Government Affairs News Archive

Here you can access past articles from the AGC blog categorized by area of interest. If you have questions regarding the news archive, please contact Public Affairs Manager Sarah Coghill, 503-685-8307 or 800-826-6610.

OP-ED: It’s transportation safety awareness month

With spring temperatures finally on the rise and more sun in our forecast, construction work across the region is in full swing. Across the city and up and down the I-5 corridor, drivers are seeing a large number of work … Continue reading

Safety Break for Oregon is May 10

Why Take a Safety Break? When workers return home safe to their families at the end of the day, workers’ compensation and insurance costs are reduced, and productivity improves when workers know they are performing in a safe environment. Your … Continue reading

National Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction May 8–12

National Fall Safety Stand-Down Free webinar and live Facebook chat on roofing and construction safety to be held as part of National Safety Stand-Down to raise awareness of fall hazards OSHA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and … Continue reading

WISHA Confined Spaces Stakeholder Mtg: 5/4

Confined Spaces – Chapter 296-809 WAC Stakeholder Meeting A stakeholder meeting is set for 9 am–12 pm, May 4, 2017, at the Tukwila service location to receive comments on a draft for the Confined Space proposed rule. The Occupational Safety … Continue reading

Annual Workers Memorial Day Ceremony: April 28

Not all Oregon families experience the safe return of their loved ones following a day at work. Oregon workers who died on the job will be honored with a ceremony Friday, April 28, at noon in Salem. The state’s Occupational … Continue reading

Safety Week 2017: May 1–5

Safety Week 2017, We are Stronger and Safety Together. Being safe every day on every job site crosses competitive boundaries. That’s why construction businesses have banded together to create and celebrate Safety Week, running this year from Monday, May 1 … Continue reading

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

3,477 People Killed by Distracted Driving in 2015 391,000 People Injured by Distracted Driving in 2015 660,000 Drivers Using Electronic Devices While Driving During the Day Technology allows us to make phone calls, dictate texts or emails and update social … Continue reading

CTE funding is (still) sorely needed

The crippling of the education pipeline for construction and other basic industries must end. As Spring Break comes to an end for many of Oregon’s students, you can almost hear the familiar sighs in the hallways as students reluctantly head … Continue reading

AGCA: US OSHA Delays Silica Standard Enforcement

On April 6, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it will delay enforcement of the respirable crystalline standard for construction for three months—until Sept. 23, 2017. In its announcement, OSHA explained that the construction silica standard … Continue reading

Blacklisting Regulation Repeal to Become Law Today

Thanks to AGC advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill, AGC and its members are on the verge of a major legislative victory: the repeal of the so-called “Blacklisting” regulations, which would have implemented President Obama’s “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Executive … Continue reading

OP-ED: Construction’s next generation making connections at OSU

Across the United States, a reality of our education system is that 50 percent of high school students go to college, but only half of those students earn a degree. But the graduation rate for students in the Construction Engineering … Continue reading

OROSHA Proposed Changes to Walking-Working Surfaces and PPE

Oregon OSHA – Proposed Changes to Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems) in General Industry This rulemaking is to keep Oregon OSHA in harmony with recent changes to Federal OSHA’s standards. On November 18, 2016, federal OSHA … Continue reading

Join us for the 2017 Legislative Session Sneak Preview at the ABM

  Opening Keynote 8:30–9:30am 2017 Legislative Session Sneak Preview An insider preview on what business can expect in Oregon’s 2017 Legislative Session from three long-time Oregon business lobbyists. Moderated by John Rakowitz, Director of Public and Strategic Affairs, AGC Oregon-Columbia … Continue reading

Jordan Cove Supporters Going Back to FERC

Jordan Cove LNG has finalized its optimized project design and intends to file a new application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. “While the decision on Friday was disappointing, we remain committed to this project,” said Betsy Spomer, CEO of Jordan … Continue reading

Federal Court Temporarily Halts Overtime Rule

On November 22, a federal judge issued a nationwide injunction against the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) overtime rule, which was scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016. As a result of this court order, implementation of the rule … Continue reading

OP-ED: 2016 elections are over – where do we go from here?

Nearly 50 years ago, another Republican President-elect, Richard Nixon, spoke of the “silent majority.” He described these Americans as a large and normally undemonstrative cross-section of the country that just went about their business. These Americans worked hard and didn’t … Continue reading

The Importance of Balance in Government

The Ancient Greeks spoke and wrote of the importance of balance. This concept embodied the ideals of excellence of character and soundness of mind, which when combined in one well-balanced individual leads to other qualities, such as temperance, moderation, prudence … Continue reading

OR Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Big River Const.

Oregon Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Big River Construction, Affirming Lower Court’s Judgment Against the City of Tillamook Court affirms that the City of Tillamook Breached its Contract with Big River Construction Originally published by Schwabe, Williamson & … Continue reading

The Industry’s VOTE Matters!

A Message from AGC’s Executive Director Oregon voters begin receiving their ballots this week… The 2016 election cycle has been unlike any other. From House and Senate races to statewide races and initiative referrals, we are being inundated with television … Continue reading

OP-ED: Looking at the need for real tax reform in Oregon

Soon after these comments are published, Oregon voters will decide the fate of the second major proposal to reshape state taxation in less than a decade. But this month’s column isn’t focused solely on Measure 97 (although I will say … Continue reading

WSDOT Disparity Study Stakeholder Meeting

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is conducting a disparity study to examine its contracting practices and review its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program. The disparity study seeks to determine whether minority- and women-owned firms have access to full … Continue reading

GOSH Conference Call for Nominations

Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health Conference March 6–9, 2017 Oregon Convention Center Award Categories Workplace Safety Program Association Safety Committee Safety and Health Advocate (Individual or Team) Safety and Health Professional (Industry Specific) Nominate Today Nomination Deadline October 23, 2016 … Continue reading

DOSH Hazard Alert: Lead Exposure During Cable De-Tensioning Work

The Hazard Source Workers using thermal cutting tools (e.g., an exothermic slice torch) to de-tension (or destress) cables embedded in concrete structures are exposed to lead and other hazardous metals. Lead is present in the metal wedges used to hold … Continue reading

OP-ED: Metro-area congestion solution needs leadership – now

Recently, I spent several days driving from Portland to Denver and back. I picked the route in part because I wanted to get away from flying. But I also wanted to see the highway and bridge construction work being done … Continue reading

Ladder Safety and Alternatives to Ladder Usage Workshop

Ladder injuries are plaguing the construction industry, with frequent falls resulting in many disabling and life-altering injuries. More than 90,000 people are treated in emergency rooms due to ladder falls every year. Statistics show a dramatic increase of 50% more … Continue reading

Stakeholders Q&A: Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

On May 12, 2016, federal OSHA published rules in the Federal Register to improve the tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The new rule requires employers in certain industries to electronically submit illness and injury records to federal OSHA. This … Continue reading

What Breakout Sessions will you be attending Saturday, August 13?

2016 AGC Summer Convention Sunriver Resort Ι Sunriver, Oregon August 11–13 If You’re Not First, You’re Last! CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL SCHEDULE   Presented by Saturday, August 13 is packed full with a wide range of top notch breakout … Continue reading

OP-ED: Collaboration will further air emissions progress

In the face of three major environmental issues over the past several weeks – the Union Pacific train derailment and oil spill in the Columbia River Gorge, the release of chromium and cadmium into the Southeast Portland air by area … Continue reading

AGCA ConstructorCast Episode Explores OSHA Silica Rule

Go in depth on the new OSHA silica rule’s history, its contents, AGC of America’s efforts, and what it all means for businesses on the latest episode of the ConstructorCast. For this episode, we sit down with Kevin Cannon, AGCA’s … Continue reading

IP 65 Campaign Hits Milestone

IP65: Career Tech Education in All Oregon High Schools In early July, the IP 65 Campaign passed a historic mark—more than 125,000 signatures were submitted to the Oregon Secretary of State’s office, way more than the 88,184 needed to qualify. … Continue reading

Premier Breakout Session Just Added

2016 AGC Summer Convention Sunriver Resort Ι Sunriver, Oregon August 11–13 If You’re Not First, You’re Last! CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL SCHEDULE   Presented by Premier Breakout Session Just Added to the Convention Schedule Saturday, August 13 11:00 am–12:00 … Continue reading

OP-Ed: Government and the total cost of citizenship

In the words of Ted Nugent, “If there was a Hall of Fame of Common Sense, a huge statue of Grover Norquist would be at the front door.” As the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), Norquist … Continue reading

Minimum Wage Rule

Minimum Wage Rule Rule Effective Date: July 1, 2016 In anticipation of July 1 for minimum wage implementations, the State of Oregon has issued the ruling regarding how employees are to be paid with particular attention to employees that work … Continue reading

Cell Phones and Mobile Equipment Don’t Mix

Cell phone use while operating mobile equipment is a form of distracted driving and is extremely dangerous. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that cell phones are involved in 6,000 auto fatalities each year. Operating mobile equipment has inherent risks … Continue reading

Win $100 Gift Card to Cabela’s!

Take the AGC of America Workforce Survey Send us a screen shot and you could win a $100 gift card to Cabela’s! Click here to take the survey. AGC of America completed a workforce survey several years ago, and are … Continue reading

OROSHA Exploring Heat Related Illness in Oregon

Oregon OSHA is exploring the topic of occupational heat related illness in Oregon. They are looking for a cross-section of industry representatives to discuss how to best keep workers safe in the heat. Oregon OSHA will discuss what they are … Continue reading

OP-ED: Oregon’s initiative and referendum process: a growing crisis

This column originally appeared in The Daily Journal of Commerce in Buildings Bridges and Roads By: Mike Salsgiver Oregon’s system of “direct government” is failing us. That is a strong statement, I know, but first a little American history. The … Continue reading

Spotlight on Mark Knight and Stephen Sandherr of AGC of America

2016 AGC Summer Convention Sunriver Resort Ι Sunriver, Oregon August 11–13 If You’re Not First, You’re Last! CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL SCHEDULE   Presented by SPOTLIGHT ON MARK KNIGHT AND STEPHEN SANDHERR OF AGC AMERICA AGC of America President … Continue reading

Is Your Company Prepared for the Summer Heat?

Many people are exposed to heat on the job, outdoors, or in hot indoor environments. Operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources, high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities have a high potential for … Continue reading

Photo Radar Helps Keep Work Zones Safe

ODOT and Portland Police Use Work Zone Photo Radar on an Oregon Interstate Highway for the First Time SNAP! CLICK! Quick as that, cameras in a marked police van parked along I-5 took photos of a car speeding through a … Continue reading

Input on OSHA Change to Silica Wanted

Input Needed for Change to Silica in General Industry Oregon OSHA’s technical section is putting a stakeholder group together to discuss the federal OSHA changes to silica in general industry and construction, and interested AGC members have been invited to … Continue reading

DOL Announces Final Rule Updating Overtime Exemptions

DOL Announces Final Rule Updating Overtime Exemptions Re-Published With Permission Jean Ohman Back Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt Attorneys at Law 503-796-2960 At long last the DOL has announced publication of the Final Rule that will update the overtime exemption … Continue reading

OP-ED: IP 65 is what Oregon’s construction industry needs

This column originally appeared in The Daily Journal of Commerce in Buildings Bridges and Roads By: Mike Salsgiver In recent columns, I have written of the need to build the construction workforce of the future. One of the key steps … Continue reading

Work Zone Design Saves Lives

New Guiding Principle on Work Zone Design is Designed to Save Lives “The best work zone design and management plan will maintain safety and mobility, a balance that shall be analyzed continuously throughout the lifecycle of the facility.” That sentence … Continue reading

Oregon Transportation Safety Month’s in Full Swing!

Distracted Driving and Work Zone Safety: Awareness Campaigns are Now Underway We’re in the midst of a series of awareness campaigns asking travelers to pay attention and slow down—especially in work zones. April was National Distracted Driving Awareness month. We … Continue reading

Oregon’s infrastructure needs are vast

This column originally appeared in The Business Tribune By: Mike Salsgiver Nearly 10 years ago, the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department (now known as Business Oregon) worked with special districts and local governments across the state to gain a … Continue reading

Why Are Bridges Turning Orange?

Bridges in Portland and Salem Turn Orange in Early May to Raise Awareness of Work Zone Safety Monday, May 2 through Saturday, May 14, 2016 The Morrison Bridge in Portland, and the Union Street Railroad Bridge in Salem will turn … Continue reading

Distracted Driving Awareness Month Wraps Up

April 2016: National Distracted Driving Awareness Month 2010–2014 Distracted driving in Oregon Driver distracted, inattentive, distracted by passenger and/or driver using cell phone Total Crashes Fatal Crashes Deaths All Injuries 16,987 58 58 14,186 Crashes involving a driver reported to … Continue reading

Eligible Grant Funded Activity for Highway and Non-Road Diesel

Eligible Grant Funded Activity for Highway and Non-Road Diesel The Department of Environmental Quality has nearly $500,000 to support clean diesel upgrade projects focusing on construction equipment operating primarily in Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties. Participants are subject to federal … Continue reading

Chapter Board Endorses IP65

Initiative Supports Career Technical Education in Oregon High Schools Today the Associated General Contractors Oregon-Columbia Chapter (AGC) Board of Directors voted to support Initiative Petition (IP) 65 (, a ballot initiative that requires state funding for career technical education, college … Continue reading

FHWA Webinar on Grants for Alternative Revenue Approaches

The FAST Act authorizes $95 million in grant funding over the next five years to assist states in sponsoring pilot programs to test the feasibility of alternative revenue mechanisms to help sustain the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. … Continue reading

Help AGCA Strengthen Its Legislative Efforts

Help AGCA Plan for the Future You have an opportunity to help AGC of America and its chapters gauge the reach of our collective networks and enable us to effectively plan for future public policy discussions. By understanding our network … Continue reading

OP-ED: A postmortem of the 2016 legislative session

This column originally appeared in The Daily Journal of Commerce in Buildings Bridges and Roads By: Mike Salsgiver Oregon’s 78th legislative session came to a close earlier this month. This session was the third official “short session” constitutionally mandated to … Continue reading

2016 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

On Thursday, March 3, the third constitutionally mandated “short session” came to a close. This session was not “business as usual” and was certainly not what the voters had in mind in November 2010 when they approved short sessions intended … Continue reading

Review and Comment on the ODOT Disparity Study

2016 ODOT Disparity Study The Oregon Department of Transportation 2016 Disparity Study is analyzing whether there is a level playing field for minority- and women-owned firms in the Oregon transportation contracting industry and in its own contracts. This information will … Continue reading

CTE is a win for the economy and our kids

This column originally appeared in The Business Tribune By: Mike Salsgiver You cannot pick up a publication today without seeing something about the next generation of workers and the skilled labor shortage. The biggest post-recession challenge faced by companies continues … Continue reading

Williams to Chair National Transportation Group

Oregon Businessman to Chair National Transportation Group in 2016 A Springfield, Oregon, construction executive has been elected 2016 chairman of the Board of Directors of TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Scott Williams, who began his … Continue reading

OP-ED: Initiative Petition 28 is bad for business

This column originally appeared in The Daily Journal of Commerce in Buildings Bridges and Roads By: Mike Salsgiver Since 1990, when voters approved Measure 5 to place limits on property taxes, we have seen policy-making power taken from the hands … Continue reading

Sick Leave Assistance Is Available to You!

Miss out on AGC’s Sick Leave Technical Assistance Seminars? We’ve got you covered! Did you miss out on AGC’s construction-specific seminars in Redmond and Eugene last week? If so, you missed a wonderful continental breakfast and some great information! But … Continue reading

OP-ED: Big industry goals for the Legislature’s short session

This column originally appeared in The Daily Journal of Commerce in Buildings Bridges and Roads By: Mike Salsgiver With the Oregon Legislature’s “short” 2016 session rapidly approaching, Associated General Contractors’ major focus will be a “fix it” bill to remedy … Continue reading

BOLI Statewide Sick Leave Training

Beginning January 1, 2016… All employers with 10 or more employees (​at least 6 for employers located in Portland) in Oregon must provide up to 40 hours of paid leave per year. Employers with less than 10 employees (less than … Continue reading

Dozer Day Needs You!

Be a Sponsor for Dozer Day 2016! Dozer Day is an annual, community event hosted by the design/build industry to give kids an opportunity to operate heavy construction equipment and enjoy many other construction-related activities. Dozer Day 2015 was a … Continue reading

Mandated Sick Leave Technical Assistance Seminars

On January 1, 2016 the Statewide Mandated Sick Leave Law will go into effect. Is your company ready? In addition to working with the State Legislature and BOLI to soften the impact of the new law, AGC has also developed … Continue reading

Investment in Infrastructure is an Investment Our Workforce

An Investment in Our Nation’s Infrastructure is an Investment in Our Skilled Workforce By Lori Cowen, Guest Contributor, The Cornerstone Earlier this week, with the Dec. 4 deadline looming, leaders in the House and Senate negotiated an agreement for a … Continue reading

Hwy/Transit Bill Doesn’t Address Future Revenue Needs

Compromise Highway and Transit Bill Includes Long-term Funding to Help Improve Transportation Systems, but Doesn’t Address Future Revenue Needs Construction official says conference committee’s final highway and transit measure includes vital program reforms and needed funding for next five years, … Continue reading

Over 50 Employees and Working on a State Contract?

Effective January 1, 2016: Pay Equity Compliance Certificate Requirement Senate Bill 491 established the requirement for the bidder or proposer to comply with the pay equity provisions of state law for state agency procurements. Who If you are an employer … Continue reading

OP-ED: Inaction will be costly for transportation infrastructure

This column originally appeared in The Daily Journal of Commerce in Buildings Bridges and Roads By: Mike Salsgiver During the 2008–2014 recession, the construction industry in Oregon and southwest Washington lost over 40 percent of its workforce. Workers were laid … Continue reading

Environmental Compliance Website for Construction

Environmental Compliance Website for Construction Going Strong Since Jan. 2015, AGC chapters and members have been accessing environmental compliance and green information on the newly updated Construction Industry Compliance Assistance Center—or CICA Center. Found at, AGC of America partnered with … Continue reading

Do You Have What It Takes to be an Ironworker?

The month of October has been declared by the Governor as “Careers in Construction Month.” Do you have what it takes to join this well-paying and highly skilled industry? Ironworkers erect the structural framework for high rise buildings, bridges, power … Continue reading

Do You Have What It Takes to be a Pipefitter?

The month of October has been declared by the Governor as “Careers in Construction Month.” Do you have what it takes to join this well-paying and highly skilled industry? Pipefitters work in the heavy manufacturing industry. If you enjoy laying … Continue reading

Do You Have What It Takes to be an Electrician?

The month of October has been declared by the Governor as “Careers in Construction Month.” Do you have what it takes to join this well-paying and highly skilled industry? Electrician Job Description This apprenticeship leads to the General Journeyman Electrician … Continue reading

OP-ED: Uneven recovery means more work is needed

This column originally appeared in The Daily Journal of Commerce in Buildings Bridges and Roads By: Mike Salsgiver As we approach the eighth anniversary of the start of the Great Recession, it is important to see how far we have … Continue reading

Construction Unemployment Hits Sept Low, But Hiring Slows

Construction Unemployment Falls to Lowest September Mark in 15 Years as Hiring Slows Amid Growing Worker Shortages Warning that Worker Shortages Could Lead to Higher Construction Costs and Slower Schedules, Association Officials Call for New Workforce Development Measures The number … Continue reading

Court Issues Stay of EPA/Corps Regulation RE: Waters of US

The EPA issued a ruling in May that redefined “the waters of the US” for the Clean Water Act. The ruling extended federal jurisdiction over small waterways that were previously regulated by the states. The US Court of Appeals for … Continue reading

Do You Have What It Takes to be a Carpenter?

The month of October has been declared by the Governor as “Careers in Construction Month.” Do you have what it takes to join this well-paying and highly skilled industry? If you enjoy building or remodeling every kind of structure, including … Continue reading

Public Hearings on Statewide Mandated Paid Sick Leave Law

In the Board Meeting this morning, the Board received a brief update on the Statewide Mandated Paid Sick Leave Law. Due to the effect this law could have on the industry, AGC will be submitting comments prior to the October … Continue reading

October is Oregon’s Careers in Construction Month

Oregon Joins National Effort to Recognize Construction Careers Oregon Governor Kate Brown recently declared October 2015 Careers in Construction Month (Careers in Construction Month 2015). The purpose is to increase public awareness and appreciation of construction craft professionals and the … Continue reading

Paid Sick Leave: Your Input Needed

Provide Input on Oregon’s Statewide Paid Sick Leave Administrative Rules The Bureau of Labor and Industries (“BOLI”) is now accepting comments from the public on the administrative rules for the Oregon sick leave law. The rules will provide important guidance … Continue reading

2015 CTE Revitalization Grant Proposal Reviewers Are Needed!

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is seeking volunteers to serve as grant proposal reviewers. Ideally, reviewers will come from a variety of backgrounds – business, industry, education, trades, labor – and from a wide range of experiences – partnerships, … Continue reading

OP-Ed: A future workforce: OSU program leads by example

This column originally appeared in The Daily Journal of Commerce in Buildings Bridges and Roads By: Mike Salsgiver Across the state, students in elementary schools and high schools have already begun classes, but later next week, classes in Oregon State … Continue reading

Working on a Project Near a Railroad?

Survey on Railroad Issues Impacting Construction Contractors working on construction projects for DOTs or other non-railroad owners near or on a railroad right of way are often required to comply with railroad-imposed requirements. These requirements may or may not be … Continue reading

So. Oregon Contractor Discusses Workforce Training

Russ Batzer Responds to AGC of America Survey Results On September 9, AGC of America released this press release outlining the results of their workforce survey. It turns out that 86 percent of contractors nationwide have difficulty finding key craft … Continue reading

Contractors Feeling Workforce Pinch

Nationwide survey finds 86 percent of contractors have difficulty filling key craft and salaried jobs as demand for construction increases All 21 Crafts in Survey are in Short Supply at Many Firms, Project Managers and Estimators are Also Scarce; Companies … Continue reading

Register for the AGCA Hwy Contractors Conference

2015 AGC of America Highway & Transportation Contractors Conference November 5–7, 2015 Marriott Desert Ridge Hotel, Phoenix, Arizona This 1.5 day conference brings together contractors, suppliers, owners, and key industry constituents involved in transportation construction for an informative and interactive … Continue reading

How State and Local Construction Dollars Are Spent

The following article was posted on the website of Governing Magazine. It is reposted here with the permission of the author. You may read the original article, with interactive tables and graphs, here. MS ________________________________________________________________________________________ by Mike Maciag | September … Continue reading

OP-ED: Jordan Cove project will transform community, industry

This column originally appeared in The Daily Journal of Commerce in Buildings Bridges and Roads By: Mike Salsgiver In the 1970s, the southwestern Oregon economy was thriving due in large part to the presence and performance of such traditional industry … Continue reading

U.S. Construction Unemployment Hits 14-Year Low

Construction Unemployment Falls to 14-Year Low as Employment Hits Highest Mark Since 2009; Data Point to Looming Worker Shortage, Officials Warn Despite increase in July, industry’s job growth has slowed while demand for construction remains strong; association urges increasing the … Continue reading

Workplace Safety Training Grants Available

Oregon OSHA is accepting applications for the development of innovative workplace safety and health training programs. Unique projects such as mobile apps, videos, or online educational games to engage workers are encouraged. The training grants will focus on programs that … Continue reading

AGCA Publications Keep You Informed

AGC of America publications offer a wealth of information As an AGC  member, you hold the key to a wide range of regular publications from AGC of America—all available at the click of a mouse—informing you on numerous topics that … Continue reading

OP-ED: No transportation bill: a failure of vision, leadership

This column originally appeared in The Daily Journal of Commerce in Buildings Bridges and Roads By: Mike Salsgiver From Interstate 5 stretching from California to Washington, to Interstate 84 from the northwest coast through the Columbia Gorge to Idaho, to … Continue reading

Senate Debates Long-Term Highway and Transit Bill

News From the AGC of America By a vote of 62–36, the Senate this evening voted to begin debate on the long-term highway and transit bill known as the “Drive Act.” The vote opens the way for the bill to … Continue reading

Transportation Investment Will Increase National Employment

Construction Employment Declines in Half of the States Between May and June as Congress Seeks New Way to Pay for Needed Transportation Upgrades Illinois and Rhode Island Have Biggest Declines for the Month, Delaware and New York Have Largest Gains … Continue reading

Workers’ Comp Participants Receive Nearly $8M Retro

AGC/SAIF Members Rewarded for Safety Efforts The Associated General Contractors Oregon-Columbia Chapter (AGC) and SAIF Corporation announced today a $7,966,561 retrospective return for the 661 companies who participated in the AGC/SAIF group workers’ compensation program during 2013–2014. This represents a … Continue reading

AGC’s 2015 Legislative Session Report

On Monday, July 6, the 2015 Oregon Legislature finished its business. Most observers agree this was unlike any session in recent memory. Before the session really got underway, Governor John Kitzhaber was forced to resign on February 18 and was … Continue reading

Seminars to Navigate Occupational Wage Survey

Portland and Salem Seminars Will Help Construction Industry Navigate Occupational Wage Survey Free workshops will provide tips to make survey reporting easier Three construction industry-focused seminars will help contractors and subcontractors understand the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) occupational … Continue reading

Workplace Safety Training Grants Available

Interactive, mobile-friendly ideas encouraged Starting July 1, Oregon OSHA will accept applications for the development of innovative workplace safety and health training programs. Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, encourages unique projects such as … Continue reading

OROSHA Reminds You to Prevent Heat Illness During Heat Wave

Landscaping, construction, and agriculture are all labor-intensive activities that can raise the body temperature of workers in hot weather. This could lead to heat illness or even death, if precautions are not taken. “Employers should provide drinking water, offer a … Continue reading

Having a Difficult Time Finding Qualified Workers?

AGC of America continues to hear from many contractors that the labor market has become tighter since AGCA last surveyed its members about the extent of workforce shortages. While it is clear that worker shortages are a growing concern, and … Continue reading

Oregon Needs Funding Help with Deficient Bridges

Oregon Business Magazine weighed in on Oregon’s infrastructure woes: Oregon needs funding help with deficient bridges Must Reads Friday, June 12, 2015 By Jacob Palmer, Digital News Editor There are 439 bridges in the state that are classified as “structurally … Continue reading

Final Call: ODOT Disparity Study Survey

Attention businesses! ODOT is compiling a list of companies interested in working on road, highway, and bridge projects. This includes any construction, engineering and design, trucking, and materials supply on highways, roads, bridges, and related projects for state and local … Continue reading

National Safety Stand-Down Reaches Millions of Workers!

Since May 4, millions of workers and thousands of employers have paused to focus on preventing falls in the workplace. As National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction wraps up, businesses from around the country and across the globe have … Continue reading

OP-ED: Orange is the key clue for drivers

This column originally appeared in The Daily Journal of Commerce in Buildings Bridges and Roads By: Mike Salsgiver June is National Safety Month. With warmer weather likely (fingers crossed) sticking around for the next few months, construction work sites are … Continue reading

Workers Speak Out About Being Hit in Oregon Work Zones

Governor Brown, ODOT, and highway construction contractors call attention to the dangers when travelers moving through work zones speed or don’t pay attention Travelers can help protect themselves and their loved ones…and construction workers, too.At 10:45 am on Thursday, May … Continue reading

AGC’s 2015 Mid-Session Report

Last week, the 2015 Legislative Session reached its first crucial deadline. Most bills not voted on as of last Tuesday’s self-imposed deadline are likely not moving forward in this session. To date, AGC has closely tracked over 250 of the … Continue reading

Fallen Workers to be Remembered 4/28

Workers Memorial Day to be observed with Salem ceremony Not all Oregon families experience the safe return of their loved one following a day at work. Oregon workers who died on the job will be honored with a ceremony Tuesday, … Continue reading

OP ED: Construction workers of the 21st century

This column originally appeared in The Daily Journal of Commerce in Buildings Bridges and Roads By: Mike Salsgiver One cannot pick up a publication today without seeing something about the next generation of workers and the construction industry’s skilled labor … Continue reading

OR Construction Companies Give $1M to OSU Safety Program

April 10, 2015 — Knife River Corporation and MDU Construction Services Group, sister construction companies with deep Oregon roots, announced today that they are giving $1 million to promote worksite safety in the state. The grant will help fund a … Continue reading

ODOT DBE Goal for FY2015-2016 Approved

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has approved ODOT’s overall DBE goal for Federal Fiscal Year 2015-2016 in accordance with 49 CFR §26.45. The approved overall goal is 13.1% for FFY 2015-2016, of which 5.2% will be attained through race and … Continue reading

Stand Down to Prevent Falls

National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, May7 4–15, 2015 The stand down is part of OSHA’s ongoing national Fall Prevention Campaign, a join effort of OSHA, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), National Occupational Research Agenda … Continue reading

Rapping About Ergonomics??

Rap video on ergonomics goes live SAIF may have just created the world’s first rap video on office ergonomics. The video is part of the debut of SAIF’s all-new safety and health website and office ergonomics video series. They said … Continue reading

Join AGC at the OAME Tradeshow & Luncheon

OAME announces the Pacific Northwest’s largest minority, women, and emerging small business luncheon and tradeshow OAME is presenting its 27th Annual Luncheon and Trade Show Thursday, May 7, 2015 beginning promptly at ten o’clock am and concluding at three o’clock … Continue reading

OP-ED: State-mandated paid sick leave worrisome

This column originally appeared in The Daily Journal of Commerce in Buildings Bridges and Roads By: Mike Salsgiver The 2015 Oregon legislative session opened last month at an almost unprecedented pace, with over 1,400 bills filed before the first official … Continue reading

Chapter Members Receive Safety Awards

Three Chapter Members Win Big at 2015 GOSH Conference Fifteen leaders in safety and health were honored with awards at the 2015 Oregon Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health (GOSH) Conference ceremony at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. A panel … Continue reading

AGC and Lane County ESD Making CTE Inroads

The success of AGC’s legislative efforts to promote career technical education (CTE) has garnered success in several areas of the state and opportunities for involvement where the industry can influence the outcomes associated with those state funds. One shining example: … Continue reading

CBO Reports on Infrastructure Spending

This week, the Congressional Budget Office issued a report detailing public spending on transportation and water infrastructure from 1956 to 2014. The report showed that public spending on transportation and water infrastructure has been fairly consistent as a share of … Continue reading

Low Carbon Fuel Standard Passes House 31 to 29

Yesterday, in the House of Representatives, Senate Bill 324 passed 31 to 29. Those opposing this vote included all twenty-five House Republicans along with four House Democrats including: Rep. Jeff Barker, Rep. Debbie Boone, Rep. Caddy McKeown, and Rep. Brad … Continue reading

Career Technical Education Day at the Capitol Focuses on Success

A day dedicated to Career Technical Education (CTE) was held in the state Capitol last Wednesday. Several recipients of the Oregon Department of Education’s Career Technical Education (CTE) Revitalization Grant Program funds participated and demonstrated to legislators, lobbyists, and the … Continue reading

CTE Day in the Capitol Next Wednesday

A Career Technical Education Day will be take place next Wednesday February 25 from 9:00am to 2:00pm in the Capitol Building in Salem. Scheduled to participate are several of the grant recipients who will showcase the work they have done … Continue reading

ODOT Disparity Study Public Meetings

ODOT is conducting a study that will analyze whether minority- and women-owned businesses have equal access to contracting opportunities within Oregon’s transportation contracting industry and with ODOT’s own contracts. Keen Independent Research will manage the study, which will include public … Continue reading

Here We Go…The 2015 Legislative Session Has Begun!

Today marked the first official day of what promises to be an historic 2015 Legislative Session. In the first day, we have already seen the introduction of another 150 bills (adding to the nearly 1,400 that were pre-session filed) and … Continue reading

Let’s Take a Fresh Look at Safety

Leaders Work Together to Make Work Zones Safer Together they’re taking a fresh look at safety The group’s charge was clear; look for new ways to increase safety in work zones. More than 26 leaders from the construction and trucking … Continue reading

Changes to OSHA Division 1 General Administrative Rules

Oregon OSHA – Proposed Changes to Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements in Division 1, General Administrative Rules Public Hearings Scheduled for: February 26, 2015 10:00 am Oregon OSHA, Fremont Place, Building I 1750 NW Naito Parkway, Suite 112 Portland, OR 97209-2533 … Continue reading

Register for the GOSH Conference

2015 Oregon GOSH Conference Coming to Portland Registration opens for largest safety and health event in Northwest Registration is open for the Oregon Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health (GOSH) Conference, to be held March 9–12, 2015, at the Oregon Convention … Continue reading

OP-ED: Gearing up for more growth in 2015

This column originally appeared in The Daily Journal of Commerce in Buildings Bridges and Roads By: Mike Salsgiver On the seventh anniversary of the start of the Great Recession, it is important to see how far we have come and … Continue reading

Join Safety Break for Oregon

Oregon Businesses Encouraged to Take a ‘Safety Break’ May 13 12th annual event promotes workplace safety Employers across Oregon are invited to promote workplace safety and health with training, award recognition events, or other creative activities during Safety Break for … Continue reading

Action-Packed 2015 Legislative Session is Upon Us

The Oregon Legislature convened today to mark the beginning of what promises to be an action-packed 2015 Legislative Session.  Known as “Organizational Days,” this three-day meeting begins with the traditional swearing-in of new members and the Inauguration of the Governor. … Continue reading

Final Rule on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Final rule to protect workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity announced by US Labor Department On Dec. 3, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), announced final regulations implementing Executive Order … Continue reading

OP-ED: Applauding a plan to invest in career technical education

This column originally appeared in The Daily Journal of Commerce in Buildings Bridges and Roads By: Mike Salsgiver As an industry, we have a lot to be thankful for this year. We are beginning to see the light at the … Continue reading

AGC Staff Burns Calories Honoring Veterans

It’s the holidays: delicious cookies, candy, and treats are everywhere you look at this time of year. With another holiday season upon us, the AGC staff adopted a challenge to coincide with the upcoming 2015 wellness incentive through the AGC … Continue reading

AGC’s Southwestern Travels

Over the past couple of weeks, there have been some events for our members across the southwest regions of the chapter. Our members in the outlying areas of the state may be spread out, but they have a strong connection … Continue reading

OIT Student Chapter Takes Third in National Contest

2014 AGC of America Outstanding Student Chapter Contest Congratulations to the OIT Student Chapter, Third Place In the 2014 AGC of America Outstanding Student Chapter Contest! AGC of America received 12 applications from exceptional student chapters across the country. Each … Continue reading

OP-ED: Following elections, state issues will mirror federal ones

This column originally appeared in The Daily Journal of Commerce in Buildings Bridges and Roads By: Mike Salsgiver  The big story of the 2014 elections at the national level is the Republicans taking the majority in the Senate and further … Continue reading

OROSHA – Adopted Changes to Oxygen-fuel Gas Standards

Oregon OSHA has adopted OAR 437-002-2253, the Oxygen-Fuel Gas Welding and Cutting Standard for General Industry employers and Construction employers when welding, cutting, brazing, soldering, and flame coating is performed using a combination of oxygen and a fuel-gas. This rulemaking … Continue reading

AGC 2014 Post-Election Report

You will find an overview of Tuesday’s election results in AGC’s 2014 Post-Election Report. In short, the national Republican wave did not arrive in Oregon and the Oregon legislative balance has shifted more heavily in favor of the Democrats. With … Continue reading

AGC Adds New Core Policy Position

Today, AGC’s Board of Directors voted to formalize three updated Core Policy Positions and one new Core Policy Position regarding government intrusions into the construction industry. On Friday September 19, the Legislative Committee Forum convened and conducted a general review … Continue reading

OP-ED: Elections Matter to Everyone in the Industry

This column originally appeared in The Daily Journal of Commerce in Buildings Bridges and Roads By: Mike Salsgiver  Today, ballots will be mailed out across the state in Oregon’s unique vote-by-mail system. The construction industry and the workers it employs … Continue reading

Separating Workers From Traffic

Variety of tools available to reduce risk Oregon Department of Transportation employee Tim Swift said it was just a few years ago that he was working on a section of Oregon 18 between Sheridan and Willamina when he got side-swiped … Continue reading

Come Help Shape AGC’s Core Policies

Interested in participating in the creation of AGC’s core policies? Do you want your voice and your section of the industry to be heard? Then come join us this Friday for a Legislative Committee Forum! We will convene this Friday … Continue reading

Complete the Workforce Survey, Enter to Win

Please Take a Few Moments and Complete the AGCA Workforce Survey Send us a screen shot and you could win a $100 gift card to Cabela’s! Since AGC of America conducted its first survey to gauge the extent of workforce … Continue reading

Nominate a Safety Standout Today!

Oregon Governor’s Occupational Safety & Health Conference March 9–12, 2015 Oregon Convention Center, Portland Award nominations are now being accepted for individuals and organizations who make extraordinary contributions to workplace safety and health. Award Categories Employer safety program Association Safety … Continue reading

AGCA Workforce Survey

AGC Of America to begin surveying members on workforce issues later this week Responses Will Help Push for Measures Outlined in the Workforce Development Plan AGC of America will be contacting all AGC members later this week to invite you … Continue reading

Construction employment rises; labor shortages reported

From AGC of America: Construction industry employment reached a five-year high in August as the sector added 20,000 jobs and its unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest rate for August in seven years, according to an analysis by … Continue reading

Costs run high for Portland’s digital permitting efforts

From Projected costs for Portland’s paperless building permit system have increased by more than 40 percent while the timeline for the long-awaited technology project has slipped by about a year. City officials now expect the Bureau of Development Services’ new … Continue reading

It Can Be a Dangerous Profession

Two recent work-related fatalities remind us to support each other The week of July 20 was a terrible week for the Oregon Department of Transportation. On July 22, ODOT Transportation Maintenance Specialist Don Kendall was lost in an incident on … Continue reading

ACE Academy BBQ Inaugurates AGC’s First Ever High School Student Chapter

Tuesday evening was a big night for the ACE Academy and the Associated General Contractors Oregon-Columbia Chapter as students, staff, employers, apprenticeship programs, and schools gathered to inaugurate the opening of AGC at ACE Academy, AGC’s first ever high school … Continue reading

Bend Workplace Safety & Health Event 9/24–25

Former NASA astronaut featured as keynote speaker The Central Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Conference is coming to Bend on Sept. 24–25, 2014, with the theme Launch safety and health to greater heights. The conference is being held at the … Continue reading

OROSHA – Proposed Changes to Confined Spaces Standard

Public Hearing Scheduled: August 25, 2014, 10:00 am, Portland General Electric, 4245 Kale Street NE, Salem, OR 97305 In 2012, Oregon OSHA adopted OAR 437-002-0146. That rule was initiated to address confined space hazards for the construction industry, as the previous rule, OAR … Continue reading

Register for the 8/6 Nat’l Transportation Town Hall Mtg

U.S. Department of Transportation Invites you to a national town hall meeting Moving from Uncertainty to Long-Term Transportation Investment Featuring The Honorable Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary Wednesday, August 6, 2014 10–11 am Please RSVP: Please join U.S. Transportation … Continue reading

CM/GC Legislation and Administrative Rules Effective July 1

The use of the CM/GC method of alternative contracting has long been an issue requiring considerable AGC attention. Controversy over how public agencies utilized the method led to the introduction of multiple bills in recent legislative sessions. As a result, … Continue reading

Senate to Pass Highway Funding Extension; Obama Will Sign

After weeks of back and forth between the House and Senate, a short-term extension of the current transportation authorization with a temporary funding patch for the Highway Trust Fund is expected to pass the Senate later this evening, before Congress … Continue reading

Workforce Grants in Action: Building Girls Camp

There’s no question that a shortage of skilled tradespeople and professionals is a critical issue facing the construction industry. One of AGC’s top strategic objectives, on both the local and national level, is to improve workforce and professional development efforts … Continue reading

Technology Improves Safety

Advances in electronic tools help identify, mitigate risks Electronic messaging, videos, GPS, mobile, and wireless devices are part of our daily lives. In the last twenty years, technology has drastically changed the way we do business. Technological solutions are even … Continue reading

Congress Approves Reforms To Workforce Development System

Yesterday, the U.S. House overwhelming passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803 — information about the bill and a summary can be found here) by a vote of 415-6. The vote came on the heels of the Senate’s … Continue reading

AGC Awards Over $192,000 in Workforce Grants

The Associated General Contractors Oregon-Columbia Chapter recognizes the critical need to increase and maintain a pipeline of skilled tradespeople and professionals to ensure well trained construction workforce for the future. AGC recently awarded over $192,000 in workforce development grants to … Continue reading

Reducing Speed in Work Zones

Research and advances in technology will lead to improved safety Speed is a top concern for those involved with a road construction. In fact, speed (driving too fast for conditions) is a factor in many work zone crashes. “We need … Continue reading

AGCA Joins Hiring Our Heroes Program

National Construction Association Joins Hiring Our Heroes Program as Part of Effort to Add 100,000 Veterans to Workforce This Year New Partnership will Give Members of the Associated General Contractors of America Access to Veterans Job Fairs, Other Resources Designed … Continue reading

Incentives for DC Fly-Ins

AEM Offers Travel Incentive to Attend Washington, DC Fly-Ins Support new highway bill; Join industry at TCC Fly-in, related events The current Highway Bill expires September 30. The Highway Trust Fund is almost out of money. The time to act … Continue reading

What Does “Safe” Mean in a Work Zone?

This is the second in a series of articles on work zone safety provided by the Oregon Department of Transportation. Stay tuned for additional articles. When you ask an engineer, a project manager, a contractor, a trucking industry representative, and … Continue reading

New ODOT Safety Video Available

The Oregon Department of Transportation’s Photo/Video Services Unit produced a new safety training video sponsored by the Employee Safety Unit about a near miss incident. “It Can Be a Dangerous Job” was produced with the assistance of maintenance employees in … Continue reading

AGC Takes Part in “Safety Break for Oregon”

AGC Oregon-Columbia Chapter and its employees recognized the importance of safety and health in the workplace during today’s statewide Safety Break for Oregon celebration. To celebrate the annual Safety Break, AGC employees identified various potential safety hazards in an average … Continue reading

Oregon Transportation Safety Awareness Month

Bicycles, Pedestrians, Motorcycles, Work Zones, and More Are Involved “Safety” is something everyone wants, but actions often tell a different story. Throughout the month of May, there will be plenty of opportunities in communities around the state for people to … Continue reading

ODOT State Radio Project Bid Packages

ODOT State Radio Project rolls out strategy offering $8.9 million for peak season work The Oregon Department of Transportation’s State Radio Project kicks off its busiest construction season with a new strategy to expedite the site work and create opportunities … Continue reading

AGC Updates Core Policy Positions

Today, AGC’s Board of Directors voted to formalize two updated Core Policy Positions regarding career technical education and the use of alternative contracting methods. On Wednesday April 2, the Legislative Committee Forum convened and conducted a general review of AGC’s … Continue reading

AGC Supports OSU Industry Liaison Position

Associated General Contractors funds position The Associated General Contractors Oregon-Columbia Chapter recently committed to fully support an “AGC Industry Liaison” position in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering (CCE), held by Lauren Farmen. Farmen joined the school in 2013 and … Continue reading

USDOT Announces Rulemaking; Task Force Members Sought

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to develop regulations requiring the use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) on trucks that operate in interstate commerce. The ELD would be used to enforce restrictions for … Continue reading

All AGC Members Welcome to Attend Legislative Committee Forum

A Legislative Committee Forum will be held Wednesday April 2, 2014 from 7:30-9:00am in the AGC Boardroom. All AGC members are welcome to attend! Members will hear how AGC fared on a wide range of issues in the 2014 Short … Continue reading

2014 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

AGC enjoyed a successful 2014 Oregon Legislative Session highlighted by the approval of several bills and appropriations that will help the construction sector grow. These include: additional investments in career and technical education, multiple capital projects, and ensuring that current … Continue reading

End of Short Session Coming Soon

Apprenticeship Bills Goes to the Governor The short February legislative session continues its march toward the finish line, with the constitutional deadline of March 9th drawing closer. This week the Oregon Senate unanimously voted to incorporate apprenticeship into the state’s … Continue reading

ODOT Proposes DBE Goal

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Goal Federal Fiscal Years (FFY) 2014–2016 Notice of Proposed DBE Goal: ODOT proposes an overall DBE goal of 12.29% for Federal Highway Administration-funded projects for FFY 2014–2016. The agency expects 9.61% of the overall goal to … Continue reading

2014 Legislative Session First Deadline Passed

Thursday February 13 marked the first big deadline for bills to “live” or “die” in the 2014 short session. As always, the range of bills potentially impacting our industry is broad. Issues include strengthening our future workforce, investments in capital … Continue reading

Apprenticeship Bill Passes Oregon House

Today, on only the third day of Oregon’s short legislative session, a bill of considerable interest to AGC passed out of the House. House Bill 4058 addresses the addition of apprenticeship to Oregon’s 40-40-20 education goals for the year 2025. Carried … Continue reading

2014 Oregon Legislative Session Convened Yesterday

The 2014 Legislative Session opened Monday morning with the traditional organizational floor session and swearing-in of new members. The 35-day session that takes place in even-numbered years like 2014 can be best characterized as a sprint to the finish. Committees … Continue reading

Sandherr Comments on State of the Union Speech

CONGRESS SHOULD HEED PRESIDENT’S CALL FOR SWIFT ACTION ON LONG-TERM TRANSPORTATION AND WATER RESOURCES BILLS Top Construction Official Adds that the President’s Proposals to Improve Skills Training Have the Potential to Help Address Construction Industry’s Future Workforce Needs The chief … Continue reading

Nearly $9M Awarded 24 CTE Grants to 140 Oregon Schools

Major investment in career technical education will expand hands-on learning to 140 schools Oregon Department of Education Announcement – January 7 In a major expansion of career readiness investment, 140 Oregon middle schools and high schools – serving more than … Continue reading

Portland’s Sick Leave Law Can Be Headache! Let AGC Help You!

AGC is here to help our members understand the City of Portland’s Mandated Sick Leave Ordinance! AGC has developed for you and your employees a detailed, construction-specific technical assistance package containing four core sections that our members can utilize to … Continue reading

What Does the Future of P3 Look Like in Oregon?

Find out at the 2014 AGC Annual Business Meeting! January 10 Hilton Portland & Executive Tower 10–11:45 am As the year begins, it’s time to take stock and chart a path toward renewed growth. We have designed the 2014 Annual … Continue reading

Missed AGC’s First Sick Leave Training? Our Next Training is Here!

AGC is here to help our members prepare for the City of Portland’s Mandated Sick Leave Ordinance! AGC has developed for our members a detailed, construction-specific technical assistance package containing four core sections that our members can utilize to ensure … Continue reading

AGC’s December Sick Leave Training is Fast Approaching!

On January 1, 2014, the City of Portland’s Mandated Sick Leave Ordinance will go into effect. AGC is here to help our members prepare for the changes! AGC has developed a detailed, construction-specific technical assistance package containing four core sections … Continue reading

Confused by Portland’s Mandated Sick Leave Ordinance?

AGC Announces Technical Assistance to Ensure Members’ Compliance with Portland’s New Mandated Sick Leave Ordinance January 1, 2014 the City of Portland’s Mandated Sick Leave Ordinance will go into effect. The ordinance will require any employer with one or more … Continue reading

AGC Welcomes Mike Eliason as Public Affairs Counsel

Mike recently joined the Oregon-Columbia Chapter as the newest member of the Public and Strategic Affairs Team. He will be providing legal and regulatory analysis, legislative bill drafting, as well as supporting Public and Strategic Affairs Director John Rakowitz with … Continue reading

AGC Responds to BOLI Proposal on Portland’s Sick Leave Ordinance

The Associated General Contractors Oregon-Columbia Chapter expressed its appreciation for Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) Commissioner Brad Avakian’s proposal to soften the impact of the City of Portland’s Sick Leave Ordinance. AGC Executive Director Mike Salsgiver emphasized that Commissioner … Continue reading

AGC Submits Comments Regarding City of Portland Sick Leave Ordinance

Today, AGC submitted comments to the City of Portland and Commissioner Amanda Fritz regarding the city’s sick leave ordinance. AGC Board Counsel cited the negative effects the ordinance would have on collective bargaining agreements, project proposals/contracts, project costs, and the … Continue reading

Take the AGCA Workforce Survey

LAST CHANCE — Tell us about the current supply of skilled workers in your area From AGC of America – Over the past several months, we have received a number of reports, most of which were anecdotal, about sporadic shortages … Continue reading

Enjoy Great Education and Speakers at the Convention

Join us at the 2013 Summer Convention, presented by Anchor Insurance & Surety, Inc. We have an all-star lineup of speakers, who will inform and inspire you to be a better leader, advocate, and member of the community and industry. … Continue reading

2013 AGC Legislative Session Report

The 2013 Oregon Legislative Session adjourned July 8, 2013.  AGC’s Legislative Report highlighting the most significant bills and investments AGC’s team worked to get approved, passed, or defeated can be found here: 2013 AGC Legislative Session Report A printed copy … Continue reading

Low-Carbon Standards Bill Won’t Help The Environment or Economy

While economists and pundits describe the period from 2008 to 2013 as “the Great Recession,” for the commercial construction industry it has been the Second Great Depression. Our industry has experienced over 40 percent unemployment for over five years. Thanks … Continue reading

Apprenticeship Task Force Bill Signed by Governor

Today, the governor signed Senate Bill 782, a bill that creates a task force to review the issues associated with a potential apprenticeship requirement for state agencies. Since the 2005 Legislature, bills establishing apprenticeship utilization requirements have been introduced and … Continue reading

City of Portland Early Assistance and Public Works Inquiry Changes

Effective July 1, 2013, the City of Portland will offer a more integrated set of options for development early assistance so customers do not have to sign up for multiple meetings to get information about their project from relevant bureaus. As part of … Continue reading

CMGC Bill Ready for Governor’s Signature

AGC supported Senate Bill 254, currently waiting for the governor’s signature, that will change Oregon’s public contracting law. This new law is the product of a workgroup convened following the 2011 session to review the use of and improvements to … Continue reading

ODOT Announces DBE Goal

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Goal Federal Fiscal Years 2014–2016 The Oregon Department of Transportation recently proposed their overall Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goal of 14.68% for Federal Highway Administration-funded projects. The agency expects 11.5% of the overall goal to be met … Continue reading

Construction Zone Photo Radar Bill Signed by Governor

The governor has signed into law House Bill 2265 that allows photo radar to be used in construction zones. HB 2265 lifts the sunset on a program that permits the use of photo radar in highway work zones when highway … Continue reading

Bill Restoring Exclusive Remedy Workers’ Comp Protections Ready for Governor’s Signature

Today, the Oregon House of Representatives unanimously passed Senate Bill 678 following the bill’s unanimous passage in the Senate. The bill is now on its way to the governor’s desk where it will await his imminent signature.  SB 678 – … Continue reading

Retainage Bill on the Way to Governor’s Desk for Signature

Senate Bill 405 is now on its way to the Governor’s desk for signature.  Yesterday, the Oregon House of Representatives unanimously approved the bill.  SB 405 limits the amount of retainage to no more than 5% for the contract price … Continue reading

Understanding the Impacts of the Affordable Care Act

Join us for the informative session Health Care Reform & Employer Strategies on June 6 James L. Watson, director of sales at Regence, will present an overview of the impacts of health care reform for employers in both small and … Continue reading

Construction Industry Celebrates 40 Years of Regulatory Success

Today at the state capitol building, the construction industry came together to celebrate 40 years of regulatory success in the state of Oregon. In 1973, Senate Bill 73 was signed into law and has since maintained a uniform, consistent, and … Continue reading

Poll: Put brakes on US gas tax

Two-thirds of Americans oppose increasing gas taxes, even if it means the revenue would go toward improving roads and bridges, a new poll shows. Sixty-six percent of those surveyed say they are against a gas tax of up to 20 … Continue reading

OSU CEM Officers Lead Winter Wonderings Event with Kids

OSU AGC Student Chapter Officers planned and executed two, 90 minute hands-on workshops for 30 5th and 6th grade T.A.G. students, as a part of as a part of OSU Winter Wonderings on March 2.  The officers assisted the students … Continue reading

Low Carbon Fuel Standards Bill Heard in Oregon Senate

On Monday, March 18 the Oregon Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held hearings on Senate Bill 488.  The bill would remove a sunset provision that would end the state’s experiment with the Oregon Clean Fuels Program, which would impose … Continue reading

Prevailing Wage Seminar: The What, Who, and Why of It – March 21

The class is now full! A new class has been scheduled for April 23. AGC is hosting a free prevailing wage seminar March 21 from 9 am–12 pm at the AGC Center in Wilsonville. This seminar aims to teach contractors … Continue reading

Governor Signs I-5 Bridge Replacement Project Bill into Law

  This morning Governor Kitzhaber signed into law House Bill 2800-Enrolled. This law approves $450 million in state bonding to finance Oregon’s share of the $3.4 billion I-5 Bridge Replacement Project. AGC Government Affairs Director John Rakowitz attended the ceremony … Continue reading

AGC Supports Vocational Education Funding Expansion

AGC supports Senate Bill 498 to continue to strengthen and expand state funding for vocational education programs. The bill that will accomplish this, Senate Bill 498, was approved unanimously by the Senate Education and Workforce Committee yesterday afternoon. This bill … Continue reading

Construction Industry United in Supporting Limiting Retainage on Construction Contracts

Yesterday, after lengthy internal discussions within AGC and among many other industry associations, a bill that will result in a fair and consistent approach to the retainage issue was discussed at the Senate Business and Transportation Committee. At January’s Annual … Continue reading

Coming Monday: LCFS Lobby Day at the State Capitol

Monday February 25, 2013 is Low Carbon Fuel Standard Lobby Day in the State Capitol. The proposed Low Carbon Fuel Standard in Oregon sounds simple, but is extremely complex. It is modeled on a similar program in California—a program that … Continue reading

AGC’s Sandherr: US Needs Long-Term Transportation Funding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                               CONTACT: BrianTurmail Wednesday, February 20, 2013                                                           (703) 837-5310;  PRESIDENT’S TRANSPORTATION PLAN SHEDS NEEDED LIGHT ON NATION’S INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS, BUT LACKS ESSENTIAL LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS  Administration’s Plan to Cut Red Tape, Expand TIFIA Program Are Welcome, … Continue reading

AGC’s President Weighs in on I-5 Bridge Replacement (Columbia River Crossing) Project Joint Committee Hearing

  In yesterday’s Interstate-5 Bridge Replacement Project Joint Committee Hearing, AGC President Tom Gerding testified that: The extended economic recession has had devastating impacts on far too many of our members across rural Oregon…[AGC] requests that you do not place … Continue reading

Busy Week in the Capitol

Last week, the Oregon Legislature convened for the last time before the 2013 session kicks off in January.  Both House and Senate committees began introducing committee bills on a wide range of policy issues that will be considered during the … Continue reading

Support for I-5 Bridge Gains Momentum

It has been a big week for the five-mile Columbia River Crossing project as support for the project gains momentum.  Monday December 3 in front of hundreds of private and public leaders at the 10th Annual Oregon Business Plan Leadership … Continue reading

Transportation Needs and Funding Options in Washington State

Today, the AGC Oregon-Columbia Chapter attended a panel hosted by the Association of Washington Business in Vancouver, Wash. to discuss current transportation issues facing Washington State. The panel spent the morning discussing the issues surrounding transportation packages that cannot be … Continue reading

AGC Oregon-Columbia, CRC & SWCA Host CRC Workshop

Wednesday, AGC Oregon-Columbia Chapter, the Columbia River Crossing, and the Southwest Washington Contractors Association hosted a CRC Workshop.  Contractors were informed of the current status of federal and state funding, contracting methodology, contract sequencing, construction phases and timelines, as well … Continue reading

AGCA Launches New ConstructionVotes GOTV Website

AGC Oregon-Columbia Chapter is happy to announce that, AGCA’s get-out-the-vote (GOTV) website, is now live.  Visitors to the site will have the ability to: Register to vote Learn about the candidates Find their polling location Obtain information on early … Continue reading

Diesel Powers Oregon’s Economy

Clean Diesel Facts from Oregon Did You Know… There are over 46,000 registered construction businesses throughout Oregon that employ more than 100,000 workers and contribute $6.5 billion to the state GDP. The majority of the 33,544 pieces of equipment used … Continue reading

Summary: Federal Highway Bill

NOTE:  This summary was prepared by Brian Deery, Senior Director of AGC of America’s Highway and Transportation Division. To obtain a PDF version of this summary, please click: Summary of MAP-21, 2012 Highway Reauthorization Act. Funding Provides funding certainty through … Continue reading

Congressional Conferees Close to a Deal on Federal Highway Bill

The House and Senate are moving closer to a deal on the highway and bridge portions of the surface transportation reauthorization bill.  This afternoon, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) and Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Barbara … Continue reading

AGCA 2012 Pollution Liability Coverage Survey

AGC would like to share with you the following message from AGC of America and to request your participation in this important survey. In order to develop benchmarking data regarding the use of environmental insurance to address risks associated with … Continue reading

Building Information Modeling (BIM) in the Field – Coming to AGC

BIM is coming to AGC University in Wilsonville. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is changing the way projects are constructed. This emerging practice requires new mindsets and technological know-how in order to achieve significant improvements in efficiency, accuracy, and cost control. … Continue reading

New Pipeline Safety Rule Proposed

The United States Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has proposed a new rule that will directly affect utility and excavation contractors. The proposed rule would establish the following: Criteria and an administrative process to determine … Continue reading

EPA Clean Diesel Funding Opportunity

Last week, AGC received this message from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality about a new funding opportunity through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Please continue reading for more information… CLEAN DIESEL FUNDING EPA is soliciting clean diesel proposals … Continue reading

“Quickie Election” Rule – Effective April 30, 2012

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) rule on representation case procedures went into effect on April 30, 2012.  Referred to as the “Quickie Election” or “Ambush Election” rule, would speed up the union representation election cycle to as little as … Continue reading

Federal Highway Bills Head to Conference

Wednesday, April 25 the US House of Representatives voted to meet with the US Senate to negotiate a bill funding federal highway and transit programs. House Members approved a motion to go to conference with the Senate (who moved to … Continue reading

New ODOT DBE Program Goals – Public Hearing Announcement

ODOT has announced new Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program goals. You have two opportunities to learn about the changes ODOT is proposing and to comment (see below). Specifically, ODOT is proposing amendments to the DBE program waiver. This program waiver … Continue reading

AGC of America Rolls Out New ConsensusDocs Platform

AGC of America (AGCA) is announcing a new and significantly improved technology platform for ConsensusDocs contracts that is scheduled for release next week.  AGCA will do a soft, phased launch to current subscribers starting on April 17, with a full … Continue reading

Washington State Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Contractors

NOTE: This item was originally posted by the AGC Inland Northwest Chapter in an email sent April 9, 2012. __________ The Washington State Supreme Court recently took the position requested by three AGC Chapters in a recent court case and … Continue reading

EPA Releases Template for Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans

AGC of America recently alerted local chapters that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a new template for stormwater pollution prevention plans (SWPPPs). The SWPPPs are site-specific documents required by EPA to control construction stormwater runoff to waters … Continue reading

Oregon Court of Appeals Ruling May Hurt LLCs

The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled in late February in Cortez v. Nacco Materials Handling Group, Inc. that the exclusive remedy provision of the workers’ compensation law does not protect the individual members of an LLC from tort liability. This … Continue reading

State Highway Fund Revenue Forecast

On Monday, March 19th the state published the most recent revenue forecast for the State Highway Fund. The December 2011 forecast shows a 2.2% drop in future revenues in comparison to the September 2011 forecast. The forecast includes revenue projections … Continue reading

Transportation bill showdown begins next week

From AGC of America: A 90-day extension of current transportation funding would create “havoc” for cities and states trying to plan their transportation projects, said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), speaking of House Republicans’ plan for a short-term funding extension instead … Continue reading

Governor’s Regulatory Streamlining and Simplification Project — Input Request

Governor Kitzhaber, along with State Attorney General John Kroger and Chief Operating Officer Michael Jordan, launched the Governor’s Regulatory Streamlining and Simplification Project in 2011 to create a plan for simplifying the state’s regulatory and permitting system. As part of … Continue reading

Training Opportunity: CARB Heavy Duty Diesel Regulations

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is offering a number of free training sessions for operators of heavy duty diesel trucks and buses. If you operate heavy duty trucks pulling a 53-foot box van or refrigerated trailer, or any other … Continue reading

2012 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

March 5th marked the end of the 2012 Oregon legislative session. To access AGC’s report on the session, please click here. If you have questions, please contact Government Affairs Specialist Allison Koenker.

Oregon DEQ Announcement: Grant Funding Available

Oregon DEQ has announced they may have nearly $300,000 remaining from older grants that will be made available for non-road diesel engine repowers. Here is the information DEQ has shared with AGC: DEQ is soliciting project ideas to repower older … Continue reading

2012 Legislative Presentation to the Board of Directors

This morning, AGC Government Affairs Director John Rakowitz briefed the Board of Directors on the results of the 2012 legislative session to date*. Click here to access the PowerPoint presentation that was shared with the Board. *NOTE: The legislature remains … Continue reading

Legislature Adopts Changes to Oregon Prompt Pay Law

The Oregon Legislature just completed work on HB 4034, a bill that will amend Oregon’s prompt pay statute. AGC actively supported this bill for a variety of reasons. This blog post will provide in-depth background on the bill and discuss … Continue reading

2012 Annual Session Reaches Half Way Point

February 14 marked an important day on the 2012 legislative calendar. In most cases, any bills that did not come out of policy committees in their chamber of origin died. This means that of the original 270+ bills that were … Continue reading

AGC Members are Stepping Up in Salem

Yesterday, the Senate confirmed David Andersen, president of Andersen Construction Company, Inc. and AGC past president from 2001, to the Workers’ Compensation Division’s Management Labor Advisory Committee. Once David Andersen expressed an interest in serving on this influential committee, AGC’s … Continue reading

US Senate Moves Ahead With Transportation Bill

In a show of bipartisanship, the Senate voted 85-11 to invoke cloture on its two-year, $109 billion surface transportation legislation. This places a time limit on consideration of the bill and thus precludes a filibuster that may have delayed consideration … Continue reading

ACTION ALERT: Ask Your US Senator to Support Transportation Funding

Committees in the United States Senate have completed action on Federal transportation reauthorization legislation. The US Senate will begin action on the floor tomorrow with a parliamentary procedure called a “Motion to Proceed.” As its name implies, before Senate debate … Continue reading

Oregon Revenue Forecast Released Yesterday

Yesterday the state’s economists released their most recent economic and revenue forecast. The general fund budget for this biennium is now expected to come in at $14.8 billion, approximately $35 million below the third quarter forecast of $14.83 billion.This margin … Continue reading

Important California Low Carbon Fuel Standard Development

Readers may recall that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted California unique authority under the federal Clean Air Act to adopt emissions standards, which resulted in the state developing a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The California LCFS … Continue reading

2012 Legislative Session Convened Yesterday

Yesterday marked the start of the first official annual legislative session, which was approved by Oregon voters in 2010. Prior to this year, the Oregon Legislature regularly convened biannually; past short sessions were experimental. By law, the short session can … Continue reading

Proposed Federal Rule Could Add Cost, Administrative Burdens

Here is a repost of a blog entry from AGC of America’s Tamika Carter about a proposed federal rule that may place significant additional cost and administrative burdens on your company:   On Dec. 9, 2011, the Office of Federal … Continue reading

A Message from the New Oregon Transportation Commission Chair

For those of you who are interested in the Oregon Department of Transportation and general transportation news throughout the state, you may enjoy reading this introductory article from the new Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) chair Pat Egan. In “The case … Continue reading

Recent news on the economy

Here are a couple of links to some recent news stories (some good, some not-so-good) affecting our industry: Oregon universities win $3.5 million federal grant to study sustainable transportation. Vestas slashes jobs in Portland area           … Continue reading

The Economics of Construction Employment in Oregon

The Oregon Employment Department recently published two articles focused on Oregon’s economy, with special focus on the construction industry. For those of you who have some free time over the weekend and an interest in the recent history of construction … Continue reading

Feds Ban Truck Driver Use of Hand Held Mobile Phones

The US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a final rule that restricts the use of hand-held mobile telephones by interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers (CMV) and interstate hazmat drivers beginning January 3, 2012. The … Continue reading

Prevailing Wage Rate Information and Seminars

The Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) publishes Oregon state prevailing wage rates in January and July of each year. A second publication, Definitions of Covered Occupations for Public Works Contracts in Oregon, contains the important occupations definitions that are … Continue reading

Environmental Successes at the State and Federal Levels

One of AGC’s core policies is to advocate for industry sensitive environmental regulations and to oppose any new environmental regulations that will impose a financial burden on the industry. The Government Affairs team works closely with Oregon state agencies and … Continue reading

Imbalance in the Real Estate Market

  In a recent blog post at,  Oregon economist Bill Conerly analyzes the state of the real estate sector. His conclusion: the past isn’t necessarily prologue. In past economic downturns, property owners and developers at the low end of … Continue reading

The Oregon Leadership Summit

This past Monday, I attended the 2011 Oregon Leadership Summit in Portland. It was attended by about 1,200 business leaders, government leaders, and others from around the state. The Summit is important for several reasons: It’s an opportunity for folks … Continue reading

Career and Technical Education Grant Application Now Available

One of AGC’s major victories during the 2011 Legislative Session was the passage of House Bill 3362. AGC, along with industry allies, successfully secured a $2 million grant program earmarked for career and technical education (CTE) opportunities. The bill, which … Continue reading