October 28, 2021
AGC SmartBrief
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Top Story
Chicago-based Pepper Construction has earned this year's top honor for innovation from the Associated General Contractors of America with an augmented- and virtual-reality solution that cancels the boredom typically associated with training. Also honored were Skiles Group of Richardson, Texas, for its crisis-management app and Maryland-based Patriot Construction for its individualized containment units for coronavirus patients.
Full Story: Construction Dive (10/27) 
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Purdue Master’s in Civil Engineering
The Purdue University Masters is ranked #2 in Best Online Master's in Civil Engineering by U.S. News and World Report, 2021. Earn your masters and enhance your skills to include practical, hands-on problems and solutions in your career. Learn more.
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Infrastructure & Project Focus
Trex is preparing to build a $400 million recycling and production site at the Port of Little Rock in Arkansas. The complex, which is expected to take five years to complete, will spread over nearly 300 acres with separate structures dedicated to decking and railing, wood storage, film recycling, administration and warehousing.
Full Story: Plastics Recycling Update (10/27) 
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The first stadium in the US devoted to a professional women's soccer club is planned in Kansas City, Mo. The team owners plan a privately financed 11,000-seat facility on the Missouri River, near downtown.
Full Story: The Associated Press (10/26) 
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The six-year capital budget for the Montgomery County, Md., Public Schools should be raised by $119 million to account for construction supply and labor shortages, said interim Superintendent Monifa McKnight. The increase would bring the total budget to $1.74 billion.
Full Story: Bethesda Magazine (Md.) (10/26) 
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Economic Update
Skanska posted an operating profit of nearly $180 million in the third quarter, an essentially flat result as the company reported gradually increasing construction activity. Looking ahead, Skanska says it is capable of dealing with disruptions in supply chains.
Full Story: Reuters (10/28) 
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Innovation & Technology
Responding to increasingly tech- and safety-savvy clients, a growing number of major contractors are adopting such solutions as job site sensors for safety and digital twin 3D modeling. Richard Korman looks at the pandemic-inspired steps taken by Pittsburgh-based Volpatt Construction in alliance with software companies venturing to serve the construction industry.
Full Story: Engineering News-Record (tiered subscription model) (10/27) 
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NCCER Curricula Leads to Portable Credentials
NCCER's curricula is competency-based and provides a solid foundation with measurable objectives. With over 6,000 NEC references, NCCER's Electrical curriculum includes updated sections on safety, new applications in lighting and additional trainee exercises. Learn more.
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Getting Ahead
A lot of work remains to be done, but this year is marking new paths for gender and racial equity in construction. There is much that companies can do to break down barriers by reaching out and being sensitive to these issues, but technology and innovation are also helping, writes Elizabeth Rosselle.
Full Story: Redshift (10/27) 
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Policy Watch
Industry groups are expressing wariness over the Biden administration's far-reaching executive order for government agencies to prioritize climate change and resiliency in their decision-making. The orders will affect policies relating to infrastructure, supply chains and many other areas, but critics are concerned about what this means for regulations and implementation.
Full Story: Engineering News-Record (tiered subscription model) (10/27) 
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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened up a public comment period as it prepares to formulate new rules for workplace heat hazards. The effort comes after data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the three-year average of worker heat-related deaths has doubled over the past three decades.
Full Story: Safety + Health (10/27),  Federal Register (10/27) 
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Association News
Each year the AGC Education and Research Foundation offers undergraduate and graduate level scholarships to students enrolled in ABET or ACCE accredited construction management or construction related engineering programs. The application opened July 1, 2021 and closes November 1, 2021. Over $10 million in scholarships have been awarded to more than 4,000 students attending colleges and universities across the country. Through endowments made by AGC members and supporters, as well as AGC Chapters, the Education and Research Foundation awards over 100 scholarships each year to students dedicated to pursuing a career in the construction industry. Apply today. If you have any questions please contact Paige Packard, Program Director, AGC Education and Research Foundation, Paige.packard@agc.org.
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AGC's Outstanding Student Chapter Awards are broken up into three categories for student chapters to be awarded for exemplary demonstration of the AGC of America tenants of Skill, Responsibility & Integrity.

OUTSTANDING STUDENT CHAPTER AWARDS:
  1. New/Emerging/Resilient AGC Student Chapter Award*
  2. Community Service Award
  3. Construction Management Skills Award
ELIGIBILTY: Project(s) must be performed during the 2020/21 academic year (August 2020 through May 2021). Projects may be performed as part of a course if student chapter members completed it as a club activity or it could be an additional club activity. Student chapter applicants can apply for more than one award. However, each award has separate eligibility guidelines (see specific applications for details). ***This year, we are adding a Resilient Chapter Award option for schools greatly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Even if a student chapter was unable to hold in-person events, they may be eligible to receive a Resilient Student Chapter award. Learn more by visiting our contest guidelines page. Questions? Contact paige.packard@agc.org.
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Winter had stretched Long chill fingers into the brown, streaming hair Of fleeing October.
Alice Dunbar Nelson,
poet, journalist, political activist
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