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Donald R. Carmody, Co-Founder and Principal of Carmody MacDonald P.C., Remembered

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Donald R. Carmody, founder and long-time principal at St. Louis-based law firm Carmody MacDonald P.C., died peacefully on December 19, 2021, from cancer. He was 79 years old. Don is survived by his wife Pat, three sons, three grandchildren, and countless close personal friends.

“We are deeply saddened by Don’s passing. He will be greatly missed by everyone at our firm as well as his many friends and clients,” said Jerry Carmody, Don’s brother and law partner. “In addition to being a great lawyer and mentor, Don built the firm by cultivating personal relationships and forming lasting friendships. He greatly influenced the culture of unity and dedication to excellence that is the core of our firm’s identity today.”

Don founded Carmody MacDonald in 1981 with Leo MacDonald, Sr., Jack Hilton, and Tim Wolf.  Since its founding, and with Don’s leadership, the firm has grown to become one of the largest single-office law firms in St. Louis with 85 employees, including 55 attorneys.

            Don received his Bachelor of Science degree from Spring Hill College in 1964 and his law degree in 1967 from the University of Missouri – Columbia. He concentrated his practice in business law, banking and finance, and real estate.  He served as lead counsel in many complicated real estate transactions and was the lead litigator in a variety of trial and appellate court cases. For over a decade, Don appeared on the list of Best Lawyers in America and in 2018 he received the inaugural ICON Award from Missouri Lawyers Weekly in recognition of his exemplary career and longstanding commitment to the Missouri legal community.

Don served as vice chairman of a Missouri banking corporation and was a Past Chairman of the Bar Association’s Legal Issues Affecting the Disabled Committee. In the early 1980s, he received the St. Louis Grand Jury Good Citizenship Award for assisting police in apprehending a hit-and-run drunk driver who had struck a pedestrian.

He had a passion for serving his church and for helping families.  He served as an Ambassador with St. Louis Healthy Families and as a board member of the Missouri Family Policy Council.  Don was also a member and Past President of Legatus, an international association of high-level Catholic business leaders and laypersons exploring the intersection of faith and business as they live their Catholic identity. 

Outside of law and serving the community, he was honored to be inducted into the Chaminade College Preparatory School Sports Hall of Fame in 2016 for his outstanding achievements as a student-athlete.

For more information on Carmody MacDonald, visit www.carmodymacdonald.com.

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Construction Lending: Positive Outlook Despite Pandemic Problems

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By JOSEPH D. PALUMBO

Joseph Palumbo

Lockdowns and other COVID-19-related shifts in societal norms have changed the landscape of commercial construction and proved challenging for contractors and lenders alike over the course of the past 20 months.

It is well documented that the construction industry is facing increased costs and uncertainty resulting from supply chain issues, tariffs and shortages in skilled labor and materials. The prices of steel and lumber continue to be volatile, and they are also affecting the costs of fabricated materials and equipment. Natural gas, crude oil and other energy materials are rising in cost as well. In addition, difficulties finding and retaining skilled workers are compounding the industry’s issues and causing frequent disruptions. All these factors can make it difficult to complete open projects and harder to predict capacity to take on new projects, leaving some developments crawling and others with uncertain start dates.

The lending industry is dealing with its own pandemic challenges, including a rise in loan defaults in certain sections, restrictions mandated by foreclosure moratoriums and additional regulatory concerns. While new options for borrowers provided by the CARES Act like the Paycheck Protection Program certainly helped banks weather the COVID storm, banks still face a number of challenges including regulatory scrutiny and an economic environment that is quickly changing.

Construction Lending Amidst the Onset of the Pandemic

In early 2020, at the outset of the pandemic, the lending industry revisited underwriting requirements and became more selective. Lenders scrutinized builders’ track records and capacity to take on projects more than ever before. Some became reluctant to fund new projects given widespread shutdowns and societal impacts caused by COVID-19. Creditors and regulators also started paying more attention to construction budgets, especially the amounts reserved for contingencies, to ensure projects had the cash needed to reach completion. Traditional conditions precedent to lending like loan-to-value ratios were conservatively adjusted to take non-traditional factors such as the pandemic into account, and banks at times asked borrowers to invest more cash up front to evidence their continued commitment to projects. Consequently, loan applications for certain types of developments that were commonly approved prior to the pandemic were no longer universally accepted. For instance, projects involving land acquisitions became too risky for some lenders. Others continued to fund land acquisitions, but only if the projects were located in their primary footprint and the land was shovel ready.

Current Construction Lending Trends

By the end of 2020, the world began to accept the pandemic’s presence. The vaccine rollout had a positive effect on consumer and business confidence, which increased confidence in the economy overall. As a result, the lending industry reverted to a more normalized lending environment. Today, banks are largely healthy, and they have cash to loan. Construction lending is not without challenges, however.

The emergence of e-commerce markets and the growing acceptance of working remotely have led to decreased demand for conventional office and retail space. Though analysts predicted the shift for years, social distancing requirements accelerated its arrival. Some businesses are scrapping storefronts and in-person collaboration spaces altogether, seemingly authoring a negative construction narrative for the foreseeable future, at least in these segments. The good news, however, is that there has been a surge in demand for industrial warehouses and distribution centers. These developments typically produce the strongest rents, which make them some of the easiest projects to finance – something not lost on the lending industry.

Post-Pandemic Projections

So, what happens next? That question might as well be filed next to “When will the pandemic end?” We just can’t know for sure. What we do know is lenders must continue lending and, as always, they want to get more good loans on their books. There are business opportunities for those able and willing to adapt and embrace change, and more post-pandemic prospects appear to be on the horizon. Lenders of all sizes are still involved in a range of construction activities, and with good reason. Many lenders are reporting stable or increased growth in construction lending, and despite the early difficulties outlined above, the construction sector’s overall outlook remains strong. Experts expect the construction industry to grow faster than manufacturing and service industries, and analysts are forecasting it will be a key component of the nation’s continuing economic recovery.

Nobody can say for sure when, or even if, the world will return to pre-pandemic norms. Navigating a global pandemic is something no one alive today has experienced, and we are all learning as we go. One thing is certain, though: Lenders are looking for stability. They are aiming to reach markets with promising economic factors, and commercial construction appears to be a good place to start.

Joseph D. Palumbo is an attorney with Carmody MacDonald in St. Louis. He focuses his practice in the areas of commercial lending, real estate, business law and financial restructuring. Palumbo can be reached at jdp@carmodymacdonald.com or at 314.854.8615.

This column is for informational purposes only. Nothing herein should be considered legal advice or as creating an attorney-client relationship. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements. 

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No Manpower, No Materials, No Sales: Get Back Out There and Stay Out There

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By TOM WOODCOCK

Tom Woodcock

Well, here we are. Cargo ships floating outside ports, labor sitting in their basements eating potato chips and funding for projects slowing down.

What’s a company to do?

Throw in inflationary pricing, and you have a recipe for a significant construction slowdown. Oh, you may only see a trickle of a slowdown at this point, but it’s coming, my friend. I’ve seen this movie before. The question is: Will you survive it or even thrive in it?

The last economic downturn around 2006, 2007 and 2008 produced a construction vacuum that caused many contractors to downsize or even go completely out of business. The bid volume decreased dramatically, and owners realized they’d better get to selling.

Business for me, however, was great! Those were some of our best revenue years. I loved getting the calls saying, “Please come teach my people how to sell” and “How soon can you get here?” Problem being, it was too late.

I sounded the alarm then as I am sounding it now. Feel free to go back into the St. Louis CNR archives and you can find my warning pieces. The point is this: You should never stop selling and improving in your sales approach. Tied to this is the absolute necessity of staying relevant with your marketing. Remember: Marketing is NOT sales and sales is NOT marketing. They are twin siblings, but with different personalities. Simply increasing your marketing spend without a defined sales strategy can be extremely wasteful.

As I work with clients, I’m putting a strong emphasis on sales activity – especially now that things are opening up post-pandemic. See as many customers and potential customers as possible. Go to association events as they are beginning to become scheduled. Go to happy hours, coffee meetings and awards programs. To maintain your current revenue levels, you’ll need to add a targeted number of new customers. It’s a mistake to assume you’ll repeat a good performance year when all economic indicators suggest there’s a brick wall ahead.

For those of you who think I’m crying wolf, why risk it? You should be working a continuous sales strategy anyway. The biggest indicator is what is happening in the funding world. See, without funds projects don’t happen. If investors feel it’s not economical to build a facility because material costs are too high, lead times are too long or ROI won’t be strong enough, they won’t invest. You may have even received a bid package or been assured the project is going to go, then poof! On hold. By widening your customer base, you can head off a slowing economy. If you have an extremely high sales effort, you may even grow. Waiting for government spending to kick in is wishful thinking. Also, the competitive nature of those projects – combined with the red tape – don’t exactly make them home-run jobs.

Positioning yourself with customers in a way that gains you awareness of viable projects and inside information on winning the deal can spell the difference between success and failure. Now is the time to set an aggressive sales schedule, select customer targets and develop your strategy. If you’ve never done this before, you need help. Having a true sales structure is not simply figuring out how to get people to lunch.

There’s much more to it. The one constant in the construction industry is the fact that very few companies put together a consistent sales effort. Those who take the time to do so will reap the reward. The harder you work at sales, the more you’re in the right place at the right time. That doesn’t happen by accident. There’s a reason successful people just seem to fall into projects or appear to be everywhere. It’ simply because they are everywhere! A lot of what I do is push clients to get out there and stay out there amongst their clientele.

Not all of them are excited about doing sales work, but the ones who stick with it see the results. These are those individuals and companies who don’t tend to focus on cutting costs to stay profitable. Eventually you can’t cut anymore, and your customer will start to see a decline in your ability to perform. I think a better description of that is a sales death spiral.

Tom Woodcock, president of seal the deal, is a speaker and trainer for the construction industry nationwide. He can be reached via his website,  www.tomwoodcocksealthedeal.com, or at 314.775.9217.

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Home Builders Association Donates $15,000 to Pony Bird, Inc.

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On behalf of the Home Builders Charitable Foundation (HBCF), 2021 HBA President Bill Wannstedt (Consort Homes) (left) presented a $15,000 donation to Pony Bird president/CEO Sara Sucharski and director of development Jennifer Adams.

The donation will be used to replace windows in the organization’s Mapaville Home, one of six residential group homes in the St. Louis area for non-ambulatory individuals of all ages with significant intellectual and physical disabilities. Pony Bird provides residential care just like a family would. Individuals enjoy learning, activities, community outings, and therapy services empowering them to live their best possible lives.

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

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Home Builders Association Donates $15,933 to Marygrove

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On behalf of the Home Builders Charitable Foundation (HBCF), 2021 HBA President Bill Wannstedt (Consort Homes) (left) presented a $15,933 donation to Marygrove chief development officer Courtney Noto.

The donation will be used to replace and reinstall kitchen cabinets in a transitional living home for 12 young women who are working toward achieving independence. Marygrove serves approximately 200 children and young adults each day (approximately 1,000 each year) who are struggling with behavioral, emotional or other mental health issues. These challenges are often the result of abuse, neglect or other early childhood traumas. The desired outcome for each child is to learn how to manage their mental health condition and develop life skills so they can move to a less restrictive environment.

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

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U.S. House Passes the “Build Back Better Act”

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Submitted by Schmersahl Treloar & Co

 

The House vote came after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its score on the legislation on Nov. 18. The CBO estimates that the legislation will increase the deficit by $367 billion over a 10-year period.

However, the CBO score doesn’t take into account any additional revenues generated by improved compliance with federal tax laws. The BBBA allocates $80 billion for the IRS to heighten enforcement (which the CBO did include in its calculation), likely to target primarily high-wealth individuals, businesses and overseas transactions. The U.S. Treasury Department “conservatively” estimates increased IRS enforcement will lead to $400 billion in additional revenues over the 10-year period.

Child tax credit (CTC). The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) expanded the CTC from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child ages six through 17 and $3,600 per child under age six. The BBBA would extend the expansion through 2022.
Premium tax credits (PTCs). The ARPA expanded the availability of PTCs for health insurance purchased through Affordable Care Act exchanges (for example, Healthcare.gov) for 2021 and 2022. The BBBA would extend the expansion through 2025.

High-income surtax. The BBBA would create a 5% surtax on individuals with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) that exceeds $10 million ($5 million for married taxpayers filing separately). It adds another 3% surtax on MAGI exceeding $25 million ($12.5 million for married taxpayers filing separately). The surtax would take effect for 2022.
Net investment income tax (NIIT). The BBBA would expand the 3.8% NIIT to apply to the trade or business income of high-income individuals, regardless of whether they’re actively involved in the business. The income thresholds are over $500,000 for joint filers, over $400,000 for single filers and over $250,000 for married couples filing separately. The NIIT currently applies to business income only if the income is passive.


Retirement savings. The BBBA includes several limitations on the ability of high-income taxpayers with large retirement account balances to take advantage of certain tax breaks. For example, beginning in 2029, it would prohibit additional contributions to a Roth IRA or traditional IRA for a tax year if a taxpayer’s income exceeds a certain amount and the contributions would cause the total value of an individual’s IRA and defined contribution accounts as of the end of the prior tax year to exceed $10 million. The bill also would impose new mandatory distribution requirements on such taxpayers. But some retirement-related provisions would go into effect as soon as 2022, such as ones that would restrict and, in some circumstances, eliminate Roth conversions.


Minimum corporate tax rate. The BBBA would impose a 15% minimum tax on the profits of corporations that report more than $1 billion in profits to shareholders (book income vs. tax income), for tax years beginning after 2022.
Excess business losses. The BBBA would make permanent the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s limit on the amount of excess business losses that pass-through entities and sole proprietors can use to offset ordinary income. It also would create a new carryforward for unused excess business losses, rather than carrying them forward as net operating losses.
Excise tax on stock buybacks. The BBBA includes a 1% excise tax on the fair market value of stock buybacks by publicly traded U.S. corporations, which would be effective for repurchases after 2021.


Business interest deduction. The BBBA would add a new limit on the amount of net interest expense that certain corporations that are part of an international financial reporting group can deduct, for tax years beginning after 2022.


Moving on to the Senate

Now that the bill has been passed by the House, it still must fight its way through the Senate, where it faces additional debate. A Senate vote isn’t expected to take place until late December. Most likely the Senate will make some changes to the bill, which could include changes to some of the tax provisions. We’ll keep you apprised of the important developments.

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Tarlton Corp. Garners Top 2021 Construction Keystone Awards

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Annual awards honor highest achievements of region’s construction firms

Tarlton Corp. won top honors in the 2021 Construction Keystone Awards from the Associated General Contractors of Missouri for two separate projects – renovations on two floors at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and its work on the Michael and Quirsis Riney Primate Canopy Trails, a first-of-its kind immersive outdoor exhibit, at the Saint Louis Zoo.

For its work at St. Louis Children’s Hospital – widely considered one of America’s top children’s hospitals –Tarlton won in the General Contractor/Construction Manager/Prime Contractor Building Construction category for projects ranging from $15 million to $50 million for the complex expansion of the hospital’s Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units. Working within fully operational, occupied spaces, Tarlton expanded the hospital’s care with 43 new rooms in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit and 24 rooms in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit on Floors 5 and 8, respectively. Throughout renovation, Tarlton paid careful attention to patient safety and care, managing the work to keep adjacent patient rooms and staff areas operational. Challenges included navigating complicated medical-gas utilities, steel support structures, pneumatics and MEP systems within limited spaces. The Tarlton project team included Joseph Scarfino, Sarah Mangapora, Brian Julius, Blake Kreutzberg and Jeff Peterson.

The 35,000-square-foot Primate Canopy Trails expansion at the Saint Louis Zoo is an immersive exhibit that brings lemurs, Old World monkeys and New World monkeys into eight new outdoor habitats that encourage learning through play and exploration for the animals and Zoo visitors. Tarlton won in the General Contractor/Construction Manager/Prime Contractor Building Construction category for projects ranging under $15 million. Scope included the construction of a state-of-the-art forest canopy, overhead mesh tunnels and a winding steel boardwalk at treetop levels. On this technically complex project, Tarlton championed the management of delegated design, multiple items and systems, and coordination of multiple specialty contractors to meet cost-effective, high-quality construction. The exhibit opened in July 2021. Tarlton project team members included Scarfino, Diane Grimsley, Gregory Sweeso, Jeff Peterson, Joseph Fredrick and Jeffery Vogt.

“Recognition by the AGC of Missouri is one of the highest honors a general contractor can receive,” said Tracy Hart, president, Tarlton Corp. “We are proud of the skill, teamwork and spirit of the Tarlton teams on these exciting projects that represent top innovation and quality construction in St. Louis.”

About the Associated General Contractors of Missouri

The AGC of Missouri Keystone Award competition began in 1998 and recognizes contractors who meet and successfully resolve challenges on construction projects through innovative methods and ingenuity. The AGC of Missouri represents approximately 550 construction and construction-related firms in the state that perform building, highway and infrastructure construction. The organization provides a wide range of valuable local and national services to help members build their businesses.

Celebrating its 75th year in business in 2021, Tarlton Corp. is a WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise that provides outstanding preconstruction and construction solutions to clients in the commercial, institutional, government and non-profit, industrial, and power and energy markets. The Midwest general contractor/construction manager also has special expertise in concrete construction, restoration and maintenance. Tarlton has completed many landmark St. Louis projects and is committed to improving lives through inclusive construction, civic engagement and service to others.

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$21 Million In New Ambulatory Surgical Center Construction Completed or Underway By Kadean Construction

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Kadean Construction has completed construction of four new ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) around the country in 2021 and begun work on three more, with two additional ASCs set to break ground late this year and early in 2022, the company announced today.  Total cost of these projects is approximately $21 million and brings to 32 the total number of ASCs Kadean has built over the past eight years.

“Our ambulatory surgical center work continues to get bigger as consumer and physician demand for outpatient surgery grows across the country,” said Mike Eveler, President of Kadean Construction.  “We have now built ASCs in eight states with more on the horizon to fill this tremendous need.”

The four ASCs completed by Kadean so far in 2021 include:

  • A 7,182 square foot ASC in Gillette, WY;
  • A 7,175 square foot ASC in Lansing, MI;
  • A 6,800 square foot ASC in Crown Point, IN; and
  • A 7,370 square foot ASC in Bonita Springs, FL.

The three new ASCs now under construction include:

  • An 10,000 square foot ASC in Des Peres, MO;
  • A 9,112 square foot ASC in Chesterton, IN; and
  • An 8,121 square foot ASC in Bloomington, IN.  

Kadean is planning to break ground in the few months on two more ASCs including:

  • An 8,000 square foot ASC in Jupiter, FL; and    
  • A 7,417 square foot ASC in Viera, FL.

Construction of ASCs is an integral part of the growth strategy in Kadean’s healthcare division. With 30 years of hospital and clinical construction experience and the addition earlier this year of 20-year healthcare construction veteran Jeff Yartz, Kadean has extensive expertise in healthcare Interior Renovations (Patient Care), Infrastructure and Facility Upgrades, Equipment Replacement (Imaging), Oncology/Cancer Centers, Surgery Centers and Outpatient Treatment Facilities. The firm has a Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC) on staff through the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE).

Kadean Construction is a 58-year-old design-build focused commercial construction company specializing in pre-construction, construction management and general contracting services at the local, regional and national level in the industrial, healthcare, multifamily, cannabis, science & technology, institutional, food & beverage and commercial markets.  For more information, visit www.kadean.com

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Construction Spending Declines in September

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Employment Rises Over 12 Months In Most Metros

Submitted by the AGC.

Construction spending declined by 0.5% between August and September, but increased 7.8% year-over-year (y/y) from September 2020 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.57 trillion, the Census Bureau reported on Monday. Year-to-date spending in the first nine months of 2021 rose 7.1% from the total for January-September 2020. Private residential construction spending decreased by 0.4% for the month but soared 25% year-to-date (single-family, 37% year-to-date; multifamily, 18%; and owner-occupied improvements, 12%). Nonresidential activity slipped 0.6% for the month and 5.8% year-to-date, with a gain in only one of the 16 nonresidential categories (sewage and waste disposal, up 4.1%). Public construction spending fell 0.7% for the month and 2.4% year-to-date. The largest public segment, highway and street construction, slid 0.7% from the prior month and 1.3% year-to-date. Public education construction increased 0.9% for the month but slumped 8.3% year-to-date. Public transportation construction fell 0.7% from August and 6.8% year-to-date. Private nonresidential construction spending declined 0.6% for the month and 6.0% year-to-date. The largest private nonresidential segment (ranked by year-to-date spending)—power—fell 1.2% and 4.0%, respectively (including electric power, -2.7% year-to-date, and oil and gas field structures and pipelines, -8.3% year-to-date), followed by commercial, up 0.2% for the month and 0.6% year-to-date (including warehouse, 12% year-to-date, and retail, -13% year-to-date); manufacturing, -1.6% for the month and -0.2% year-to-date; and office, 0.1% and -9.3%, respectively. Lodging had the largest year-to-date decrease, -32%.

Construction employment, not seasonally adjusted, rose y/y from September 2020 to September 2021 in 258 (72%) of the 358 metro areas (including divisions of larger metros) for which BLS posts construction employment data, fell in 67 (19%) and was unchanged in 33, 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 assumes the construction-only changes in these areas match the combined change.) The largest losses occurred in the Nassau County-Suffolk County, N.Y. division (-6,000 combined jobs, -8%), followed by New York City (-5,500 combined jobs, -5%); New Orleans-Metairie (-3,100 construction jobs, -12%); and the Calvert-Charles-Prince George’s counties, Md. division (-3,100 combined jobs, -9%). The steepest percentage decline, -18%, occurred in Evansville, Ind.-Ky. (-1,800 combined jobs), followed by New Orleans-Metairie; Fairbanks, Alaska (-10%, -300 construction jobs) and Knoxville, Tenn. (-10%, -1,800 combined jobs). Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade added the most jobs (9,000 construction jobs, 13%), followed by the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett division (7,800 construction jobs, 8%); the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights division (6,700 construction jobs, 5%) and San Diego-Carlsbad (6,700 combined jobs, 9%). Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas had the highest percentage increase (20%, 3,300 combined jobs), followed by Sierra Vista-Douglas, Ariz. (19%, 600 combined jobs); Waterbury, Conn. (17%, 500 combined jobs); Albuquerque, N.M. (15%, 3,700 combined jobs); and Fargo, N.D.-Minn. (15%, 1,400 combined jobs). Six areas set new lows for September and 49 set new highs, in series dating in most cases to 1990.

Wages and salaries in the construction industry rose 0.3%, seasonally adjusted, in the third quarter (Q3) of 2021, compared to 1.4% in Q2 2021 and 0.3% in Q3 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Friday. Total compensation (wages, salaries, and benefits, including required employer payments) in construction also rose 0.3% in Q3 2021, compared to 1.2% Q2 2021 and 0.3% in Q3 2020. For all private industry employees, employer costs over the past quarter increased 1.6% for wages and salaries and 1.4% for total compensation. Over 12 months, compensation in construction increased 3.0%, vs. 2.4% in the previous 12 months, while compensation for the total private sector accelerated from 2.4% a year ago to 4.1% in the latest 12 months. The steeper increases in other sectors may be one reason contractors are having trouble filling jobs.

Inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (real GDP) rose 2.0% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in Q3 2021, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported on Thursday, following a 6.7% gain in Q2. Real residential investment in permanent-site structures slumped 8.4% (single-family structures, -9.4%; multifamily, -3.5%). There was a 3.0% decrease in real gross private domestic investment in nonresidential structures (commercial and health care, -8.9%; manufacturing, -14%; power and communication, -13%; other non-mining structures, -14%; but wells and mining structures, up 22%). Real government gross investment in structures declined 6.8%, including federal investment for defense structures, up 11%; nondefense structures, -2.4%; and state and local structures investment, -7.7%. The GDP price index increased 5.7%, with price indexes for nonresidential structures investment up 10.4%; residential investment, 14.0%; and government investment in structures, 9.8%.

Announcements continue to appear for materials cost increases. Nucor Buildings Group announced on October 28 that it “will increase pricing, effective November 9th, by approximately 7% +/-. Projects with buyout items such as IMP, joists, etc., will likely increase by more.” Cemex Construction Materials Houston LLC notified customers on October 26 that it “will increase our base ready-mix price by approximately $7 per cubic yard,” effective January 1. Oregon-based distributor Johnson Air Products notified customers on October 21 that several manufacturers were raising prices on ducts and other air-handling components by 5-19% between mid-October and January 1.

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Electrical Connection Brings Warmth with IBEW Minority Caucus Annual Coat Drive

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Nearly 100 Coats for Children Delivered to the Hazelwood School District

Before the winter chill grips the region, the Electrical Connection is distributing coats in the annual IBEW Electrical Workers Minority Caucus’ (EWMC) coat drive.  First stop was on Nov. 2, 2021 at the Hazelwood School District where nearly 100 coats for children were delivered by the caucus.  The district will distribute the coats to children in need. 

The annual coat drive was launched in 2004 by Sylvester Taylor, director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Electrical Connection. “At that time, the IBEW Minority Caucus was mentoring children served by a social service agency and we invited one of the children to a Cardinal October playoff game and he showed up without a coat on what was cold evening,” said Taylor. “Navigating life in our distressed neighborhoods and thinking about the future is hard enough without the basic necessities to stay warm in the winter.” Since then, the IBEW Minority Caucus has given away 15,000 coats to families in need, 11,000 of them new coats.

The Electrical Connection partnership will continue to distribute coats to various agencies to distribute to children in need throughout the fall and into 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 www.electricalconnection.org.

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