Associations - Page 4

AGC-Sage survey finds Contractors are Upbeat But Less Than A Year Ago,


Contractors are generally optimistic about the outlook for nonresidential and multifamily construction in 2023, but optimism is less widespread than a year ago, based on the 2023 AGC-Sage Construction Hiring and Business Outlook Survey, which AGC released on Wednesday. The survey included 1,032 responses submitted November 7-December 9. Respondents were asked whether the dollar value of projects they compete for would be higher or lower in 2023. The net reading (the percent of respondents expecting a higher dollar value less the percent expecting a lower amount) was positive for 14 out of 17 project types. The broadest optimism was for highway and bridge projects and transportation facilities; for both segments, the net reading was positive by 42 percentage points. There were also relatively high net readings for water and sewer projects, 38; federal agency work, 37; power and other health care (such as clinics, labs, and testing facilities), 28 each; and hospital and public building construction, 23 each. But only the last had a higher net reading than in the 2020 survey. The largest declines, 31 percentage points each, were in the net readings for warehouse construction (from 41 in the 2022 survey to 10) and multifamily projects (from 32 to 1). Net readings were negative for lodging (-4, down from 6 last year), private office (down from -8 to -21) and retail construction (down from -8 to -22). Two-thirds (69%) of firms expect to add employees in 2023, down slightly from 74% a year ago. Only 5% of firms reported having worked on new projects funded by the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, while 6% said they had won bids but have not started work. Breakouts of the answers by respondents in 18 states, the four Census regions, three revenue sizes, and by union/open-shop showed broadly similar results.

Construction spending (not adjusted for inflation) totaled $1.81 trillion in November at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, up 0.2% from the upwardly revised October rate and up 8.5% year-over-year (y/y), the Census Bureau reported on Tuesday. However, without a deflator, it is impossible to say how much of the y/y gain is in units vs. price. Private residential construction decreased for the sixth-straight month, by 0.5%, with single-family homebuilding down 2.9%, multifamily construction spending up 2.4%, and owner-occupied improvements up 1.3%. Private nonresidential construction spending climbed 1.7%. The largest private nonresidential segment (at the seasonally adjusted November rate)—manufacturing construction—jumped 6.5% (including computer/electronic/electrical, up 16%, and chemical and pharmaceutical, up 0.2%). Commercial construction was flat (consisting of warehouse, down 1.5%; retail, up 1.5%; and farm, up 3.2%). Power rose 1.2% (with electric power up 1.0% and oil and gas field structures and pipelines up 2.0%). Private office and data center construction fell 0.1%. Public construction spending fell 0.1%. The largest public segment, highway and street construction, slid 1.0%. Public education rose 0.1%. Public transportation construction declined 0.2%.

There were 344,000 job openings in construction, not seasonally adjusted, at the end of November, an increase of 21,000 (6.5%) y/y and the largest November total in the 22-year history of the data, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Wednesday in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) release. Hires fell by 102,000 (-30%) y/y to 234,000 and the hire rate, 3.0% of the month’s employment, was the lowest yet for November. BLS does not break out residential from nonresidential construction in the JOLTS report; however, the Census report on spending is consistent with a drop in residential hiring and an increase in nonresidential openings. Layoffs and discharges totaled 164,000 (2.1% of employees), the lowest November total and rate in series history. Quits fell by 91,000 (47%) to 102,000.

Contractors “are anticipating construction support staff wage increases to average 4.5% by year end, up from the 2021 actual increase of 4.4%” and 3.8% in 2020, construction pay consultancy PAS reported on December 27, based on its survey of 209 firms. “When we factor in those contractors who are freezing pay, the projected 2022 increase is 4.3%. Looking forward, we think 2023 support staff increases will likely mimic 2022 activity.”

“Through November, about $33 billion in new auto-factory investment has been pledged in the U.S., including money for the construction of new assembly plants and battery-making facilities, according to the Center for Automotive Research,” the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. “The 11-month total adds to the $37 billion in new auto-factory spending committed in 2021,” up from $9 billion in 2017. Locations in the South account for about two-thirds of the 2021 and 2022 investment announcements, although there have also been projects in Michigan, Ohio, Kansas, and elsewhere. The Census spending release showed a 26% y/y jump in transportation equipment plant construction.

Milestones and Advancements in 2022 Reinforce St. Louis Region as a Global Freight Hub


The St. Louis region marked a series of major milestones in 2022 that enhanced the bi-state area’s freight network at a time when the supply chain disruptions were the norm and the need for resiliency and redundancy has never been greater. From the lingering effects of COVID-19 to the historic drought that severely impacted barge traffic on the Mississippi River, 2022 underscored the importance of being able to offer shippers options when it comes to moving their goods. It also further reinforced the effectiveness of the nationally recognized approach the St. Louis region is taking to strengthen freight infrastructure.

“Supply chain hurdles like the low water levels we have experienced the last few months serve as reminders of the importance of multimodal infrastructure providing redundancy and helping to resolve supply chain disruptions,” said Mary Lamie, Executive Vice President – Multi Modal Enterprises for Bi-State Development and head of the St. Louis Regional Freightway enterprise.

Topping the list of the region’s accomplishments in 2022 was the completion of the $222 million project to replace the Merchants Bridge over the Mississippi River. With the grand reopening of the new double track bridge in September, the St. Louis Regional Freightway celebrated the delivery of the region’s highest priority infrastructure project. The new structure can accommodate trains traveling in the opposite direction at the same time, doubling the capacity of the bridge, so it can move freight faster, more cost-effectively and reliably. Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA) owns the bridge, which dates to the 1890s and crosses the Mississippi River at St. Louis serving six Class I railroads and Amtrak. TRRA provided 90% of the construction costs, making this project a model for public-private partnerships.

Another regional high priority project also advanced during the past year, with the August announcement by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) that they have selected Chicago-based Walsh Construction for the Interstate 270 Mississippi River Bridge Replacement and Riverview Drive Interchange project. Jointly funded by IDOT and MoDOT, this bridge replacement project is the result of a unique collaboration between the two DOT’s that resulted in their ability to simultaneously secure hundreds of millions in needed funding to move forward. The multi-year construction project is expected to begin in January 2023.

This past year also was a pivotal period for the plans to bring new Container-On-Vessel (COV) service to the Midwest. The Jefferson County Port Authority received at $25 million grant from Missouri officials to support the development of a new container facility at the port in Herculaneum. It will be a key hub on the new all-water, north-south trade lane connecting the St. Louis region to the lower Mississippi River and on to worldwide destinations. American Patriot Container Transport LLC (APCT) is expected to announce soon the awarding of the contract to build the first four vessels that will be part of the new COV fleet. The U.S. Coast Guard and Seamen’s Church Institute’s Center for Maritime Education Work also began work this past year to prepare for the safe debut of those new vessels.

Other accomplishments in 2022 include funding of corridors of Interstate 70 from Kansas City to St. Louis and improvements to Interstate 55, which further support various port projects in Jefferson County, Missouri. These are just a few of the MoDOT projects on the St. Louis Regional Freightway’s 2023 Priority Projects List, which includes 25 infrastructure projects in Illinois and Missouri totaling more than $3.8 billion. The investments are focused on strengthening critical roads, bridges, rail infrastructure, and port and airport facilities and help to drive the high level of industrial construction occurring on both sides of the Mississippi River in Illinois and Missouri.

“Multimodal transportation is part of an interdependent supply chain, and these are the types of projects that help bridge the gap when there is a weak link in the system,” said Lamie. “We salute the Freight Development Committee, IDOT and MoDOT, East-West Gateway Council of Governments and industry leaders for their leadership with infrastructure investment and their focus on building in redundancy so our region’s freight networks can be part of the solution to the national supply chain disruption.”

The infrastructure investment comes at a critical time as the region continues to see significant new investment in the industrial sector. Modern bulk distribution buildings under construction in the two-state area hit an historic high in early 2022, approaching 8 million square feet (MSF). The record level of construction illustrates the industrial real estate market in the southwestern Illinois and eastern Missouri region continues to expand to meet ever increasing demand as world and domestic markets strive to move beyond the disruption that defined the prior two years. In mid-2022, nearly 7.4 MSF remained under construction in the St. Louis region, a level of construction 78% higher than 2021 and 47% higher than the most recent five-year average. One hundred percent of the modern bulk construction projects underway are speculative, a level of speculative activity that is higher than in 2019, 2020, and 2021 combined, and a clear indication that developers believe the St. Louis market is a solid place for investment.

Further evidence can be seen in more recent announcements, a few of which include plans for a $129 million St. Charles County industrial park in Missouri that is expected to create more than 950 jobs; a new $188 million industrial park to be developed by NorthPoint Development in Maryland Heights, Missouri; and electric car manufacturer Tesla’s plans to open a massive warehouse south of Interstate 270 in Illinois.

The Tesla development would take shape in a noteworthy industrial corridor in Illinois — a 60-mile stretch of Route 3 near St. Louis. Spanning from north of Alton in Madison County to south of Waterloo in Monroe County and bordered by the Mississippi River and Interstate 255, this nationally significant heavy industrial corridor is already a thriving hub for manufacturing and logistics operations that generate more than $16 billion in annual business revenue and support 221,881 direct and indirect jobs. The Illinois Route 3 corridor has distinct advantages over other areas around the country, such as the percentage of direct jobs in manufacturing, transportation and warehousing that greatly eclipse the regional and national averages. More than 20 types of manufacturing operations are present in the corridor, delivering a location quotient of 1.26 or more and indicating a noteworthy regional concentration. 

“These concentrations and logistical connections make it a unique asset in the Midwest from a site selection point of view,” said Doug Rasmussen, CEO and Managing Principal of Steadfast City Economic & Community Partners, the author of a recently completed economic impact study on the Illinois Route 3 corridor. 

The region’s robust aviation sector also made headlines in 2022 as the directors of five of the busiest airports in the bi-state area gathered for a forum that spotlighted not only the unique collaboration that exists between them, but also their collective impact on the St. Louis region’s economy. The event revealed that St. Louis Lambert International Airport and Spirit of St. Louis Airport in eastern Missouri and MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, St. Louis Downtown Airport and St. Louis Regional Airport in southwestern Illinois have a combined annual economic impact that exceeds $10 million. Between all five the airports and their tenants, they employ 36,500 individuals, a number that is set to grow in the coming year as major tenants such as Gulfstream and West Star Aviation expand their operations in the region. In other aviation related news, Lufthansa Airlines launched direct flights from St. Louis Lambert International Airport to Frankfurt Germany in June, marking the return of direct service to Europe for the first time in 20 years.

In May 2022, the St. Louis Regional Freightway hosted the 5th annual FreightWeekSTL, which delivered a wealth of great content spotlighting a series of innovations, investments and partnerships that will make national and global freight movements more efficient. The week-long conference highlighted the St. Louis region’s role in those initiatives and reinforced that one location with global access makes this region a logistics and manufacturing hub primed for continued growth. Highlights can be found at, where plans for FreightWeekSTL 2023 will also be shared in the coming weeks.

About St. Louis Regional Freightway  

A Bi-State Development enterprise, the St. Louis Regional Freightway is a regional freight district and comprehensive authority for freight operations and opportunities within eight counties in southwestern Illinois and eastern Missouri, which comprise the St. Louis metropolitan area. Public sector and private industry businesses are partnering with the St. Louis Regional Freightway to establish the bi-state region as one of the premier multimodal freight hubs and distribution centers in the United States through marketing and advocacy for infrastructure development that supports the movement of freight. To learn more, visit  

Electrical Connection Supports “Shop with a Cop” Programs

Rural and urban “Shop with a Cop” holiday giving programs are again getting support from the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership.  The partnership has been supporting the St. Francois County “Shop with a Cop” for 27 years.  In 2016, it supported the relaunch of a similar program in Ferguson, Mo. and has supported it ever since.   Both programs received a $5,000 donation to help law enforcement purchase holiday gifts for children that they would not otherwise receive.  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).

Danny Miller, COO of Total Electric, first engaged the Electrical Connection in 1995 in the St. Francois County “Shop with a Cop” program.  Total Electric has supported the program for 30 years since its inception.  Today, it has grown to become one of the largest in the nation and served more than 500 children this year.  On December 16, 2022, law enforcement and first responders from throughout the state gathered at the Wal-Mart in Farmington, Mo. to take the children holiday shopping.   

 “Especially in this day and age, it is inspiring to see communities come together through ‘Shop with a Cop’ to brighten the holidays for families in need,” noted Miller. “But more than that, it is an enduring law enforcement trust building program.”

“We greatly appreciate the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection’s nearly three decades of support which has allowed us to serve so many children,” said Dan Bullock, St. Francois County Sheriff.  To date, the Electrical Connection has donated $89,000 to the St. Francois County ‘Shop with a Cop’

The Ferguson “Shop with a Cop,” which the Electrical Connection has provided $35,000 in support since 2016, was held on Dec. 21, 2022. It served 27 children. Parents arrived at the Ferguson Police Department at 222 S. Florissant Rd. to pick up gifts for their children from law enforcement.

“Our workforce and contractors live and work in St. Louis and communities throughout eastern Missouri,” noted Frank Jacobs, business manager, IBEW. “It has long been a basic tenet that our service goes beyond the construction and maintenance of electrical and communication technology infrastructure. Programs like ‘Shop with a Cop’ allow us to support the less fortunate in the communities we serve.”   

The Electrical Connection represents 135 IBEW-signatory electrical contractors and more than 5,000 highly skilled IBEW electricians and communication technicians.  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

Three-Fourths of Metros Add Jobs in November; Population Growth Rebounds


Submitted by the AGC

Construction employment, not seasonally adjusted, rose from November 2021 to November 2022 in 258 (75%) of the 358 metro areas (including divisions of larger metros) for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) posts construction employment data, fell in 45 (13%) and was unchanged in 55, according to an analysis AGC released on Wednesday. (BLS reports combined totals for mining, logging, and construction in most metro areas, to avoid disclosing data about industries with few employers. AGC treats the changes as being solely from construction.) Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land again added the most jobs (18,500 construction jobs, 9%), followed by the Dallas-Plano-Irving division (13,500 combined jobs, 9%); Seattle-Bellevue-Everett division (10,400 construction jobs, 10%); and the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale (9,400 construction jobs, 7%). The largest percentage gain occurred Provo-Orem, Utah (23%, 6,400 combined jobs), followed by gains of 15% each in Anchorage, Alaska (1,400 construction jobs), Kankakee, Ill. (200 combined jobs), Grants Pass, Ore. (200 construction jobs) and Providence-Warwick, R.I. (4,000 construction jobs). The largest numerical and percentage losses again occurred in Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (-8,500 construction jobs, -10%) and Richmond, Va. (-3,300 combined jobs, -8%), followed by Camden, N.J. (-1,700 combined jobs, -7%).

U.S. population growth between July 1, 2021 and July 1, 2022 rebounded to 0.38% from a record-low 0.16% in the previous 12 months, but growth was limited to fewer states, the Census Bureau reported on Thursday. Population changes over time are a major contributor to demand for numerous types of construction, funding for public construction, and supply of potential construction workers. Net international migration nearly tripled to 1.01 million, which, “coupled with the largest year-over-year increase in total births since 2007, is behind this increase.” Population increased in 32 states and the District of Columbia, compared to 35 states with increases the previous year. Florida’s population grew by 1.9% (416,754 residents and up from 1.1% in 2021) and was, for “the first time since 1957,…the state with the largest percent increase in population.” Florida had the largest increase in growth rate from 2021 and the second-largest numerical gain, after Texas (470,708, 1.6%, up from 1.1%), an AGC analysis showed. Growth accelerated—another indicator of potential demand for construction—in 26 states and D.C. and slowed in 24 states. Among 18 states with population losses, New York had the largest numerical and percentage declines (-180,341, -0.9%). Idaho had the largest slowdown (from 3.0% to 1.8%) but still had the second-fastest growth rate.

Total construction starts fell 18% from October at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, Dodge Construction Network reported on Monday. Nonresidential building starts plunged 25% (including commercial, -33%; institutional, -12%; and manufacturing, -69%). Nonbuilding starts tumbled 21% (highway and bridge, -32%; utility/gas plants up 3%; environmental public works, -7%; and miscellaneous, -30%). Residential starts fell 5% (single-family, -9%, and multifamily, up 1%).

Housing starts (units) in November dipped 0.5% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate from the October rate and 16% y/y, the Census Bureau reported on Tuesday. Single-family starts fell 4.1% for the month and 32% y/y. Multifamily (five or more units) starts climbed 4.8% for the month and 25% y/y. Residential permits slumped 11% for the month and 22% y/y. Single-family permits declined for the ninth-straight month, by 7.1% from October and 30% y/y. Multifamily permits decreased 18% for the month and 11% y/y. There were 915,000 multifamily units under construction in November, the most since 1983, but the drop in permits suggests multifamily construction will shrink once current projects finish.

Two academic studies published this year, discussed in the education newsletter Hechinger Report on September 19, document the value of well-designed career and technical education (CTE), at least in Massachusetts. One study analyzed the earnings of Massachusetts high school students in the first seven years after graduation from either a CTE program or a traditional high school. All 10 CTE programs led to higher earnings each year than what non-CTE students earned. Construction CTE students had the largest increment: $3000 more than traditional grads in the first year and $7700 more after seven years. Another study finds that “the public gains between $56,500 to $113,900 in higher earnings and reduced welfare expenditures for each vocational high school student in Massachusetts. But in Connecticut, the benefits were much smaller—only about $10,000. New Jersey and Delaware run costlier vocational programs and more analysis is needed to see if they are paying off.”

Jeff Limbaugh Elected SIBA President


Effective January 1, 2023, Jeff Limbaugh, Limbaugh Construction Co., Inc., Granite City, Illinois was elected as President of the Southern Illinois Builders Association.

Other officers for 2023 are:  First Vice President – Scott Plocher, Plocher Construction Company, Inc., Highland, Illinois; Second Vice President – Richard Boyer, Boyer Fire Protection, St. Louis, Missouri; and Secretary/Treasurer – Matt Fricke, Warning Lites of Southern Illinois, East St. Louis, Illinois.

Three year Directors elected were:  Matt Gardner, Luhr Crosby, L.L.C., Columbia, Illinois; Gregg Korte, Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc., Highland, Illinois; Tom Lavelle, Keller Construction, Inc., Glen Carbon, Illinois; Jason Litteken, Litteken Construction, Breese, Illinois; Dave Murray, Samron Midwest Contracting, Murphysboro, Illinois; Andy Poirot, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., Collinsville, Illinois; and Scott Harding, SCI Engineering, Inc., O’Fallon, Illinois.

SIBA Staff Members:  Donna Richter, Chief Executive Officer; Jennifer Jung, Executive Secretary; John Holt, Director of Safety and Education; Shari Schutzenhofer, Administrative Assistant; Stephanie Foster, Administrative Assistant; Brittney Harneck, Administrative Assistant; and Tim Adams, Administrative Assistant.

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.

Input Costs Mixed in November; 38 States Add Jobs


Contractors’ input costs were mixed again in November, as decreases in fuel, lumber, steel, and aluminum costs outweighed increased prices for copper, glass, and trucking, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data posted on December 9. The producer price index (PPI) for material and service inputs to new nonresidential construction declined 0.4% for the month. The index rose 10.1% year-over-year (y/y)—markedly more than the 7.1% increase in the consumer price index, the most widely watched measure of inflation. The PPI for inputs to new residential construction slipped 0.2% for the month but increased 9.2% y/y. There were notable one-month declines in PPIs for diesel fuel (-3.4%, but up 60% y/y), lumber and plywood (-3.1% for the month and -5.8% y/y), steel mill products (-3.0% and -27%, respectively), and aluminum mill shapes (-1.9% and -13%). The PPI increased by more than 1% from October for copper and brass mill shapes (5.4% but down 7.8% y/y), flat glass (1.5% for the month and 12% y/y), and truck transportation of freight (1.1% and 11%, respectively). Other items that contributed to the double-digit y/y increase in input costs include architectural coatings (unchanged for the month but up 26% y/y), paving mixtures and blocks (-0.9% and 20%), gypsum building materials (0.4% and 18%), concrete products (0.8% and 14%), insulation materials (-0.2% and 14%), asphalt felts and coatings (0.6% and 12%), and plastic construction products (-0.5% and 11%). In addition, indexes rose at double-digit rates for new, repair, and maintenance work by subcontractors: roofing contractors (0 and 21%), plumbing (0.3% and 15%), electrical (0.1% and 14%), and concrete contractors (0.3% and 11%). 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—rose 0.2% for the month and 19.8% y/y. AGC posted tables of construction PPIs. The December edition of AGC’s Construction Inflation Alert discusses materials costs (through October), supply chain, and labor availability challenges for contractors.

Seasonally adjusted construction employment rose from October to November in 38 states, declined in eight states, and was flat in four states and the District of Columbia, according to AGC’s analysis of data BLS posted today. Florida added the most construction jobs over the month (5,400, 0.9%), followed by Ohio (4,800, 2.0%), Louisiana (3,400, 2.7%), and Michigan (3,300, 1.8%). Rhode Island had the largest percentage gain (3.6%, 800 jobs), followed by Nebraska (3.3%, 2,000), Louisiana, Ohio, and Vermont (2.0%, 300). Texas lost the most jobs in November (-3,900, -0.5%), followed by Colorado (-3,400, -1.8%), Minnesota (-1,300, -1.8%), and South Carolina (-700, -0.7%). Colorado and Minnesota had the largest percentage loss, followed by New Mexico (-0.7%, -400) and South Carolina. Compared to November 2021, construction employment last month was higher in 42 states and lower in eight states and D.C. California added the most jobs y/y (37,200, 4.2%), followed by Texas (29,200, 3.9%) and Florida (22,600, 3.9%). The top percentage gains were in North Dakota (16%, 4,000 jobs), Rhode Island (13%, 2,700), and Utah (12%, 14,500). South Carolina lost the largest number and percentage of construction jobs y/y (-4,700, -4.5%), followed by New Jersey (-4,600, -2.9%). (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 (i.e., not inflation-adjusted) in November plunged 18% y/y, data firm ConstructConnect reported today. Nonresidential building starts slumped 17% y/y, not seasonally adjusted, with institutional starts up 7.0%, industrial (manufacturing) starts down 9.9%, and commercial starts down 40%. Engineering (civil) starts climbed 5.8% y/y, with roads up 4.5%, water/sewage up 14%, bridges down 21%, dams/marine down 22%, power and miscellaneous civil up 46%, and airports up 42%. Residential starts plummeted 28% y/y, with single-family down 20% and apartments down 45%.

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) registered a score of 46.6 in November, down from 47.7 in October and the second-straight reading below 50 since January 2021, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported on Wednesday. AIA calls the index “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 below 50 means more firms reported decreased billings than increased billings. Readings for practice specialties (based on three-month averages) varied: mixed practice, 51.5 (up from 51.4 in October); institutional, 47.7 (down from 51.5); residential (mainly multifamily), 46.1 (down from 46.3); and commercial/industrial, 44.2 (down from 45.4).

“Year-to-date [YTD], ending in October, the total number of multifamily permits issued nationwide reached 575,671,” 17% more than in January-October 2021,” the National Association of Home Builders posted today, based on Census Bureau data. “Between October 2021 YTD and October 2022 YTD, 39 states and the District of Columbia recorded growth, while 11 states recorded a decline in multifamily permits. Georgia led the way with a sharp rise (168.7%) in multifamily permits from 9,237 to 24,818 while Delaware had the largest decline of 61.5% from 968 to 373.”

Electrical Connection Hosts U.S. Probation Officers Holiday Giving Program at IBEW Union Hall


Families Served by the Justice System Enjoy Dinner & Holiday Gifts

           The IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership hosted a special holiday celebration for families served by the justice system – one that also opens potential career opportunities.  More than 100 families served by the United States District Court Eastern District of Missouri, Probation Division received holiday gifts as the Electrical Connection again supported the division’s holiday gift giving program. And like last year, the event was hosted by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 at its union hallat 5850 Elizabeth Ave.  IBEW Local 1 and St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) partner to form the Electrical Connection.

            The December 15, 2022 event was for families with a parent or parents awaiting sentencing or on probation in justice system.  It featured a sit-down dinner for families, including about 300 children.  The event included turkey giveaways, toys and warm coats for children, and a visit from Santa.  But it also offered the potential of exploring a new career upon exiting the probation at the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center next door. 

            “We were happy to host again this year, but we also wanted to plant a seed that with dedication and hard work we can offer a career pathway as a skilled IBEW electrician or communication technician,” noted IBEW Business Manager Frank Jacobs.  For more than 75 years the training center has produced more highly skilled and safe electricians and communication technicians than any other program in the state.

“Our annual holiday giving event is a celebration of the future as families served by our justice system are reunited,” noted Lisa White, supervising U.S. probation officer.  “We are grateful that the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection not only hosts our families, but energizes with the prospects of a bright future in the electrical industry.”  The Electrical Connection also donated $2,500 to support the holiday gift giving program.

            “This is the fifth year that our IBEW/NECA partnership has supported the U.S. Probation Officers holiday giving program,” noted Kyle McKenna, executive vice president, St. Louis Chapter NECA. “In an era that is witnessing the electrification of everything, we are changing the world through our training program and there are many opportunities for those inspired to be part of that change.”

            The holiday giving event is part of the U.S Probation Office’s Family Program an innovative approach to rehabilitation. It is a holistic and family inclusion led by Lisa White and Clark E. Porter, MSW, an ex-felon himself, who is now a program support specialist for United States District Court Eastern District of Missouri.   The U.S Probation Office offers substance abuse treatment, community service, employment assistance, and support for ex-offenders to reduce recidivism and reorient their lives to give greater purpose beneficial to society.  Learn more about Porter and Project Re-Direct in this video.

            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

American Concrete Pavement Association Announces 2022 Lifetime Achievement and Distinguished Service Awards


The American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) is pleased to announce the winners of several prestigious industry awards, presented alongside the Excellence in Concrete Pavement Awards at their Annual Meeting held Nov. 29 – Dec. 1, 2022 in Nashville, Tenn.

Following are details for the four awards:

The Hartmann-Hirschman-Egan Award is the most coveted award presented by the ACPA. First presented in 1968, this award was originally named in honor of Harold W. Hartmann, the Association’s secretary-treasurer from 1964 until 1974. In 1987, Robert E. Hirschman’s name was added in recognition of his term as the Association’s chairman (then president) in 1967, as well as his tenure as secretary-treasurer from 1975 to 1987. In 2007, the name of Edward A. Egan was added for his service as ACPA’s chairman in 1986, as well as secretary-treasurer from 1988 to 2007. The award recognizes individuals or organizations for unparalleled commitment, dedication, participation, and leadership in the concrete pavement community.

The 2022 Hartmann-Hirschman-Egan Award winner is Stephen Jackson of Cedar Valley Corporation (CVC). For nearly 50 years, the concrete paving industry has benefited from Jackson’s exceptional career with Jackson Construction Company and CVC. Under his leadership, CVC has been routinely recognized for outstanding quality, innovation, and the consistent construction of smooth concrete pavements. In a range of leadership positions – including service as ACPA’s 2016 Chairman of the Board – his contributions went above and beyond the call of duty. Jackson’s passionate leadership of ACPA, Iowa Concrete Paving Association committees, and other industry and professional organizations stands as a testament to his dedication to the concrete pavement industry.

The Harold Halm Presidential Award is named in honor of ACPA’s first President, and this prestigious recognition is awarded at the discretion of ACPA’s President to an individual who has made significant contributions to the concrete pavement industry.

Jim Mack, Director of Market Development at CEMEX, received the Presidential Award this year for his tireless advocacy for the concrete pavement industry and his unparalleled work in the sustainability space. Mack is a past-Chairman of ACPA and currently serves on multiple working groups across the industry, including technical co-chair overseeing pavement research at MIT. An active member of the American Concrete Institute, Portland Cement Association, and the National Ready Mix Concrete Association, he is well-known in agency circles, particularly with Federal Highway Administration and Federal Aviation Administration. Mack’s long history of success and ongoing efforts are a testament to his dedication, grit, and determination to advance sustainability in the concrete pavement industry.

The Marlin J Knutson Award for Technical Achievement is named in honor of the second chief executive of ACPA and recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to advancing the development and implementation of technical innovations – as well as best practices – for the design and construction of concrete pavements.

This year’s recipient is Tara Cavalline, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Cavalline has brought about substantial developments in quality control of concrete paving and improved the use of recycled and waste materials. She has also been a key researcher and contributor to the Performance Engineered Mixtures advancement effort to ensure concrete durability and performance life. Cavalline was a leading contributor to the practitioner’s guide for recycling concrete pavements, which the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center published. In addition to her research efforts, she is an award-winning educator and has taught courses on materials, quality assurance in construction, sustainability, and environmental engineering. Her research and the practical application thereof have been of tremendous value to the concrete pavement industry, helping bring about quality, durability, and sustainability improvements.

The Outstanding Promoter Award is given annually to a person who has made significant contributions through promotion efforts or programs to advance the awareness, specification, and/or placement of concrete pavements. This recognition is reserved for those who have been on the front lines making a difference for our industry.

Angela Folkestad, P.E., is the Executive Director of the Colorado/Wyoming Chapter of ACPA and was selected as the 2022 Outstanding Promoter Award winner. Folkestad is a dedicated advocate for concrete pavement in Colorado and Wyoming and a nationally recognized leader on sustainability issues. Colorado is typically an early adopter of new pavement techniques and technologies, and her work, first as a pavement engineer with the Colorado/Wyoming Chapter and now as the Executive Director of the Chapter, has been crucial in shaping the trajectory of paving in the state. Duringthe last five years, she has been at the forefront of utilizing concrete overlays, portland limestone cement, in-place recycling, and performance-engineered mixtures. As one of the nominators stated, “Angela has become a leader in the field of sustainability and low-carbon concrete. She represents the industry at a very high level and is recognized as an expert in this topic. She willingly attends meetings and travels all over the country in an effort to help the industry establish where we sit nationally on this topic.” In addition to advancing national conversations, her Colorado/Wyoming Chapter has flourished. Folkestad is an active member of the Chapter/State Executive Committee, including a recent Chairmanship, and is always willing to lend her expertise and efforts to fellow Chapter/State Executives. She is an invaluable asset to the concrete pavement industry in her local states and on the national stage.

About the American Concrete Pavement Association

The American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) is the national trade association for the concrete pavement industry. ACPA’s mission is to develop and protect concrete pavement markets through education, advocacy, marketing, and industry technical leadership. ACPA’s vision is for concrete to be the pavement material of choice, benefitting communities and society within U.S. state and local economies. Founded in 1963, ACPA is the world’s largest trade association that exclusively represents the interests of those involved with the design, construction, and preservation of concrete pavements.

Electrical Connection Brings Warmth with IBEW Minority Caucus Annual Coat Drive


60 Coats for Children Delivered to the Hazelwood School District

Now in its 18th year, the IBEW Electrical Workers Minority Caucus(EWMC) coat drive continues to work with organizations to bring warmth to families in need.  On Dec 6, 2022, members of the minority caucus delivered 60 coats for children to the Hazelwood School District.  The minority caucus is part of the Electrical Connection, a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

“While our primary goal is to bring a little more winter comfort to children in need, we also hope to ‘plant the seed’ of career opportunities in the electrical trade,” noted Sylvester Taylor, director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Electrical Connection. “We hope to make an enduring difference in the communities we serve and inspire students to be difference makers themselves.”

The annual coat drive was launched in 2004 by Taylor. Since then, the IBEW Minority Caucus has given away 15,000 coats to families in need, 12,000 of them new coats.

“The district is grateful for the unwavering support and generosity of the IBEW Electrical Workers Minority Caucus, and the Electrical Connection,” said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent, Hazelwood School District. “This donation will have a lasting impact for the students that we serve.”

The Electrical Connection partnership will continue to distribute coats for children in need to various agencies throughout the winter.  

If you would like to support the coat drive, EWMC is looking for new coats or used coats in good condition that are appropriate for children up to the age of 18.  You can drop off coats at the IBEW Local 1 union hall at 5850 Elizabeth Ave. in St. Louis or you can send a donation to:​

IBEW Electrical Workers Minority Caucus, C/O Sylvester Taylor, 5850 Elizabeth Ave., St. Louis, Mo.63110

​Make the check out to “EWMC Coat Drive.”

The Electrical Connection partnership provides safe and reliable commercial, industrial and residential electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world. It is an important resource for business and civic leadership for new technology, including disruptive technologies, advancing electrical and communication infrastructure.  Learn more at

AGC Updates Inflation Alert; Construction Employment Climbs in November


Submitted by the AGC.

AGC is conducting the 2023 Hiring and Business Outlook Survey. Construction firm readers are invited to complete the survey by Friday, December 9. Results will be released in early January.

On Monday, AGC posted the December update of the Construction Inflation Alert, a 9-page document intended to inform owners, officials, and others about the materials cost, supply chain, and labor availability challenges that construction firms are experiencing.

Construction employment, seasonally adjusted, totaled a record-high 7,750,000 in November, an increase of 20,000 from the upwardly revised October total and 248,000 (3.3%) year-over-year (y/y), according to AGC’s of analysis of data the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) posted on Friday. Residential construction employment, rose by 3,900 in November (with specialty trade contractors up 5,500 and building contractors down 2,600) and 105,000 (3.4%) y/y. Nonresidential construction employment climbed by 300 for the month (building contractors, up 8,200; specialty trade contractors, up 2,800; and heavy and civil engineering construction firms, up 5,300) and 143,000 (3.2%) y/y. The number of unemployed jobseekers with construction experience fell by 76,000 (-16%) y/y to 393,000, and the industry’s unemployment rate declined up from 4.7% to 3.9% tying the 2018 rate for the lowest ever for November. Seasonally adjusted average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees in construction (craft and office) rose 6.1% y/y to $32.94 per hour. That exceeded the 5.8% increase for all such private-sector employees. The “premium” for hourly construction workers rose to 17.2% over the private sector average of $28.10 but remained considerably below the average premium in 2000-2019 of 21.5%.

“Economic activity in the services sector grew in November for the 30th month in a row,” the Institute for Supply Management reported on Monday. All 18 sectors reported an increase in prices paid. Construction (including homebuilding) is among those that reported growth (13 sectors); increases in business activity (13), new orders (12), employment (9), and order backlogs (8); and slower supplier deliveries (9 sectors). Items significant for construction reported up in price included construction services, diesel fuel (2 months in a row), and electrical components (22 months). Steel products were listed as down in price. Items listed in short supply included concrete (2 months) and transformers (3 months).

The Dodge Momentum Index rose 3.8% in November from October and 26% y/y, Dodge Construction Network reported today. The index “is a monthly measure of the initial report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.” The institutional component of the Momentum Index rose 2.7% for the month and 21% y/y. The commercial component increased 4.3% and 28%, respectively. “Commercial planning experienced a healthy increase in hotel and data center projects and modest growth in stores and office projects. While education and healthcare projects slowed in November, the institutional component remained net-positive alongside a robust increase in planning projects for government administrative buildings and religious facilities.”

“States have been seeing 20% to 40% hikes in [highway] project costs, depending on the region and materials, said Susan Howard, director of policy and government relations at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials,” the Pew Stateline newsletter reported on Wednesday. “Ohio transportation officials are getting nearly $2 billion over five years from the $1.2 trillion federal bipartisan infrastructure law. But so far, the money they’ve received ‘has largely been gobbled up by inflation,’ said Matt Bruning, spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Transportation. ‘It didn’t take all of it, but we’re pretty close to a net sum zero because of it.’”

“U.S. voters said yes to tens of billions of dollars for road-paving, school-building and other local projects” in last month’s elections, the Wall Street Journal reported on November 13. “The voters approved $57 billion out of the $63 billion in ballot measures for which results are available, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. If that 90% approval rate holds steady, the total amount of new municipal debt authorized Tuesday will come to about $90 billion, the most from any election day in the data, which goes back to 2012….Much of the money will be spent in the nation’s fast-growing South and West, with $35 billion in Texas alone, by far the most of any state.”

“CBRE’s Industrial [warehouse] Occupier Survey found that 64% overall and 81% of third-party logistics companies [3PLs] responding plan to expand their real estate footprint over the course of the next three years, in spite of economic uncertainty,” commercial real-estate firm reported on November 9. “Of these companies, 47% say that they are planning to expand by more than 10%, while 29% say they plan no change, but only 7% expect to downsize. When it comes to building more space 3PLs are in the lead with 81% planning to expand their footprint over the next three years, while 75% of both Food & Beverage, and Building Materials & Construction companies will do the same also intend to expand their real estate footprints despite supply chain disruptions, labor shortages and high occupancy costs. On the other hand,…only 25% [of manufacturers say they are] expecting to expand.”