• NWAGC News

  • Inland Northwest AGC Lights Up Downtown Spokane

  • Centennial Display, Riverfront Park
  • February 5,2022

    SPOKANE, Wash. -- The old adage says, “When in doubt, wear red.” It seems the clock tower in downtown Spokane got the memo.

    The Great Northern Clock Tower, as it was first named, is awash with light and color this week. It’s hard to miss the red beacon, shining with the logo of the Inland Northwest AGC.

    It’s a fitting tribute, for the Inland Northwest AGC has now been a beacon in the construction industry for more than 100 years.

    When the Inland Northwest AGC was first created 100 years ago, equipment was largely drawn by horses, homes were built with balloon framing, and many of the safety measures we take for granted were virtually non-existent. (Remember the iconic photo “Lunch top a Skyscraper” with nary a hard hat in sight?)

    Now, construction sites are surveyed using drones and virtual reality, balloon framing has faded away due to fire risk, and an entire industry revolves around keeping construction workers safe, with local AGC chapters teaching safety classes every month to thousands of workers across the nation.

    The Inland Northwest chapter (NWAGC) celebrated its Centennial on Friday, Feb. 4 with their annual Convention and Gala. The 1920’s-themed event harkened back to the era where it all began, when the chapter was known as the Pacific Northwest Branch. But while the past was certainly represented, so was the future.

    “Part of knowing one’s history is using that knowledge to adapt and look to the future,” said NWAGC Executive Director Cheryl Stewart. “It’s a privilege to celebrate 100 years of serving our members and representing the construction industry, and we look forward to continuing to do so.” 

    As part of their Centennial, the chapter hosted the BUILD Northwest Awards Ceremony, recognizing exceptional individuals and companies who have put their stamp on the region, its communities, and the construction industry as a whole. The awards honor AGC members who build the area's most impressive construction projects in a variety of sectors and project sizes, judged by a panel of project-neutral peers with winners selected based on project uniqueness, innovation and overall job excellence.

    “When we say ‘We build the Northwest,’ we mean it,” NWAGC President Chris Myers said. “Our members have certainly made their mark on the local landscape.”

    It’s true - most of the region’s iconic Expo ’74 new construction projects were performed by NWAGC members to the tune of $350 million.

    Many of the chapter’s members are as old as the chapter itself, with as many years under their collective toolbelts. Local company N.A. Degerstrom is the chapter’s oldest member, and recently celebrated 117 years in operation.

    And so the question follows: with so much history to learn from, what will the next 100 years bring?

    Stewart anticipates significant advances in innovation and the further coalescence of construction and technology.

    “It’s hard to say where we’ll be in the next 100 years, but I think a big focus will be on workforce development to keep up with a changing world, and on using technology to make job sites even safer,” she said. “At the end of the day, time passes, but our mission remains the same.”

    The Inland Northwest AGC is the region’s leading construction trade association dedicated to commercial construction contractors. They represent all facets of commercial construction for both public and private entities including building, heavy, highway and municipal projects.