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News for contractors and the construction industry | February 27, 2013

  The Big Picture 
  • Gain a competitive edge at AGC's Convention
    The economy is showing signs of recovery, and so is the construction sector. Construction spending hit a three-year high in December, the ninth month of consecutive gains. Employment levels are rising and "private sector demand for energy, health care, higher education and residential construction is having a positive impact in a growing number of metro areas."

    As contractors, you need to be prepared for this changing environment and jump on any opportunity. But are you ready or do you need a new competitive edge? You can't rely on business as usual; instead you need to adapt, find new niches and hone your expertise. You need to know about rapidly advancing technologies that mean contractors, designers and building owners must all work together.

    When you attend AGC's 94th Annual Convention, March 6 to 9, in Palm Springs, Calif., you'll see old connections and make new ones. And as you connect, you can share ideas and insights, together finding new ways to collaborate and communicate, not just with one another, but with all stakeholders in your construction projects to come. It's not too late to register.

    Below is an outline of the distinguished guests who will appear at the convention; a look at some of the educational sessions that can give you the push you need to take on new challenges; a brief recap of some recent construction industry news; and some tips on making connections.

    Watch your inbox on Thursday, March 21, for a comprehensive recap of all of the convention's events. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
SSI Services, LLC Selects Computer Guidance's eCMS Solution
SSI Services, LLC will leverage eCMS construction ERP software in conjunction with fully integrated IBM Cognos Business Intelligence & Analytics for extensive corporate financial management and reporting. A number of eCMS applications will further be implemented to improve operational efficiency and visibility across its multiple business units. Read more here.
  Featured Speakers 
  • Dr. Peter Diamandis, founder of the X Prize Foundation
    Dr. Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of the X Prize Foundation, will speak at the Opening General Session on March 6, from 8 to 10 a.m. Diamandis counsels the world's top enterprises on how to use exponential technologies and incentivized innovation to dramatically accelerate their business objectives. Diamandis has degrees in molecular genetics, aerospace engineering and medicine. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • General Michael Hayden, former CIA director
    General Michael Hayden is the Plenary Session speaker, and will address attendees on Thursday, March 7 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Hayden is a retired four-star general who served as director of the CIA and principal deputy director of National Intelligence. As the director of the country's primary intelligence-gathering agency, he was on the frontline of geopolitical strife and the war on terrorism. Hayden is now a principal at the Chertoff Group, a security consultancy co-founded by former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Andy Stefanovich, chief curator and provocateur at Prophet
    Andy Stefanovich, chief curator and provocateur at Prophet, will speak at the National and Chapter Leadership Luncheon on Thursday, March 7 from 12:45 to 2:15 p.m. Stefanovich has earned a reputation as one of the most effective advisers in business. He has worked with GE, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, The United States Olympic Committee, and Coca-Cola Company helping them drive innovation from the inside out and driving marketplace growth. His book on innovation, "Look at More," was cited by Advertising Age as being among the "Ten Marketing Books You Should Have Read" in 2011. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Matt McFadyen, adventurer and master storyteller
    Matt McFadyen, adventurer and master storyteller will work his magic at the AGC/Willis Construction Safety Excellence Awards Breakfast on Friday, March 8 from 7 to 8:30 a.m. McFadyen talks about adventure, leadership, team work, motivation and inspiration. He's been to the North Pole and Antarctica, and has yachted on some of the deadliest oceans in the world. He pushes himself -- and others -- to test the limits of human potential. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

 ERP Implementation... Yes, It can be done on time and on budget
Most companies understand the value of an ERP platform, yet many remain reluctant to implement it because it can be lengthy and expensive if done without proper planning and resources. In this case study, learn how Skanska and Computer Guidance Corporation have partnered to deliver upon a well-defined and easily achievable ERP roadmap. Get the free white paper here.

  Educational Sessions 
  • Only a few of many
    The educational sessions below are just a few of the Convention's broader program offerings. You can find out more at the Convention website. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Construction leaders & the future of technology innovations
    Many of the leaders in construction have turned to technology to help them become more competitive, efficient and save lives. This session will attempt to identify emerging technological trends and how they can impact businesses. Participants will gain insight and learn how adopting technology can help their organizations evolve from best-in-class to world-class. Presenters include:

    • Chuck Pettinger, Ph.D., Predictive Solutions
    • Bob Fitzgerald, CSP, Southern Company - E&CS
    • Fritz Leitenberger, Zurich Insurance
    • Cindy DePrater, Turner Construction
    • Tony O'Dea, CSP, CHST, STS, Gilbane
    • Justin McElhattan, Industrial Scientific
    LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • What you need to know about P3s
    Public private partnerships or P3 projects use private money to finance public works. A P3 project can be anything from major infrastructure on down. The legal and contractual relationships in P3 projects are very different from those of traditional projects. This session will look at the questions you need to ask and the answers you'll need to provide to successfully compete in the P3 world. Speakers include:
    • Joseph West, Esq., Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
    • Michael Bock, Esq., Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP
    • Dean Thomson, Esq., Fabyanske, Westra, Hart, Thomson, PA
    • Robert MacPherson, Gibbons P.C.
    LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Enhance and manage your reputation as a leader
    Your reputation is the key to your success. It will help you find -- and keep -- a job and advance in your company. This session will explore the process of reputation management -- or personal branding -- and help you set goals, analyze gaps and enhance your career. Learn to stand out and land new projects, climb the corporate ladder, launch new businesses, and become a thought leader. Speakers include:
    • William Long, TN Ward Co.
    • Scott Butcher, JDB Engineering
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  Industry News 
  • Where are the most construction projects in 2013?
    A look at the infographic from Reed Construction Data shows that "hot spots" in construction over the coming 12 months are more prevalent in the eastern half of the U.S. than the rest of the country. However, there are also pockets in the East that show shrinking construction opportunities. The country's western half has few hot spots, but an apparent even split between expanding and shrinking spots. Reed/ACP Construction Data (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • PSE&G to invest nearly $4B to strengthen grid, gas system
    PSE&G, New Jersey's largest utility firm, wants to spend $3.9 billion during the next 10 years to strengthen its electric and gas systems against severe storms. "This is about protecting our way of life in extreme weather," PSE&G Chairman and CEO Ralph Izzo said. "Investing in a reliable and resilient energy infrastructure that is better able to withstand powerful and damaging storms like Sandy and other natural disasters will help keep New Jersey competitive and open for business," said New Jersey Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Bracken. Yahoo/The Associated Press (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Lack of skilled workers threatens residential construction
    The lack of skilled labor could threaten the construction industry as thousands of workers left the field to shift careers or to retire, according to this article. Construction shed 2.2 million jobs -- 28% of its labor pool -- between 2007 and 2011. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the industry added 28,000 jobs in January, but it has a long way to catch up as the market rebounds, particularly in the residential construction field. Forbes (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Green roof shows sustainability, biodiversity on campus
    A green roof that covers more than 3,200 square feet at the Burnley campus of the University of Melbourne aims to show Australians how it promotes sustainability and aesthetics, according to this article. The $550,000 project has foot paths, beautiful flowers and shade. It also reduces energy use, retains water and promotes biodiversity. The Age (Melbourne, Australia) (2/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Building Connections 
  • Digital mindset key to connections for all businesses
    All senior leaders in a business organization should understand and be able to leverage digital media to help ensure their companies make the connections they need to stay competitive in an increasingly mobile, social and cloud-driven world, according to Accenture's Technology Vision 2013 report. "Adopting a new digital mindset" is the key to using technology that can "drive market differentiation, deepen customer relationships and deliver growth and profitability," said Paul Daugherty, Accenture's chief technology officer. ZDNet (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Networking a challenge, not an impossibility, for introverts
    Networking to find work can be difficult for introverts but not impossible. A number of personal strategies can help to break out of the shell, including focusing on your strengths, keeping two-way channels of communication open and remembering that the occasional rejection is to be expected. (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Companies, college collaborate on apprenticeships
    In a pioneering program, U.K. college students will have a chance to take up apprenticeships with construction companies through a partnership between Redcar and Cleveland College and the training organization CITB-ConstructionSkills. "Apprenticeships are a great way for young people to learn sought-after skills, gain qualifications and earn a wage, and this collaboration ensures consistency across the learning process," said college Principal Gary Groom. The Northern Echo (U.K.) (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Can gamification spur employees to use social networks?
    Internal social networks are a powerful way to improve productivity, but they can make worker interactions more impersonal, says Badgeville executive Chandar Pattabhiram, who notes that gamification can help reverse this dehumanizing effect. When devising a gamification strategy, three things must be considered: How the game will make use of points or rewards, how the game will promote high performance and how the game will connect employees, Badgeville says. SHRM Online (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • The 2013 Construction Industry Hiring and Business Outlook
    The outlook for construction improves for 2013 as more firms plan to hire, raise bid levels and expect key private-sector markets to expand, according to survey results of a survey by the Associated General Contractors of America and Computer Guidance Corporation. "With luck and a lot of work, the hard-hit construction industry should be larger, healthier, more technologically savvy and more profitable by the end of 2013 than it is today," said Stephen Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. Take a look at the survey results. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • AGC Charities Inc. to renovate Palm Springs, Calif.-area facility for disabled during Annual Convention
    Construction charity organization AGC Charities, Inc. will renovate the facility of a Palm Springs, Calif., area-based group that supports children and adults with disabilities as part of its annual Operation Opening Doors event in March. As part of that effort, contractors will donate their time, expertise and money to make a series of improvements to the headquarters of Angel View. AGC Charities is teaming up with San Diego-based Hensel Phelps, which has volunteered to serve as the lead contractor for the charitable effort. The improvements will include transforming Angel View’s existing courtyard into an outdoor recreation area with wheelchair-accessible amenities, replacing doors and wainscot damaged by wheelchairs and installing wainscot in a new wing. Visit and watch the video to the left to learn more about the project and how you can help. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Join an AGC Chapter
    More than 30,000 firms are members of AGC of America, the leading association for the construction industry. AGC provides a full range of services satisfying the needs and concerns of its members, thereby improving the quality of construction and protecting the public interest. Find a chapter to join. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Product announcements appearing in SmartBrief are paid advertisements and do not reflect actual AGC endorsements. The news reported in SmartBrief does not necessarily reflect the official position of AGC.
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