• Successfully lobbied to keep government agencies running until December 11, as the House yesterday passed a Continuing Resolution by a vote of 277 to 151, with 186 Democrats and 91 Republicans in favor.
• Awarded a Minuteman Fund grant to ACEC/Texas to help pass a major ballot initiative that would add $40 billion in state transportation funding through 2030.
• ACEC/North Carolina – supported by Minuteman – secured $708 million in new recurring transportation revenue every two years plus an additional $2 billion for transportation projects over the next decade.
• Alabama, Montana, and Nebraska are the latest states to reach their ACEC/PAC fundraising goals for 2015 – putting ACEC/PAC two-thirds of the way toward its $1 million target, and increased clout in Congress.
• As part of our enhanced PR efforts for infrastructure funding, conducted a well-publicized radio interview with Infrastructure USA, a non-profit online community, available on their website or Facebook page.
• Promoted QBS and other best practices at the annual conference of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) in Dubai, attended by representatives from 101 countries; U.S. delegation was headed by ACEC Chairman Ralph Christie.
• Testified before the House Small Business Committee raising concerns over the Department of Labor’s proposed “blacklisting” rule, which would require firms working for federal agencies to report violations, including alleged violations, of various federal and state labor laws.
• The ACEC-AASHTO Joint Committee meeting featured discussions on consensus issues and priorities for the reauthorization of MAP-21, consultant contracting trends, impact of automated vehicles on transportation planning and design, and engineering workforce recruitment and retention challenges.
• Joined broad industry coalition calling on FAA to finalize the rules for commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) without further delay and to take the necessary regulatory steps for full integration of all UAS into the national airspace.
• Urged Congress to extend or make permanent business tax provisions – such as the R&D tax credit, higher Section 179 expensing levels, and bonus depreciation – which expired at the end of December.
• Joined the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity in expressing concern about the significant changes proposed to the overtime pay salary threshold by the Department of Labor (ACEC submitted its own comments in August).
• House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a bill backed by ACEC to end the longstanding ban on exports of crude oil.
• ACEC/PAC hosted several political fundraising events for U.S. House and Senate Members in September, including Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY); also hosted a “Meet and Greet” at the ACEC office for first term Congressman Mark Takai (D-HI).
• Conducted first of two California-based AASHTO Audit Guide Training Courses in cooperation with NHI/FHWA; Caltrans attendees joined with nearly two dozen member firms to discuss best practices in using the Audit Guide; second course will be held January 13-14, 2016 in San Diego.
• ACEC’s Human Resources, Information Technology, and Finance Forums met in New Orleans where more than 180 attendees enjoyed two days of peer-to-peer discussions on emerging trends and common workplace challenges.
• Class 21 of the Senior Executives Institute (SEI), ACEC’s flagship business leadership program, began its first session in Washington, D.C. with visits to the Brookings Institution, Capitol Hill, the Embassy of Brazil, and ACEC National offices; now taking registrations for Class 22 in September 2016 at sei.acec.org.
• With more than 80 participants, September’s most popular webinar “Ownership Transition 2.0” examined how member firms can establish firm value, recognize new leadership, and convert their investment into cash.
• ACEC Coalitions’ best sellers for September included CASE’s National Practice Guidelines for the Structural Engineer of Record (2012) and Guidelines for Performing Project Specific Peer Reviews on Structural Projects, both available at www.acec.org/bookstore.
• The education accreditation management system (RCEP) added the American Institute of Chemical Engineers as a provider, for a total of 122 approved providers.
• Don’t miss these valuable webinars coming in October: Strategy – It’s Not Just a Vision Thing!; Capture Planning to Dramatically Increase Your Win Rate; Small Projects, Small Claims, and Huge Risks; Recent Developments in Design and Construction Case Law; The Leadership Advantage – Producing Leaders from Within; Why Referrals Aren’t Enough: Building the High-Growth Engineering Firm; If You Haven’t Planned It, You Can’t Control It; Be Memorable and Win More Work: The Difference-Makers for Winning Proposals; and Value: The A/E/C Industry’s Biggest Blind Spot.