Construction industry welcomes canceled tariffs | Drop in initial jobless claims tops economists' forecasts | The Notre Dame conundrum: Restore or replace?
May 20, 2019
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Construction industry welcomes canceled tariffs
The construction industry reacted positively to news that the US has lifted tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico -- a move the Trump administration hopes will push Congress to approve the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. "[A] widening of export opportunities for US producers that have been burdened by the tariffs should lead to an uptick in orders for construction of export-oriented manufacturing, distribution and transportation facilities," said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America.
Engineering News-Record (5/17) 
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Automatic smoke vents aid firefighters in bringing a fire under control by removing smoke, heat and gasses from a burning building. Increased visibility and air quality affords safe building evacuation and allows firefighters to enter the building to do their job. Learn more.
News & Trends
Drop in initial jobless claims tops economists' forecasts
First-time unemployment claims fell 16,000 last week to 212,000, the US Labor Department said. Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected claims to drop to 220,000.
Reuters (5/16) 
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The Notre Dame conundrum: Restore or replace?
The Notre Dame conundrum: Restore or replace?
(Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)
Those working to repair Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral have a tough decision to make: restore the medieval elements of the structure or replace them with modern materials and design. Barry Bergdoll, professor of art history at Columbia University, examines both sides of the question.
Columbia News Service (Columbia University) (5/20) 
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Tenn. pre-apprenticeship program helps students prepare for trades
A two-year state grant awarded to Tennessee's Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training program will allow up to 200 Memphis-area students to receive training in construction trades in 2020. The after-school program will expand to support around 800 students during its third year.
Chalkbeat (5/14) 
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Innovation and Tech
London's Wimbledon debuts second retractable roof
London's Wimbledon debuts second retractable roof
(Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
After three years of construction, the retractable roof over No. 1 Court at Wimbledon Stadium in London was shown off to the public during a celebration event this weekend. The roof, similar to the one covering Centre Court, was leak-free during a rainstorm that day.
The Times (London) (tiered subscription model) (5/19) 
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Energy & the Environment
Researchers combine interests to study green infrastructure
Three professors at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville have combined their expertise in plants, environmental engineering, stormwater and energy to study ways to develop and maintain green infrastructure. One of their projects looked at the effect of high-speed winds on green roofs.
Edwardsville Intelligencer (Ill.) (5/16) 
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London college reveals biosolar panels for rooftops
Students at Imperial College London unveiled biosolar panels, which are placed on rooftops and covered with microscopic organisms. The organisms remove carbon dioxide from the air and produce fresh oxygen.
Fast Company online (5/1) 
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In the Office
Experts weigh in on the future of the workforce
Experts weigh in on the future of the workforce
The way business, government and education come together to navigate changes in technology and the economy will affect the workforce, a panel of experts said at the Workers and the Innovation Age event. Panelists also discussed the skills gap, growth in the gig economy and the impact of automation.
The Hill (5/16) 
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4 steps to being better at empathy
Leaders have a number of ways to become more empathetic, including appreciating the perspectives of others, expanding their own horizons and listening deeply without getting overwhelmed, writes Pamela McLean. "Whether we over-empathize and care too much, or completely miss the opportunity to connect with empathy, the result is similar -- we miss the opportunity to build a working relationship," she writes.
SmartBrief/Leadership (5/16) 
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Hot Topics
Government & Regulatory
OSHA releases final rule on 14 provisions
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released a final rule regarding 14 provisions in construction standards and record keeping, among other areas. One revision removes employers' requirements to "include an employee's social security number (SSN) on exposure monitoring, medical surveillance, and other records."
Occupational Health & Safety (5/14) 
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RT3 Thought Leadership
Construction robotics market expected to reach $226 million by 2025
Construction robotics market expected to reach $226 million by 2025
A new report released by market intelligence firm Tractica shows that a growing number of construction companies are incorporating robots to solve the challenges of increasing productivity, efficiency and profits without adding workers. It forecasts that more than 7,000 construction robots will be in use on sites to handle a variety of construction tasks and demolition work. Read more.
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If you only think about your own advancement, your own success, you run out of fuel pretty quickly. But if we believed in something bigger than ourselves, that kind of motivation is self-sustaining.
Elaine Chao,
US secretary of transportation

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

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