What Have We Done for You Lately

By Dave Simpson, Carolinas AGC President & CEO
December 2023
Dave Simpson, CAGC President & CEO

Happy Holidays from your Carolinas AGC Family. This year has been one we will not soon forget and that is thanks to you -- our members! We continue to be in it for you as a Carolinas AGC member. No brag just fact – and here’s how:

Safety: We’re exploring all options to make projects safer – in work zones and on all construction sites -- so that workers return home safely each night. Through our CAGC Safety Committee, we have created a subcommittee focused on Work Zone Safety and we’re also working with state officials in both Carolinas. In addition, we’re putting together a new program, named after the late, great Berry Jenkins, our former NC Highway-Heavy Division Director, to accept tax-free contributions for financial assistance to survivors of work zone safety fatalities, as well as other construction-related accidents, in NC and SC.

Workforce Shortage: Your CAGC BOD Officers and Staff recently were on Capitol Hill, along with about 200 other AGC representatives from across the nation, to promote immigration reform including a guest workers’ program, more funding for construction trades training and to oppose the Biden administration’s impractical proposals such as new heat standards and unionization issues like Project Labor Agreements. (More education and training details below.)

Government Relations: This year, CAGC lobbyists in Columbia and Raleigh were successful in leading efforts to secure billions of infrastructure dollars for highway-heavy, building and utility construction work. Through our AGCA & ARTBA partnerships, we regularly provide legislative alerts on such issues as opposition to proposed diversion of highway-funding, and other construction funding, for non-construction purposes.

New Association Health Plan: We’re putting the finishing touches on our proposed new Association Health Care Plan for both Carolinas that we hope to have up and running on January 1, 2024. Look for potential huge savings here!

Young Leaders: Our CAGC Young Leader program has grown to almost 300 members. This program helps shape the future of our industry and gives your young employees a place to build and gain new leadership skills while meeting other young professionals in the industry -- including our Young Leader Conference on Nov. 2-3, with a record-setting 200+ attendees.

Membership: In Q3 we reached 803 members with 27,000+ employees – our highest count since 2017, with 140+ New Members to date, and a solid retention rate. Member-only events, such as our popular Doughnuts with Contractors, continue to reach maximum capacity. Please register early to secure your place (same for all events).

Meetings: Our 2023 Fall Sporting Clays Challenge was a huge success and Our Annual Winter Convention and Summer Summit & Expo in the next 3 years will take us to  St. Thomas, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Hilton Head, and Aruba. These events are incredibly popular with our 200-room block for our CAGC Winter Convention in St. Thomas in January 2024 selling out in less than two hours. (Nearby places to stay are still available and we hope you will make plans to join the expected 500 Convention attendees.) Visit the CAGC Calendar for the most up-to-date listing of our 100+ meetings and events each year, including what is on tap for 2024.

Workforce Development: Our Be Pro Be Proud SC truck received $500,000 from the SC General Assembly in this year’s budget and this amount will be a recurring line item in subsequent years. Our BPBP trucks are rolling in NC as well, with funding approved by NC lawmakers.

In October, we partnered with Clemson’s Nieri Department of Construction Development and Planning, and several CAGC members to offer dozens of students in the Upstate a Hard Hat Day. CAGC was excited to also offer up the Be Pro Be Proud SC truck to share the many rewarding and well-paying career paths in the construction industry!

CAGC Construction Business AcademyThe CBA is in full swing in its third cohort in Raleigh with 21 participating businesses. This class will graduate in December and the next cohort is slated for Goldsboro, NC. We are currently accepting applications for this cohort which is set to kick off in January 2024. We continue to follow the success of CBA graduates from recent cohorts in in Charlotte and Greensboro.

Construction Boot Camps: The Bootcamp program is growing and is now at  over 100 graduates from 15 NC community colleges, including: Guilford Technical Community College, Alamance Community College, Forsyth Community College, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Brunswick Community College and Pitt Community College. Expanding the program will help increase the number of trained and qualified workers across North Carolina to decrease the demand for employees. We are also working hard at locating resources to provide the same opportunities in SC.

Education and Training Efforts: We have offered 12 NC LBGC Continuing Ed classes so far this year. That is a 200% increase from 2022. In those classes, we have served 261 students and counting. There have been 13 private training courses thus far with 124 attending. We are partnering with The Diversity Movement and have now integrated their course offerings into our training calendar. Our Director of Education, Training and Workforce Development is now a certified QPR trainer, the industry-leading approach to suicide prevention with a focus in the construction industry.

The CAGC Construction Technology forum is experiencing steady growth, and our Technology series is now offering a wealth of content year-round. This newly established CAGC forum serves as a hub for the exchange of information, advice, and discussions related to construction technology and innovation. We're thrilled to hear from participants who have not only enjoyed quick demos and discussions but have also made valuable connections within the group. They now have a network to reach out to when they need a sounding board, advice, or support. This is precisely the forum's primary purpose. Our construction technology forum meets quarterly via Zoom, and the agenda is largely shaped by the active participation of forum members. To join us, please contact swalters@carolinasagc.org.

Furthermore, CAGC remains committed to delivering extensive construction technology content at our major events throughout the year. This content spans a wide spectrum, including topics such as AR/VR, artificial intelligence, cybercrime, key roles in navigating construction technology, robotics, digital twins, drones, modular construction, and automation, among others. We're happy to announce that in 2024, we will be expanding our technology workshop events, known as CAGC TechTalk, to both states. Stay tuned for more exciting developments.

And more of what your team is doing:

  • CAGC published the Fall 2023 edition of the Carolinas AGC magazine, which featured dozens of member awards such as Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame Legacy, Top Young Leaders, Community Impact, and Safety winners. CAGC continued to promote these member award winners in press releases that received excellent local and national media publicity.

  • For utility contractors, a CAGC BOD-approved Amicus Brief, for the Chandler vs AT&T lawsuit, has been accepted by the SC Court of Appeals and the CAGC Board of Directors approved a White Paper on Alternative Delivery Methods for Utility Construction. The paper will be used to educate Owners, Engineers and Contractors on various methods of construction. 
  • Two meetings of the CAGC Council on Women in Construction have been held to begin to formulate a strategic action plan for supporting women in construction and help with the workforce shortage.

  • Worked with the legislature to pass a law – recently signed by the NC Governor – that will expedite building plan review, SB 677.

  • Worked with the NC legislature to ensure the appropriation of more than $5.0 billion over the biennium for public infrastructure projects – university, community colleges, water/sewer, $5.0 billion for k-12 schools and hundreds of local projects – and $2.8 billion for water and sewer work.

  • Established a 501 (c)(4) in both NC and SC that will be able to accept corporate contributions for a Construction Advocacy Fund that can help fund issue advocacy for the construction industry.

  • Worked with the Be Pro Be Proud Steering Committees in NC and SC.

  • Completed Diversity and Inclusion training with the CAGC Board of Directors and Board of Trustees of the Foundation.