submitted by the AGC.

Construction employment, seasonally adjusted, totaled 8,014,000 in September, a gain of 11,000 from August and 217,000 (2.8%) year-over-year (y/y), according to AGC’s analysis of data the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) posted today. The y/y growth rate outpaced the 2.1% increase in total nonfarm payroll employment. Residential construction employment (at residential building and specialty contractors) rose by 12,600 in September and 55,300 (1.7%) y/y. Nonresidential construction employment (at building, specialty trade, and heavy and civil engineering construction firms) dipped by 1,300 for the month but increased by 161,600 (3.5%) y/y. Seasonally adjusted average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees in construction (craft and office) rose 5.5% y/y to $34.54 per hour. The “premium” for nonsupervisory construction workers rose to 18.9% over the private sector average of $29.06, still considerably below the average premium in 2000-2019 of 21.5%. The number of unemployed jobseekers with construction experience rose from 346,000, not seasonally adjusted, in September 2022 to 392,000 and the unemployment rate for such workers rose from 3.4% to a still-low 3.8%.

There were 360,000 job openings in construction, not seasonally adjusted, at the end of August, nearly matching the August 2022 total of 362,000, BLS reported on Tuesday in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) release. Hires for the full month totaled 361,000, a decrease of 27,000 (-7.0%) y/y. The relative stability of these numbers, as well as the increase in construction spending (see below), suggests that the slight drop in nonresidential employment in September is more likely a reflection of the difficulty in filling positions than a weakening of demand.

Construction spending (not adjusted for inflation) totaled $1.98 trillion in August at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, up 0.5% from July and up 5.5% y/y, the Census Bureau reported on Monday. However, without a deflator, it is impossible to say how much of the y/y gain is in units vs. price. Private residential construction increased 0.6% for the month, with single-family homebuilding up 1.7% (the fourth monthly gain in a row), multifamily construction spending up 0.2%, and owner-occupied improvements up 0.3%. Private nonresidential construction spending rose 0.3% for the month. The largest private nonresidential segment (based on the seasonally adjusted August rate)—manufacturing construction—rose 1.2% (including computer/electronic/electrical, up 1.9%, and chemical and pharmaceutical, up 1.0%). Commercial construction fell 0.9% (consisting of warehouse, down 1.2%; retail, down 1.6%; and farm, up 3.2%). Power rose 0.4% (with electric power up 0.8% and oil and gas field structures and pipelines down 3.0%). Private office and data center construction increased 0.2%. Public construction spending rose 0.6%. The largest public segment, highway and street construction, climbed 0.4%. Public education edged up 0.2%. Public transportation construction rose 1.3%. 

Construction employment, not seasonally adjusted, rose from August 2022 in 223 (62%) of the 358 metro areas (including divisions of larger metros) for which BLS posts construction employment data, fell in 79 (22%), and was unchanged in 56, according to an analysis AGC released on Wednesday. (AGC treats as construction-only the totals for metros in which BLS reports only combined totals for mining, logging, and construction.) The top three metros for jobs added were again the Dallas-Plano-Irving division (15,100 combined jobs or 10%), New York City (11,000 combined jobs, 8%), and Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash. (9,200 construction jobs, 11%). The largest percentage gain was in Baton Rouge, La. (16%, 7,100 construction jobs), followed by 11% gains in Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro; Wilmington, Del.-Md.-N.J. (2,000 combined jobs); Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean, N.J. (4,800 combined jobs); and Cheyenne, Wyo. (400 combined jobs). The largest loss occurred in Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land (6,800 construction jobs, -3%), followed by Nassau County-Suffolk County, N.Y. (-5,200 combined jobs, -6%) and the Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall division (-4,400 construction jobs, -8%). Kankakee, Ill. again experienced the largest percentage job loss (-13%, -200 combined jobs), followed by Binghamton, N.Y. (-9%, -400 combined jobs); Pittsfield, Mass. (-9%, -200 combined jobs); and Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall

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