AGCMO Partnering in Prepping Inmates for Construction Careers



Thanks to a three-year workforce development grant, AGC of Missouri is partnering with the Missouri Career Center in Springfield, MO to teach construction courses to inmates statewide that will soon complete their sentences and be released to start over.

AGCMO District Representative for Southwest Missouri Charlyce Ruth says in March the AGCMO began teaching courses in heavy highway construction, manufacturing and warehousing to inmates preparing for release from correctional centers across Missouri. Those serving their time and within 20 to 180 days of being released are taking the opportunity to build skills through education in areas such as forklift operation and work zone flagging.

“We began teaching in five prisons,” said Ruth. “Now we’re teaching in nine across the state. We’re excited to be a partner with the City of Springfield and the Missouri Career Center in this three-year program that is giving inmates an opportunity to gain construction industry skills and help them change the trajectory of their lives and the lives of their families.”

AGCMO Vice President of Safety Brandon Anderson is heading up the teaching.

“It’s a completely voluntary program for inmates who are interested,” Anderson said. “We’re particularly excited about the courses we’ve gotten to teach at Chillicothe Correctional Center in Chillicothe, MO, one of only two all-female prisons in the state. Historically these inmates have only been offered administrative and cosmetology courses. This facility embraced the opportunity to offer construction industry expertise and training and their inmates have been eager to learn. Given the dire need for construction industry workers, this program offers inmates the chance to prepare to earn a living wage as soon as they’re released, and it’s bringing qualified individuals into the construction industry.”

Upon release, former inmates will have additional training opportunities via AGCMO and the Missouri Career Center. Inmates receiving training through this grant plan to return to Southwest Missouri to live and work.

For more information on the program, contact Ruth at or Anderson at


Sign of the Times: MO, IL Public Projects Draw Only One Bidder



Within the past 45 days, two major public-sector building project lettings – one in St. Louis, the other in Springfield, IL – have been left wanting for bids from contractors.

The first project, phase two of a proposed expansion to St. Louis’ downtown convention center, met with only one bidder for phase one and no bidders for phase two. The contract to build the second half of the Cervantes Convention Center expansion/modernization, estimated by city officials to cost $70.8 million, received nary a bid. Phase one of the project, awarded in early May to the only bidder – Ben Hur Construction – included approval of a $123.9 million contract with the construction firm, 65 percent higher than what the city initially budgeted.

The second project, the largest-ever renovation of the Illinois State Capitol, attracted only one bidder with a price tag that came in 43 percent over the state’s job cost estimate. Core Construction Services of Illinois Inc. was awarded the $243.5-million project, for which the state budgeted as part of a 2019 capital improvements package. Four contractors expressed interest at a pre-bid session, according project architect Andrew Aggertt, but only one firm bid on the contract.

“I am not surprised,” said Leonard Toenjes, president of the Associated General Contractors of Missouri, referencing the lack of bidders. “These longer-term projects, with inflation as it is and all the different work opportunities there are, dissuades contracting from trying to work in the public low-bid market because that carries a lot of risk, especially now.”

In contrast to private-sector construction projects, taxpayer-funded public builds don’t allow for provisions such as escalation clauses, according to Toenjes, to help minimize the risk contractors bear when there are supply chain unknowns. Private sector project agreements also frequently include flexibility in working with the project owner when diesel prices double over the course of the project timeline.

“The long-term nature of some of these projects often requires that contractors go back to owners and restructure various portions of the contract to account for dramatic cost escalations,” Toenjes said. “These candid constructor-supplier-owner conversations are often needed these days to keep a project on track. In a public low-bid, hard-bid situation, this type of flexibility often is not possible.”


8th Annual AGCMO Design & Construction Technology Conference

FacebooktwitterlinkedinmailJoin us and your colleagues at the 8th Annual AGCMO Design and Construction Technology Conference, on October 25, 2018 at the Saint Louis Science Center to learn about the latest trends in design and construction technology. For the third year in a row, we present this conference in partnership with the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers. Network with your peers and industry leaders and receive hands on experience with our unique lab sessions.


AGCMO Honors Geotechnology for Long-Time Membership and Service


FacebooktwitterlinkedinmailThe Associated General Contractors of Missouri (AGCMO) has honored Geotechnology, Inc., with an award in recognition of 50 years of membership and service within its organization.

With more than 500 member firms, AGCMO represents commercial building, heavy, highway, industrial, and infrastructure contractors across the state of Missouri.

Geotechnology, a leading provider of geotechnical and environmental engineering, geophysics, water resource management, materials testing and drilling services, was founded in 1984. Its connection with the Associated General Contractors goes back even further, however, since it acquired ANCO Testing Laboratory in 1996. At the time of the acquisition, ANCO was the largest and oldest construction materials testing company in Missouri.

“We are proud to be associated with AGCMO, an organization that includes construction professionals whose skill, partnerships and innovation make valuable contributions to our community by building the facilities that support and enhance our quality of life,” said Geotechnology President and CEO Ed Alizadeh.

Established more than 30 years ago, Geotechnology, Inc. is a professional corporation offering a comprehensive range of consulting services in applied earth and environmental sciences, including geophysics, water resource management, geotechnical and environmental engineering, materials testing and drilling. Geotechnology has provided expertise on thousands of major construction projects in the Midwest and Mid-South regions. Geotechnology is ranked #391 in ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms in 2017. Geotechnology, Inc. is based in St. Louis, Mo., and has 10 offices in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. For more information, visit

Photo: (L to R) Geotechnology’s Vice President of Business Development Rick Pershall accepts a 50-year AGCMO membership plaque from Bill Wagner, AGCMO Board Chairman.Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail