News

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  • January 25, 2016 9:21 AM | Cheryl Stewart (Administrator)

    The Governor has announced a new mandate on the use of DBE contractors for all WSDOT projects, beginning January 31, 2016. The news goals are statewide and effect all projects over $250,000. The proposed goals are:

    • Veteran Business, 5%
    • Minority Business Enterprise, 5.8% (with an additional 4.2% as an aspirational goal)
    • Women Business Enterprise, 2.9% (with an additional 3.1% as an aspirational goal)
    • Small Business, 5%

    Additionally, participation by contractors who qualify in more than one Business Group will only be counted towards meeting the goal of one Business Group. For example, participation by a contractor who qualifies as both a Veteran Business and a Minority Business Enterprise would accrue towards meeting the goal of either Business Group, but not both.

    These goals were announced last week with only a short time frame to submit comments. The AGC has several concerns with this program, including the availability of DBE contractors in Eastern Washington and how this will affect the costs of transportation projects. There are also several unanswered questions regarding penalties and good faith effort.

    See a full copy of the proposal here. You may contact Cheryl Stewart directly with any questions about this issue or to submit additional comments.

  • January 05, 2016 11:46 AM | Cheryl Stewart (Administrator)

    Attached you will find your 2015 National AGC Safety Awards application. I encourage all of our members to PLEASE FILL OUT & RETURN! In order to be eligible to receive an award, you must have applied for the previous 3 years. You can see that in order to be eligible, if you have not been entering, now is the time to start. This application only takes 10 Minutes to fill out and return.

    Imagine being able to use as a marketing tool “Recipient of the 2015 National AGC Safety Award.” You have worked hard to achieve your safety status, why not get the recognition you are due? The only way this can be done is to begin applying today and continue annually.

    Please take a few moments and fill out your form and return to us, so that we at the Inland Northwest AGC can proudly let others know of your great achievement.

  • January 04, 2016 12:33 PM | Cheryl Stewart (Administrator)

    This is it – it’s time to get serious about the Paid Safe & Sick Leave ordinance being considered by the Spokane City Council. The proposed policy will be heard for its first reading tonight with final reading and a vote next Monday, Jan 11. A hearing was held today by Council to discuss the policy and possible changes. The current policy, as written, offers an exemption to “those employed by firm(s) engaged in “construction work” as defined in WAC 296-155-012.” However, there was much debate today about the need for an exemption for the construction industry, if it covers all employees of a firm and if the city should consider an exemption for just CBA’s instead of an industry wide exemption.

    Spokane City Council members need to hear from us now! If your company is located in the City of Spokane or if you perform work in the city, you need to write to council today and let them know how this type of ordinance will affect your business! Below is a sample email that can be sent to council members as well as email addresses for each member. Our City Council relies heavily on the comments it receives from the community so these letter will make a significant impact.

    Below is a sample email to send to council members – please feel free to edit and add personal anecdotes. Also, if you only wish to address the “construction industry exemption”, you may just use the first 2 paragraphs:

    I am writing to express my concerns over the proposed Earned Safe and Sick Leave Policy that is currently being considered by the City Council.

    My company, _____________, (is located in / performs work in), the City of Spokane and would be directly affected by this ordinance. I understand the current ordinance exempts firms engaged in construction work and I encourage you to leave this exemption in the final ordinance. The construction industry does face several unique challenges when it comes to this type of policy and the administrative burden alone would be substantial for our company.

    However, I am also concerned that any policy that must exempt an entire industry will have other unintended consequences that may outweigh any perceived benefit. I, like most business owners in our community, do what I can to take care of my employees and I resent the implication that by not offering this benefit I don’t value my employees or their well-being. Unfortunately, the nature of our work makes this type of policy extremely difficult to implement and will limit my ability to offer other, more desired benefits to my employees.

    I strongly urge the City Council to vote against the proposed Earned Safe and Sick Leave Policy. 

    City Council Contact Information:

    Ben Stuckart, City Council President
    bstuckart@spokanecity.org

    Amber Waldref, City Council Member, District 1
    awaldref@spokanecity.org

    Mike Fagan, City Council Member, District 1
    mfagan@spokanecity.org

    Jon Snyder, City Council Member, District 2
    jsnyder@spokanecity.org

    Lori Kinnear, City Council Member, District 2
    lkinnear@spokanecity.org

    Candace Mumm, City Council Member, District 3
    cmumm@spokanecity.org

    Karen Stratton, City Council Member, District 3
    kstratton@spokanecity.org

     

    Please contact Cheryl Stewart at cstewart@nwagc.org or (509) 535-0391 with any questions or for more information. 

  • July 20, 2015 9:24 AM | Cheryl Stewart (Administrator)

    In the heat of deliberation as the Legislature worked to pass the recent $16 billion transportation package, Spokane’s share of the transportation revenue looked rather bleak. Things started out well, but took a turn when the package stalled in the State Senate. At this point, seven organizations from around Spokane took it upon themselves to make sure projects vital to the growth of the region receive necessary funding. The result of their efforts: More than a billion dollars for Spokane, connecting the North Spokane Corridor to I-90, interchange improvements on the West Plains, Barker to Harvard improvements along I-90 and much more.

    “This is such an exciting time to live and work in Spokane,” said Cheryl Stewart, Executive Director of the Inland Northwest Associated General Contractors. “This transportation package is just one more way our community is investing in itself. The Overall impact of these projects will create thousands of living wage jobs and open the doors for even more development.”

    The coalition consists of the Inland Northwest Association of General Contractors, Spokane International Airport, West Plains Chamber of Commerce, Greater Spokane Incorporated, Spokane Good Roads Association, Spokane Regional Labor Council and the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce.

    “The Spokane Area Good Roads Association has had 112 years of advocating for transportation improvements in Spokane,” said Steve Robinson, President of the Spokane Area Good Roads Association. “The new revenue package that completes the NSC has been a 60 year community effort. We commend the many supporters for unifying in this effort.”

    The biggest win for the Coalition is the North Spokane Corridor. The Legislature authorized nearly $879 million to complete connecting the NSC to I-90. Planning and design phases are underway and the final phase of the NSC should be complete by 2029.

    “We cannot thank our Legislators enough for ensuring this package includes full funding to complete the North Spokane Corridor,” said Stewart, of the Inland Northwest AGC. “This community has been advocating for this project for many years and we are now finally able to finish what we’ve started!”

    In 2017, the West Plains will see major improvement at the Medical Lake and Geiger interchanges. The $26.2 million project will increase freight mobility and improve access to undeveloped areas. Construction of the interchanges in the West Plains should be complete by the end of 2021.

    “We want to thank Sen. Baumgartner and Sen. Billig as well as Reps. Ormsby and Riccelli for their leadership to ensure that these projects were included as part of the transportation funding package,” said Al French, Chairman of the Spokane Airport Board. “The airport board is anticipating the completion of the improvement projects at Geiger and Medical Lake interchanges as it will help to unlock the development and potential of land in the vicinity of Spokane International Airport to help meet our aerospace and related industry recruitment objectives.

    Spokane Valley will also enjoy much needed improvement along I-90 from Barker to Harvard road. The $26.4 million project will increase access to approximately 500 acres of commercial development.

    “I’m excited to be part of a coalition of this caliber,” said Katherine Morgan, President and CEO of the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce. “We realize taking a regional approach allows us to impact more change together than any one of us can alone. Working together creates such a strong result.”

    Some areas of the State, like King County, are in the midst of a major economic boom. For King County, one of the side effects the economic upturn is unemployment of less than four percent. Spokane County has not been as lucky or as quick to recover from the Great Recession. As of May, local unemployment numbers are much higher and, in some cases, almost double that of Puget Sound.

    “From start to finish and beyond, transportation projects are always about jobs,” said Steve Stevens, President and CEO of Greater Spokane Incorporated. “During their construction, the movement of employees upon their completion and the businesses that will locate and grow along their corridors make them extremely wise investments.”

    In the past, Spokane has always been a net loser when it comes to transportation. Under the previous transportation package in 2005, Spokane only saw 41 cents of benefit per dollar paid. The current package provides $1.29 in benefit for every dollar invested.

    “If someone offered me an opportunity to invest with a guaranteed return of 29 percent for the next 15 years, you can be pretty sure I would take that deal,” said Joe Jackson, Executive Director of the West Plains Chamber of Commerce. “This is just a small example of what we can do when we work together and strive to achieve a common goal. It proves we are better together.”

    We invite the community to join us for a celebration of this historic package on Monday, July 27th from 4-6pm at the Spokane Convention Center. Click here for more information.

     

  • June 24, 2015 1:57 PM | Cheryl Stewart (Administrator)

    The Inland Northwest Associated General Contractors (AGC) is pleased to announce its endorsement of Mayor David Condon for re-election in 2015. The association, which represents over 275 construction related companies throughout the region, also voted to endorse LaVerne Biel and Evan Verduin for City Council.

    “Mayor Condon has proven to be an effective leader for the City of Spokane over the past 3 years”, said Max Kuney, AGC Government Affairs Chairman. “His willingness to look for innovative solutions and work with all aspects of the community is what Spokane needs to truly become the city of choice.”

    LaVerne Biel, a small business owner, is running in District 2 for the seat being vacated by Mike Allen. Evan Verduin, an architect and Spokane native, is running against Karen Stratton, who was appointed to the council last year, in the 3rd District.

    “Both LaVerne and Evan bring a non-partisan, business perspective to the council”, said Kuney. “We feel they will provide a fresh voice and help focus the council on the issues that are most important to the citizens of Spokane.”

  • March 05, 2015 9:25 AM | Cheryl Stewart (Administrator)

    Highway contractor is looking to hire an estimator and project manager to join our team long term. Minimum 3 years construction experience required. Must have experience estimating WSDOT highway contracts and Public Works projects. Extensive knowledge of traffic control is required. Will deal with project scheduling, material submittals, traffic control plans and coordinating with various public entities and prime contractors throughout the state of Washington.

    Please send resumes to:

    stephanie@northse.com

    North Star Enterprises

    P.O Box 607

    Liberty Lake WA 99019

  • February 16, 2015 10:14 AM | Cheryl Stewart (Administrator)

    Last Friday, Washington State Senate Transportation Committee Chair Curtis King (R-Yakima) announced an aggressive transportation plan that will invest over $15 billion dollars in the states infrastructure system over the next 16 years.

    “We are encouraged to see the Senate come up with such a comprehensive package that should have strong bipartisan support”, said Inland Northwest AGC Executive Director Cheryl Stewart. “This package includes both new revenue and system wide reforms, both of which are necessary to ensure long term stability for the state’s transportation systems.” 

    The package looks to several revenue streams, the largest of which is an 11.7 cent gas tax increase over the next three years. Also included in the package are 8 key policy reforms that will help to ensure the efficiency of transportation projects and provide better stewardship of gas tax revenues.

    Several Eastern Washington projects will be funded with this proposal, over $1.3 billion total, including the North Spokane Corridor, 1-90/Medical Lake & Geiger Interchanges, I-90/Barker Road, I-82/Red Mountain Interchange and Spokane Transit’s Central City Line.

    “We strongly encourage all of our local legislators to support this package”, Stewart said. “This not only brings much needed infrastructure improvements to Eastern Washington, it will also create thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic impact.”

    For a complete list of the projects and reforms included in the package, please visit the Senate Transportation Committee website at http://leg.wa.gov/senate/committees/tran/Pages/default.aspx.

     

    ACTION ALERT: Please contact your legislator today and let them know you support both the Funding Package and the Reform Package. Find your legislator here. We have prepared a sample letter/email for you to send. Please contact Cheryl Stewart or Wayne Brokaw for more information. 

  • February 03, 2015 10:36 AM | Cheryl Stewart (Administrator)

    Thank you to everyone that attended our recent Commercial Motor Vehicles Roundtable discussion with local law enforcement agencies. This session was very well attended and provided some very valuable information to members.

    There were several requests for copies of the power point presentation that was used as well as the links that were provided throughout the morning. Please see the list of resources below:

     

  • December 10, 2014 11:34 AM | Cheryl Stewart (Administrator)

    The Spokane City Council will be hearing an ordinance next Monday, December 15th, that will require 15% apprenticeship utilization on all public works contracts over $350,000.

     

    Proponents of this ordinance call it a jobs bill and have described anyone that opposes it as not supporting jobs. Make no mistake – this ordinance DOES NOT create jobs. The street levy and park bond create jobs. All this ordinance does is tell us who can and cannot have those jobs.

     

    More than anyone, AGC contractors understand the workforce shortages facing our industry. No other association does more to support apprenticeship or workforce development. The construction industry as a whole employees more apprentices than any other industry in the State of Washington. And while we understand that we are facing a workforce shortage, this one size fits all approach is not the solution to our problems.

     

    The Spokane Alliance and FUSE have gathered an impressive group to be at City Council on Monday in support of this ordinance. Every apprenticeship director in the area will tell them they have a long list of people that want to be apprentices. You are well aware that for every one of them that testifies, we could bring up 3 times as many contractors that will tell you they cannot get apprentices when they need them.

     

    This ordinance also imposes stiff penalties for anyone that does not meet the requirements and gives no allowances for “good faith effort”. It also makes no allowance for contractors that do not have access to apprentices and forces them to sign agreements with a union sponsored plan. When Council President Stuckart was told that this ordinance would force many small, family-owned companies that provide their own in-house training, to no longer do work with the city, his reply was “no one is forcing them to work with us”.

     

    We need to make sure City Council understands the real implications of this ordinance. This will not help solve our workforce issues, this will force companies to use apprentices when they tell them to, not when it makes the most sense or provides the best training opportunities, and it will cost the city money in oversight and increased bid prices to accommodate extra workers or penalties. Additionally, we currently have 11,000 people working in this industry that we need to keep employed, and this could very well force contractors to send some of these people home to make room for the required apprentices.

     

    I strongly encourage you to write to city council today and to be present at next Monday’s city council meeting. It is important that they hear both sides of this issue. They are getting dozens of letters every day, we need all of our members to contact them, please encourage all of your contractors, subs and suppliers to contact them as well.

     

    See the complete ordinance here (Page 216).

     

    Find contact information for City Council members.

     

    For more information, contact Cheryl Stewart at cstewart@nwagc.org or at (509) 535-0391.  

  • October 27, 2014 11:22 AM | Cheryl Stewart (Administrator)

    Here at the Inland NW AGC we have identified a very real need as well as the benefits of building an Ambassador Program and are looking forward to membership participation. This is your opportunity to get more involved with your AGC chapter and helps support the programs and events we put on throughout the year.

    The AGC Ambassadors will provide support at events throughout the year, such as Holiday parties, The Annual Convention, Golf Tournaments and the Summer BBQ’s.  Tasks will include serving as greeters, helping with registration, set-up, information tables or providing social media content. In addition the Ambassadors may be requested to be mentors to new AGC members, inviting a new member to an event and engaging them with existing members.  As Ambassadors of the AGC, the volunteers will be able to promote the programs of our construction community while supporting our chapter. 

    Please contact Mary Tantriella – mtantriella@nwagc.org or (509) 534-1446 with your questions and comments.

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