April 20, 2021
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Industry News
Five "mini-megacities" were undergoing a construction boom right before the coronavirus pandemic. A return to those cities shows their construction markets have held up well, building on strengths that made the cities desirable in the first place.
Full Story: Construction Dive (4/19) 
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The cost of construction materials has soared in recent months. Charts detail the extent of increases across major materials, with softwood lumber, particle board, plywood, and gas and diesel fuel among the biggest climbers.
Full Story: Daily Commercial News (Ontario) (4/19) 
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Integrated Project Delivery Guide for Sheet Metal, HVAC, and Mechanical Contractors
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Trends & Technology
Companies who were unprepared for the COVID-19 lockdown last year are starting to increase their employee cybersecurity training efforts while acknowledging many remote workers still do not take security seriously enough, reports Prey, an anti-theft software firm. Prey says its survey finds most businesses were overwhelmed by the pandemic, but 88% have worked to boost their training programs.
Full Story: TechRepublic (4/16) 
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Pilot-scale industrial internet of things projects don't always succeed, but manufacturers can still identify areas ripe for change, understand how internal communication can be improved and learn other lessons, writes Martin Keenan, technical director for Avnet Abacus.
Full Story: IndustryWeek (4/15) 
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Legal, Legislative and Regulatory News
President Joe Biden said ahead of a second bipartisan discussion with lawmakers on his infrastructure plan he was "prepared to compromise, prepared to see what we can do, what we get together on." Republican lawmakers have said they want a more modest package than the $2 trillion-plus proposal from Biden.
Full Story: CNBC (4/19),  Reuters (4/19) 
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The US House of Representatives has passed The Paycheck Fairness Act, which aims to increase workplace protections for female workers and close the gender pay gap. The bill makes it illegal for employers to seek salary history information when recruiting and protects workers who discuss their salaries, while President Joe Biden said, "Closing the gender pay gap is more than just an economic imperative -- it's a moral imperative as well."
Full Story: CNBC (4/16) 
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Business Ownership
It's tempting to focus on chasing immediate results, but HVAC contractors can really benefit from a long-term, big-picture approach to marketing, Kyle Gargaro writes. Social media posts, local newspaper or television ads and community service projects can all boost an HVAC company's profile in the long run.
Full Story: Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration News (tiered subscription) (4/17) 
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