Associations - Page 4

Construction Adds 60,000 Jobs in February; Wages Rise by Most Since 1982 But Trail Other Sectors

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Submitted by the AGC.

Construction employment, seasonally adjusted, totaled 7,613,000 in February, an increase of 60,000 from the upwardly revised January total, according to AGC’s analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data posted today. The February total was an increase of 305,000 (4.2%) year-over-year (y/y) from February 2021 and was only 11,000 (-0.1%) below the pre-pandemic peak in February 2020. Residential construction employment, comprising residential building and specialty trade contractors, rose by 31,000 in February and 135,400 (4.5%) y/y, putting the total 160,000 (5.4%) higher than in February 2020. Nonresidential construction employment—building, specialty trades, and heavy and civil engineering construction—rose by 29,400 for the month and 169,400 (3.9%) y/y but remained 171,000 (-3.7%) below the February 2020 level. The number of unemployed jobseekers with construction experience dropped 26% y/y to 677,00, and the industry’s unemployment rate declined from 9.6%, not seasonally adjusted, in February 2021 to 6.7% last month.

Average hourly earnings for “production and nonsupervisory employees” in construction (mainly, hourly craft workers) increased by 6.0% y/y to $31.62, seasonally adjusted, in February 2022, BLS data posted today. The increase was the steepest since December 1982. However, the average for the overall private sector rose even faster, by 6.7% y/y to $26.94. Although the average for construction topped the all-private average by 17.4% in February, this “premium” has narrowed steeply from an average premium of 20-23% annually from 2005 to 2019. Since the pandemic began, other sectors have raised starting wages sharply, offered signing and retention bonuses, and–for some jobs–flexible hours or work locations, inducements that are not possible for onsite construction jobs. These conditions imply construction firms are likely to have a harder time attracting and retaining workers or will have to raise pay even more.

The war in Ukraine and Western countermeasures have continued pushing up the price of numerous commodities. Futures prices for copper and aluminum set all-time highs on Thursday. The national retail average price of on-highway diesel fuel was $4.10 per gallon, the Energy Information Administration reported on Monday, a nine-year high and an increase of $1.03 (34%) year-over-year (y/y). Supply chains have been further disrupted as ships have been trapped by the fighting, held in ports elsewhere, or had cargos detained. However, the war may also slow economic growth in Europe, cutting into demand for some materials.

Construction spending (not adjusted for inflation) totaled $1.68 trillion in January at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, up 1.3% from the upwardly revised December total and 8.2% y/y from January 2020, the Census Bureau reported on Tuesday. Spending exceeded the January 2020 rate, just before the pandemic hit, by 13%. Trends differed sharply among segments over the month, year, and two years. Private residential construction spending increased 1.3% for the month and 13% y/y. Residential construction was 40% higher than two years ago. Single-family spending climbed 1.2% and 15%, respectively; multifamily, -0.1% and 4.8%; and owner-occupied improvements, 1.8% and 14%. Private nonresidential construction spending rose 1.8% for the month and 7.3% y/y but still lagged the January 2020 rate by 5.7%. The largest private nonresidential segment—power—rose 2.7% for the month but declined 1.4% y/y (including electric power, up 2.8% for the month but down 1.1% y/y, and oil and gas field structures and pipelines, 2.3% and -2.3%, respectively); followed by commercial, down 0.5% for the month but up 18% y/y (including warehouse, up 0.8% and 22%, respectively, and retail, -4.0% and 15%); manufacturing, 8.5% and 31% y/y (including chemical and pharmaceutical, 4.1% and 0.7%, and computer/ electronic/electrical, 30% and 228%); and office, -0.1% and 1.7%. Public construction spending increased 0.6% for the month but declined 1.3% y/y and 4.7% over two years. The largest public segment, highway and street construction, inched down 0.1% for the month but climbed 5.2% y/y. Public education construction was flat for the month but skidded 9.9% y/y. Public transportation construction rose 1.6% and 0.1%, respectively.

“Economic activity has expanded at a modest to moderate pace since mid-January,” the Federal Reserve reported on Wednesday in the latest “Beige Book.” The Beige Book is a summary of informal soundings of businesses in the 12 Fed districts. The cutoff date for this report was February 18, six days before Russia invaded Ukraine. “Many districts reported that the surge in COVID-19 cases temporarily disrupted business activity as firms faced heighted absenteeism….All districts noted that supply chain issues and low inventories continued to restrain growth, particularly in the construction sector….Firms continued to increase compensation and introduce workplace flexibility to attract workers—especially in historically low-wage positions—with mixed success. Contacts reported they expect the tight labor market and consequent strong wage growth to continue, though a few districts reported signs of wage growth moderating. Prices charged to customers increased at a robust pace across the nation. A few districts reported an acceleration in prices. Rising input costs were cited as a primary contributing factor across a broad swath of industries, with elevated transport costs particularly significant. Labor cost increases and ongoing materials shortages also contributed to higher input prices…. Firms reported they expect additional price increases over the next several months as they continue to pass on input cost increases.”

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School of Engineering Receives $500K Endowed Professorship from SICAP

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$500K Endowment Supports Scholarship, Recruitment and Retention

The Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program (SICAP) of the Southern Illinois Builders Association (SIBA) has donated $500,000 to the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s School of Engineering (SOE), funding the first professorship in the School’s history. 

The SICAP Endowed Construction Management Professorship will be used to provide annual or multi-year award(s) to one or more faculty members of the SOE Department of Construction to honor excellence in scholarship and to recruit and retain exceptional faculty. 

“The Department of Construction and SICAP have a long-standing partnership to improve the talent pool for the construction industry in our region,” said SOE Dean Cem Karacal, PhD. “This generous gift is a tremendous help in strengthening faculty in the department, and we are sincerely thankful for this support.”

An award selection committee will be chosen by the Department of Construction chair, in consultation with the dean of the SOE. Endowment interest earnings may be used to support research projects, purchase equipment, fund travel and costs associated with research or education related conferences, hire student workers or research assistants, fund course buyouts, cover faculty summer salary, or increase the size of start-up funds for new hires. 

“SICAP/SIBA believes it is imperative that SIUE has the resources to retain the faculty necessary to teach and train future generations,” said SIBA CEO Donna Richter.

SICAP’s gift brings the total endowed funds for the Department of Construction to over $1 million. Previously established funds include the Ralph F. Korte Scholarship Endowment for Construction Management, the Department of Construction Endowment, the Land Surveying Specialization Program Endowment and the Department of Construction Faculty Advancement Endowment. 

“We are grateful for SICAP’s partnership in supporting construction management faculty by developing this endowed professorship,” said SOE Associate Dean Chris Gordon, PhD. “This investment in our construction management faculty will in turn enhance the preparation of our graduates to thrive in the rapidly advancing building industry.”


The Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program (SICAP) serves as the unifying force within the Southern Illinois construction industry and develops programs aimed at opportunities for the betterment of all aspects of the industry. SICAP supports the Southern Illinois construction industry by promoting safety and accident prevention in the industry; supporting educational seminars and training programs for all industry personnel; supporting economic development programs for the benefit of the industry; conducting community education and public relations programs to benefit the industry by educating both the mass media and general public about the critical role the construction industry plays in helping assure economic development and job growth across all sectors of the economy; promoting affirmative action, equal employment opportunity and business diversity efforts to support our neighbors, our communities and our construction industry.

The School of Engineering offers one of the most comprehensive and affordable engineering programs in the St. Louis region with eight undergraduate degrees, five master’s degrees and two cooperative doctoral programs, all housed in a state-of-the-art facility. Students learn from expert faculty, perform cutting-edge research and participate in intercollegiate design competitions. Companies in the metropolitan St. Louis area provide students challenging internships and co-op opportunities, which often turn into permanent employment. All undergraduate programs are accredited by their respective accreditation agencies.

Photo: (Front L-R): Lisa Smith, SIUE Engineering; Dean Cem Karacal, SIUE Engineering; Bruce Holland, Holland Construction; Donna Richter, SICAP/SIBA; (Back L-R) Mike Bevis, Bevis Construction, Inc.; John Cabage, SIUE Construction Department Chair; Ken Kilian, The Kilian Corporation; Associate Dean Chris Gordon, SIUE Engineering; Pam Von Alst, Von Alst Operating, LLC; Totsie Bailey, Southwestern Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council; Gene Keeley, Keeley & Sons, Inc. (Trustee Not Pictured:  Mark Schnoebelen, Massman Construction Company).

For more information, contact: Megan Wieser / SIUE Marketing & Communications mwieser@siue.edu / 618-650-3653

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St. Clair County Transit District Approves Engineering for the Tecklenburg Trail Connector

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St. Clair County Transit District (SCCTD) today announced it has approved $359,985 for engineering for the Tecklenburg Trail Connector in Belleville. This proposed 1.1-mile bike and pedestrian pathway will extend from Main Street and 66th Street to Dutch Hollow and Llewellyn roads, connecting residents in the West Belleville area to 14 continues miles of trails in Southwestern Illinois known as the MetroBikeLink System.

The design phase will take approximately 12 months and will include surveying boundaries and topography, designing the trail and a long pedestrian bridge over IL Route 161, geotechnical boring/reporting and permitting. The trail will be a scenic addition to the trail system, as it is planned to transverse through wooded/remote areas. The trail will feature a 1,000-foot long bridge over IL Route 161 and Schoenberger Creek. 

“St. Clair County Transit District is actively working to continue to expand the reach of its MetroBikeLink System,” said Herb Simmons, Chair of St. Clair County Transit District’s Board of Trustees. “This new trail will play a key role in connecting the West Belleville area to a community amenity designed to enable users to integrate biking, walking, running, skating and wheeling with public transportation – not only for enjoyment – but to help get residents where they want to go.” 

The first section of the MetroBikeLink System opened in 2002 and was comprised of a four-mile trail, extending from Southwestern Illinois College to the Swansea MetroLink Station. Since then, the system has expanded to include the Memorial, Fairview Heights, and Shiloh Scott sections for a total of 14 miles of trail adjacent to the MetroLink light rail tracks. Additional trails have been built by SCCTD to connect to this main artery including SCCTD Orchard Loop Trail Phases I and II, the Englemann Park Connector, and the Old Collinsville Road Trail (currently under construction) for another 8 miles of SCCTD connected trails. This, along with the connecting trails from other municipalities, combine to provide a total of 30 miles of connected trails in St. Clair County.

To learn more about the MetroBikeLink System and St. Clair County Transit District, visit www.scctd.org.

Founded in 1981, St. Clair County Transit District oversees 11 MetroLink stations and 18 bus routes in St. Clair County, Ill. If commuters have questions about service, they can call (618) 628-8090 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, visit www.scctd.org

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Kaskaskia Engineering Group, LLC Honored at ACEC Illinois Annual Awards

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The team of Kaskaskia Engineering Group, LLC (KEG) is pleased to announce that they were honored as “Medium Firm of the Year” at the annual ACEC Illinois 2022 Engineering Excellence Awards. Founded in 2006, the engineering and construction firm has grown from a 3-person operation in a small, shared office space in Belleville, Illinois to its impressive portfolio today of 9 offices in 4 states, more than 50 employees, and countless successful infrastructure projects throughout the Midwest.

KEG President and Founder Geri E. Boyer, PE accepted the award alongside members of her team at the annual Engineering Excellence Awards, hosted by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Illinois. The event featured awards for projects throughout the State, as well as Firm of the Year Awards in three size categories: small, medium, and large. This was the inaugural year for the award.

KEG was honored for its contributions to the success and growth of ACEC IL, its role in advancing the consulting design profession, and their commitment to community involvement and activism. The Member Firm of the Year award is the only award program instituted to recognize ACEC IL member firms for their demonstrated leadership in promoting engineering through their activities with ACEC and in their communities.

“We are beyond honored to be recognized by ACEC Illinois. My team and I are so grateful to do what we love and have our work celebrated by our industry peers. We share this award with our teaming partners, our clients, and our fellow engineers,” Boyer said. “And, of course, this award truly belongs to my team. I may be the one picking up the plaque, but I’m just a small piece of this group of amazing, dedicated professionals. I am so proud to be among them. Thank you to all my KEG-ers for everything you do.”

KEG is a 100% woman-owned professional engineering firm that provides exceptional, innovative, and comprehensive solutions that improve our environment and lead to economic vitality. KEG’s offices are located in Belleville, Glen Carbon, Peoria, Geneva and Champaign, Illinois, as well as Evansville, Indiana; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.

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School of Engineering Receives $500K Endowed Professorship from SICAP

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$500K Endowment Supports Scholarship, Recruitment and Retention

The Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program (SICAP) of the Southern Illinois Builders Association (SIBA) has donated $500,000 to the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s School of Engineering (SOE), funding the first professorship in the School’s history. 

The SICAP Endowed Construction Management Professorship will be used to provide annual or multi-year award(s) to one or more faculty members of the SOE Department of Construction to honor excellence in scholarship and to recruit and retain exceptional faculty. 

“The Department of Construction and SICAP have a long-standing partnership to improve the talent pool for the construction industry in our region,” said SOE Dean Cem Karacal, PhD. “This generous gift is a tremendous help in strengthening faculty in the department, and we are sincerely thankful for this support.”

An award selection committee will be chosen by the Department of Construction chair, in consultation with the dean of the SOE. Endowment interest earnings may be used to support research projects, purchase equipment, fund travel and costs associated with research or education related conferences, hire student workers or research assistants, fund course buyouts, cover faculty summer salary, or increase the size of start-up funds for new hires. 

“SICAP/SIBA believes it is imperative that SIUE has the resources to retain the faculty necessary to teach and train future generations,” said SIBA CEO Donna Richter.

SICAP’s gift brings the total endowed funds for the Department of Construction to over $1 million. Previously established funds include the Ralph F. Korte Scholarship Endowment for Construction Management, the Department of Construction Endowment, the Land Surveying Specialization Program Endowment and the Department of Construction Faculty Advancement Endowment. 

“We are grateful for SICAP’s partnership in supporting construction management faculty by developing this endowed professorship,” said SOE Associate Dean Chris Gordon, PhD. “This investment in our construction management faculty will in turn enhance the preparation of our graduates to thrive in the rapidly advancing building industry.”


The Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program (SICAP) serves as the unifying force within the Southern Illinois construction industry and develops programs aimed at opportunities for the betterment of all aspects of the industry. SICAP supports the Southern Illinois construction industry by promoting safety and accident prevention in the industry; supporting educational seminars and training programs for all industry personnel; supporting economic development programs for the benefit of the industry; conducting community education and public relations programs to benefit the industry by educating both the mass media and general public about the critical role the construction industry plays in helping assure economic development and job growth across all sectors of the economy; promoting affirmative action, equal employment opportunity and business diversity efforts to support our neighbors, our communities and our construction industry.

The School of Engineering offers one of the most comprehensive and affordable engineering programs in the St. Louis region with eight undergraduate degrees, five master’s degrees and two cooperative doctoral programs, all housed in a state-of-the-art facility. Students learn from expert faculty, perform cutting-edge research and participate in intercollegiate design competitions. Companies in the metropolitan St. Louis area provide students challenging internships and co-op opportunities, which often turn into permanent employment. All undergraduate programs are accredited by their respective accreditation agencies.

Photo Above: (Front L-R): Lisa Smith, SIUE Engineering; Dean Cem Karacal, SIUE Engineering; Bruce Holland, Holland Construction; Donna Richter, SICAP/SIBA; (Back L-R) Mike Bevis, Bevis Construction, Inc.; John Cabage, SIUE Construction Department Chair; Ken Kilian, The Kilian Corporation; Associate Dean Chris Gordon, SIUE Engineering; Pam Von Alst, Von Alst Operating, LLC; Totsie Bailey, Southwestern Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council; Gene Keeley, Keeley & Sons, Inc. (Trustee Not Pictured:  Mark Schnoebelen, Massman Construction Company).

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War In Ukraine Adds to Price and Supply Pressures on Oil, Metals; Other Items Show Mixed Patterns

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Submitted by the AGC.

The war in Ukraine and the West’s response are likely to have multiple effects on construction materials costs and availability. The most immediate impact is likely to be on diesel fuel and gasoline prices. The national retail average price of on-highway diesel fuel was $4.05 per gallon on Monday, the Energy Information Administration reported on Tuesday. That was an increase of $1.08 (36%) year-over-year (y/y) and the highest level in almost nine years. By Thursday, the futures price for heating oil (a close proxy for diesel fuel) had jumped 12 cents per gallon over the week. In addition, “Russia is an important producer of copper and aluminum,” the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. “Any difficulties getting those commodities to customers worldwide would cause fresh disruptions to strained supply chains.” Cargo ships in the region have been halted or delayed.

The outlook for other materials is mixed. “The lumber market continues to struggle [with] supply chain disruptions,” New South Construction Supply reported on Wednesday. “Low sitting inventory at mills and extended lead times on shipments are back to being the norm. Pricing continues to climb as availability continues to decline. Import lumber typically used to help offset domestic supply chain issues is also seeing supply chain constraints. Severe logistic and transportation problems at the ports continue. Many of the inbound [European spruce-pine-fir] loads moving through the ports are arriving to their final destination weeks after originally promised. These availability issues and high prices are expected to remain for at least the next four to five weeks. Rebar has stayed flat for another month and pricing remains at the levels set in early December. Inventory remains fairly accessible with mills having more sitting inventory available than in the months prior to the December price increase. The regional mills appear to be on different rolling schedules for each size, so inventory has been slightly easier to acquire if buyers are willing to work across multiple mills. Wire mesh has also remained flat through February. There are rumblings of a potential price increase in the coming months, but nothing has been firmly established on what that increase would look like. Lead times have improved slightly with lead times closer to 8-10 weeks. Expectations are for lead times to remain in this range well through summer. [Polyethylene vapor barrier] has also remained flat over the past month, but like lumber, the lead times have begun to stretch out.” A reader forwarded a price list they received from a materials supplier on Tuesday that listed surcharges for numerous sealants and other materials that ranged from 5% to 50% for deck membrane epoxy. Readers are invited to send information about prices and availability to ken.simonson@agc.org.

“Engineering and construction costs rose for the 16th consecutive month in February,” data firm IHS Markit and the Procurement Executive Group reported on Wednesday. “February also marks the eighteenth consecutive month of rising shipping costs. Due to these rising shipping costs and limited freight availability, many other sub-indices for components have maintained price increases as well,” including copper-based wire and cable, electrical equipment, and transformers. “The materials reported for shortages this month unsurprisingly referred mostly to electrical steel and electrical equipment components.” The sub-index for current subcontractor labor costs rose again, though less steeply than in January.

Construction starts (in dollars, not adjusted for inflation), decreased 2.3% y/y in January, not seasonally adjusted, data firm ConstructConnect reported on February 18. Nonresidential starts declined 4.5%. Nonresidential building starts edged down 9.9% y/y, with commercial starts down 12%, institutional starts down 13%, and industrial (manufacturing) starts up 5.3%. Heavy engineering (civil) starts gained 2.0% y/y, with road/highway up 53%, water/sewage up 2.5%, power and other miscellaneous down 43%, bridges up 8.8%, dams/marine up 37%, and airports up 103%. Residential starts rose 0.4% y/y, with single-family down 2.2% and apartments up 8.2%.

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), which the American Institute of Architects calls “a leading economic indicator that leads nonresidential construction activity by approximately 9-12 months,” held steady at 51.0 in January from a downwardly revised December reading, the institute reported on Wednesday. “This makes 12 straight months of positive readings for the ABI. However, over this period the pace of growth of the ABI has clearly moderated. For the first nine months of this design recovery, the average ABI score was almost 56, an unusually high level for such an extended period. Over the past three months, the average score was barely over 51. This more modest growth in the ABI no doubt reflects challenges in the construction sector – supply challenges for both labor and materials – as well as ongoing staffing constraints at architecture firms. In spite of this moderation in ABI scores,…new design projects continue to come into architecture firms at a healthy pace. The monthly new design contracts score has exceeded the billings score at firms in 10 of the 12 months since the design upturn got underway, suggesting that project backlogs at firms continue to grow. This expanding backlog will serve as a cushion to ensure healthy future workloads over the coming quarters….Firms in the Northeast continue to see the weakest conditions, reporting five straight monthly declines in billings. Firms in the West are also reporting billings declines in recent months. Firms in the South, however, are reporting accelerating growth in billings activity, and in January saw their strongest monthly increase in billings since well before the Great Recession. Likewise with firm specialization, firms focusing on the commercial/industrial market are seeing billings accelerate, institutional firms are reporting billing declines, while multifamily residential firms are reporting stable business conditions.”

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Land Purchase Complete and Sitework Begun for St. Louis’ First World-Class, Indoor Volleyball and Basketball Complex

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The 97,000-square-foot facility will attract an estimated 900,000 visitors each year.

Chesterfield Sports Association has finalized its purchase of a 10.87 plot of land at 150 N. Eatherton Road in Chesterfield Valley for the future home of St. Louis’ first world-class, indoor volleyball and basketball complex. The multi-court, 97,000-square-foot fieldhouse will attract an estimated 900,000 visitors each year to its clinics, camps, leagues and tournaments. More than 1,000 youth athletes will practice and train during the week and over 2,500 athletes will play in league and tournament games each weekend. Keystone Construction Company has begun sitework in preparation for construction. Mia Rose Holdings is the developer. The architect is mw Weber Architects and the civil engineer is Stock & Associates Consulting Engineers, Inc. The project team is targeting an early 2023 opening.
 
Chesterfield Sports Association (CSA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, will own and operate the facility, which will fill a major need for court space in St. Louis. “This is much more than an athletic center, it is a “life” center and a place these young athletes can call “home,” said Stuart Duncan, President of Chesterfield Sports Association. “Along with giving young basketball and volleyball athletes a location to play their sports, our mission is to offer them a place to gain confidence, trust, self-esteem and good health. We look forward to announcing exciting partnerships that will enhance the facility in the coming months.” 
 
Keystone Construction will construct the unique structure using 80-foot wide column spacing to accommodate basketball courts, second-floor mezzanine for game viewing and full food service operations. Nine basketball courts will convert to 18 volleyball courts and be equipped with Olympic level flooring, professional grade LED lighting and HD/4K streaming cameras. Additional amenities include a fitness area, comfortable spectator seating courtside, lounge areas and multipurpose rooms for team rooms, meetings and classes.
 
Initiating the construction project in Winter with 50,000 cubic yards of fill to install while meeting a condensed schedule given current material supply chain challenges is the primary construction challenge. Keystone Construction will begin concrete foundation work late Spring and complete tilt-up panels late Summer. Steel erection will begin in early Fall. Interior construction and installation of the sports equipment will begin late 2022.
 
The sports complex will offer the full range of youth sport services and amenities to develop student athletes to meet their fullest potential. Approximately 80% of available court time will be used by the primary partners, including High Performance Volleyball – STL, Stratman Sports and CNR Basketball. There are still over 10,000 hours of court time available per year for rental. In addition to hosting volleyball and basketball clinics, camps, leagues and tournaments, the facility could be used for pickleball, futsal, wrestling, dance, cheer and other sports as space is available.
 
A major economic driver, the sports complex will generate jobs for coaches, referees, trainers, concession and maintenance workers. CSA plans to host over 40 tournaments each year that will attract out-of-town guests to the area to generate economic activity for local restaurants, hotels and retail establishments. CSA expects these out-of-town players and families will generate over 10,000 hotel room nights per year. 
 
“This sports complex will be a center of recreation, community life and economic activity. St. Louis will finally get the world-class youth sporting facility it deserves,” said Tom Kaimain, Founding Principal of Mia Rose Holdings (MRH). MRH has a strong niche developing and consulting for athletic facilities, including the Maryville University Hockey Center, also in Chesterfield Valley. “The nonprofit ownership structure will ensure the financial sustainability for the facility for generations to come.”
 
“None of the larger existing indoor court facilities in St. Louis was designed for volleyball and basketball, and many are 30 to 40 years old with failing infrastructure, poor ventilation systems, insufficient lighting, substandard flooring, insufficient seating and inadequate dimensions for safe and enjoyable play,” said Scott Mebruer, Club Director at High Performance Volleyball – STL.
 
Due to the lack of safe and adequate facilities locally, local basketball and volleyball clubs currently must use multiple locations to meet their needs and tournament organizers turn to bigger venues in other Midwestern cities. In fact, Gateway Region Volleyball, the local chapter of USA Volleyball, has needed to move several large weekend events from local facilities to other facilities over two hours away.
 
“The lack of local and quality facilities creates unnecessary obstacles and lost opportunities for local tournament organizers and businesses, as well as for players and their families who must travel out of town to participate,” said Duncan. “This new facility will alleviate that burden for athlete families.”
 
For information about partnership opportunities, visit www.chesterfieldsports.com or email info@chesterfieldsports.com. To follow the development, follow chesterfieldsports on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
 
ABOUT CHESTERFIELD SPORTS ASSOCIATION
Founded in 2020, Chesterfield Sports Association (CSA) is a Chesterfield, MO-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was formed to give St. Louis youth the opportunity to grow, develop, and reach their highest potential as an athlete, student and individual. Stuart Duncan formed CSA after more than 20 years as a volunteer coach, tournament director, and board member for various local sports organizations. His passion for youth sports and development drives his mission for this new sports complex.
 
ABOUT MIA ROSE HOLDINGS
Mia Rose Holdings LLC (MRH) is a Chesterfield, MO-based commercial real estate development company that actively acquires and develops real estate to support the needs and vision of local communities. MRH provides comprehensive, first-class development services through partnerships with the best and brightest in commercial brokerage, engineering, architectural and construction services. In addition to multi-family and mixed-use developments, MRH has a strong niche developing and consulting for ice rinks and other youth athletic facilities, including Maryville University Hockey Center, Pacific Ice Rink and Chesterfield Sports Complex. For more information about Mia Rose Holdings, visit www.miaroseholdings.com.
 
ABOUT KEYSTONE CONSTRUCTION
Keystone Construction Company is a St. Louis-based general contractor with expertise in design/build projects for office, retail, industrial and healthcare clients. For nearly 35 years, Keystone projects have reflected the company’s commitment to superior architecture and design, quality materials and craftsmanship that stand the test of time. The general contractor has received numerous design and construction awards, including Building St. Louis awards in 2017, 2019 and 2021; Project 64 West Excellence in Community Development Award; and Excellence in Design Award from American Builders Company and Nucor. Harvard University chose Keystone’s unique process for a course study called “How to do Design/Build Right.” For more information, visit https://keystone-stl.com.
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McCarthy Building Companies’ Approach to Mental Health Awareness Honored with NAHB 2021 Safety Award for Excellence

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Kristyn Cantu

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., a premier national builder and one of America’s safest construction companies, was recently honored with a 2021 Safety Award for Excellence by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and its official safety sponsor, Builders Mutual. McCarthy received the Excellence in Mental Health Advocacy Award for a construction company on Feb. 8 during the 2022 International Builders’ Show.

The Safety Award for Excellence (SAFE) recognizes those individuals and companies that worked to achieve exemplary safety and health programs in the construction the industry. This year, as an extension of NAHB’s member mental health and wellbeing initiative, three new categories were added to the SAFE Awards to recognize excellence in mental health programs and advocacy.

In 2021, McCarthy launched an expanded and integrated approach to break the stigma surrounding mental health to better meet the needs of employees, its craft workforce and families. An important component of the effort was McCarthy’s interest in sharing details about its proactive approach, and also sharing materials with companies or organizations in any industry working on similar efforts.

“Construction offers a wide variety of rewarding career options, and we are committed to delivering a great experience for everyone who works with us,” said McCarthy Director of Total Rewards Kristyn Cantu. “Unfortunately, mental health has long been a challenge in the construction industry and the COVID-19 pandemic raised this to a new level. As one of America’s largest construction companies, we believe it is our responsibility to help propel our industry forward. One way we have chosen to do this is through an expanded focus on mental health awareness, together with our genuine interest in collaborating with others to work together on this challenge. We’re honored to receive this award as recognition for our approach.”

“Congratulations to McCarthy on being recognized as leader in the industry and demonstrating a superior commitment to safe work practices,” said J. Gary Hill, chairman, NAHB Construction Safety and Health Committee. “McCarthy generously shared its toolbox talks with NAHB in an effort to help our industry bring mental wellbeing into the spotlight.”

Designed to create more discussion around mental health awareness, acceptance and treatment options, the McCarthy Genuine Care program complements McCarthy’s digital and telemedicine mental health services and peer-support services. It combines strategies and practices across McCarthy’s safety, human resources and operations teams — all under the umbrella of the firm’s award-winning Build for Life health and wellness program.

Materials, resources and tools to emphasize and support mental health awareness on jobsites and in offices are available at any time through the company’s intranet and include toolbox talks on mental health, suicide prevention, and signage to increase awareness. Helpful information is also available for all employees and families through the McCarthy Employee Assistance Program (EAP). On jobsites, McCarthy provides hard hat stickers to all employees with important contact information while conducting meaningful discussions with all teams about the company’s approach to mental health, as well as immediately available resources.

Future program plans include adding more support, resources and training for managers and employees and considering an evidence-based mental health crisis response system.

“This focus on mental health awareness and support is crucial for the long-term success of our industry,” McCarthy President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Wittkop said. “Similar to our industry’s united focus on physical safety, we believe this is something we must work on together. We are committed to this and are looking forward to partnering with others across the industry in this effort.”

About McCarthy

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. With an unrelenting focus on safety and a comprehensive quality program that span all phases of every project, McCarthy utilizes industry-leading design phase and construction techniques combined with value-add technology to maximize outcomes. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work and Healthiest Employer, McCarthy is ranked the 13th largest domestic builder (Engineering News-Record, May 2021). With approximately 6,000 salaried employees and craft professionals, the firm has offices in St. Louis; Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Dallas, Houston; and San Diego, Newport Beach, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at www.mccarthy.com or by following the company on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

For Further Information Contact:  Susan Garritano (314) 968-3300, sgarritano@mccarthy.com or Robyn Frankel (314) 863-3373, rfrankel@frankelpr.com

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IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection Partnership Offers Guidance to Communities on EV Infrastructure and Chargers

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As automakers continue the transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles (EV), the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection is offering guidance to communities on building supportive EV infrastructure and chargers.  The Electrical Connection is a partnership of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).  The partnership helped pioneer the national Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) to ensure reliable planning and installation of EV chargers and infrastructure.

“Our NECA contractors are being engaged by more businesses and civic entities in the effort to expand the EV charging network locally and statewide,” noted Kyle McKenna, executive vice president, St. Louis Chapter NECA.  “Businesses and communities want to be reliable destination points in the era of EVs.  So with our IBEW partners, we are providing guidance on EV charger infrastructure improvements and stand ready to offer our contractors’ turn-key services to make sure it’s done right.”

The recommendations and guidance by the Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership include:

Location & Lifestyle – Unlike gas stations, EV chargers can be placed at virtually any destination point if supported by sufficient electrical infrastructure. Think of it as focused use. The five-minute stop at a gas station is replaced by EV charging while the driver eats lunch, shops or enjoys a sport/entertainment venue. Hence, retail, entertainment, multifamily, office, parks and recreation facilities, transportation hubs such as airports, rail and public transit, existing gas stations, and of course homes can all support EV chargers. The challenge is cost effectively connecting to the electric grid and fortifying power to better support EV chargers in some areas.

Incentives – Many public utilities now offer financial incentives to encourage the installation of EV chargers.  Make sure you line up and secure those incentives before you begin the process of installing EV chargers. IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection contractors can assist in applying for and securing incentives. Simply search its data base of contractors qualified in EV installations.  Locally, Ameren Missouri, details its incentives on its website.

Cost Factors – Unlike the Level 1 charger that comes with the EV and can be plugged in at home, the power needed for fixed public/private EV chargers is more robust.  Level 2 chargers use 208/240 volts and DC fast chargers use between 200 and 600 volts. This can impact cost in a number of ways:

The cost of EV chargers depends on the manufacturer and other issues, such as supply chain. But according to the U.S. Department of Energy, “single connector unit costs range from $300 to $1,500 for Level 1, $400 to $6,500 for Level 2, and $10,000 to $40,000 for DC fast charging.”  Other factors influencing cost include networking capabilities that allow data to be sent via the internet, theft deterrence options, output power rating (in kilowatts), number and type of connectors, number of vehicles that can simultaneously charge, and operation and maintenance considerations.

What power exists on the site?  Most existing parking lots will need a more robust and reliable power supply. All new parking planning should include infrastructure improvements to support EV chargers.  In many cases, municipal governments – such as the city of St. Louis – require EV-ready infrastructure for all future development.

Distance of EV chargers to connections to the electric grid.  This impacts trenching needs and cabling.

Metering – some communities and businesses may want separate metering to measure EV charger use.  This will need to be installed by the utility.

Load Calculations – For homeowners, especially those in older homes, load calculation is an important factor. EVs require charging that can take more than three hours, impacting other household demands on load such as cooking.  Some older homes may need upgrades to electrical systems.  Likewise, commercial interests will need to know what their electrical systems can handle.  They may want 10 EV chargers, but only have the capacity to support six chargers without an upgrade.  Every location is different. Our contractors can perform site evaluation power needs for EV infrastructure and chargers. 

Permitting and Standards – The U.S. Department of Energy notes that charging station installations must comply with local, state, and national codes and regulations, and be completed by a licensed electrical contractor. IBEW/NECA contractors assist with permitting and build to all relevant codes and regulations, including Article 625 of the National Electrical Code, which covers EV charging systems.

Other Considerations – Intra-lot traffic flow, EV parking space signage, ADA compliance and how the overall configuration works for EV and non-EV drivers are also important considerations.

“With our NECA partners, we have been preparing for this day for 11 years,” noted Frank Jacobs, business manager, IBEW Local 1.  “Our pioneering EVITP at the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center has a full slate of classes this year where we hope to add another 100 to 200 journey workers to the skilled ranks of EV installers.”

Since 2011, the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership has been readying its workforce and contractors to meet local, state and national needs to support the next generation of travel using EVs.  For more information, visit www.electricalconnection.org.

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Materials Costs, Bid Prices Accelerate in January; Dodge Starts Rise for the Month and Year-Over-Year

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Submitted by the AGC

Construction input costs and bid prices both accelerated in January, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data posted on Tuesday. The producer price index (PPI) for material and service inputs to new nonresidential construction climbed 2.6% for the month (up from 0.9% in December) and 20% year-over-year (y/y). The PPI for new nonresidential building construction—a measure of the price that contractors say they would bid to build a fixed set of buildings—increased 3.8% for the month and 17% y/y, the most in the series’ 12-year history. (The data are not seasonally adjusted; many producers institute price increases in early January, which may explain the outsized one-month increases. In addition, the bid-price index is based in part on data from cost-estimating firms that BLS incorporates only in January, April, July, and October. Thus, the January increase reflects three months of materials cost changes as well as the monthly change in contractors’ estimated overhead and profit margins.) Numerous input PPIs rose sharply for the month and/or year. The PPI for steel mill products soared 113% y/y despite declining 1.6% for the month (the first decrease since August 2020). The index for diesel fuel jumped 5.1% in January and 57% y/y; plastic construction products, 1.8% and 35%, respectively; aluminum mill shapes, 5.6% and 33%; copper and brass mill shapes, 4.1% and 25%; architectural coatings, 9.0% and 24%; gypsum products, 4.9% and 23%; lumber and plywood, 15% and 21%; insulation materials, 4.6% and 19%; asphalt felt and coatings, 1.1% and 18%; and truck transportation of freight, 1.3% and 18%. Bid prices, as measured by PPIs for new buildings, rose by record amounts: 6.3% for the month and 28% y/y for new warehouse construction; 4.3% and 18%, respectively, for industrial buildings; 4.1% and 17% for offices; 2.9% and 15% for health care buildings; and 2.9% and 12% for school buildings. PPI increases for new, repair, and maintenance work by subcontractors amounted to 1.8% for the month and 19% y/y for concrete contractors; 4.7% and 14%, respectively, for roofing; 1.3% and 11% for electrical; and 0.8% and 9.9% for plumbing contractors. AGC posted tables and graphs of construction PPIs. On February 9, AGC posted the February edition of its Construction Inflation Alert, an 8-page document intended to inform owners, officials, and others about recent developments affecting materials costs, supply chains, and worker wages and availability. BLS released its annual reweighting of PPI inputs on February 11. Readers are invited to email ken.simonson@agc.org to receive the BLS Excel files of the “relative importance weights” for inputs to each type of construction or to send information about prices and supply-chain issues.

Total construction starts in current dollars (i.e., not inflation-adjusted) increased 4% from December to January at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, data firm Dodge Construction Network reported on Wednesday. “Nonresidential building starts increased 4% and nonbuilding starts rose 18%. Residential starts fell 1%. Compared to one year ago, total construction was 8% higher in January 2022 than in January 2021. Nonresidential building starts were up 14%, nonbuilding starts rose 12%, and residential starts gained 2%. For the 12 months ending January 2022, total construction starts were 13% above the 12 months ending January 2021.” Nonresidential building starts were 14% higher, with gains of 11% for commercial starts, 8% for institutional starts, and 82% for manufacturing starts. “For the 12 months ending January 2022, residential starts improved 19% from the 12 months ending January 2021. Single-family starts were 2% lower, while multifamily starts were 26% stronger.” Nonbuilding starts were up 3%, with environmental public works up 22%, utility/gas plants up 4%, highway and bridge starts down 1%, and miscellaneous nonbuilding starts down 16%.

Housing starts (units) slid 4.1% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate from December to January but edged up 0.8% y/y from the January 2021 level, the Census Bureau reported on Thursday. Single-family starts declined 5.6% for the month and 2.4% y/y. Multifamily (five or more units) starts slipped 2.1% for the month, but increased 8.7% y/y. Month-to-month and y/y comparisons of starts in winter months can be significantly affected by unusually mild or harsh weather in the months being compared. Residential permits increased 0.7% from December and 0.8% y/y. Single-family permits increased 6.8% for the month but decreased 5.0% y/y. Multifamily permits slumped 8.8% for the month but rose 12% y/y. The number of authorized multifamily units that have not started—an indicator of potential near-term starts—soared 44% y/y. Census announced that “the monthly Building Permits Survey design has changed from a representative sample to a cut‐off sample. This change allows complete local and county data on new housing units authorized by permits to be published monthly.”

“Bans on cryptocurrencies overseas have led to a surge of crypto- and Bitcoin-related construction in the U.S., adding more demand in the already booming data center sector, industry sources said,” Construction Dive reported on Wednesday. “The surge in Bitcoin mining centers mirrors the overall trend in the data center industry. Around 527.6 megawatts were under construction midway through 2021, an increase of 42% [y/y, according to commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE]. Texas leads the U.S. as a favored landing spot for these projects for its low cost of power, said [Mikey Jaillet, associate at CBRE’s data center group. Texas] is on track to deploy approximately 5,000 megawatts of cryptocurrency mining data centers by 2023, said Lee Bratcher, president of the Texas Blockchain council, in an interview with Bloomberg. That’s around five times more than the current rate, said Jaillet. Other leading crypto construction destinations include Georgia and Wyoming, said [Ryan Ferguson, vice president and project executive of mission critical at McCarthy Building Cos.], for their inexpensive power, renewable energy and access to fiber.”

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