Dear Colleagues –
Hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend. Last month, ACEC made progress on several bread-and-butter issues with both House and Senate committee passage of a new Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill, with floor action expected in June. We were also able to get language in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the House that will prevent the Department of Defense from implementing the so-called “blacklisting” rule that would jeopardize government contractors based on mere allegations of various labor rule violations. Also in May, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council issued a final rule that codifies an ACEC-backed policy to limit Design-Build two-phase finalists to five teams in response to member firm concerns about the high cost of Design-Build competitions.
- ACEC is about to launch its new emerging leaders program (“Pathways to Executive Leadership”) – which will hold several sessions at the Fall Conference in Colorado, followed by a series of online classes, and concluding with advocacy-oriented sessions at the Spring Convention in Washington.
- ACEC’s employee strength has grown to 575,000 – the highest level in the Council’s 107-year history; ACEC member firms now also make up 82 percent of eligible firms on the ENR 500, including nine out of the top ten.
- ACEC member firms have also grown faster than non-ACEC firms over the past four years, according to a recent analysis of the ENR 500 rankings.
- The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee approved a draft Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) that authorizes $5 billion for 28 new Corps of Engineers projects around the country. (A more expansive bill passed earlier by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee includes ACEC-backed language to expand QBS, as well as provisions authorizing new Corps projects, funding to address drinking water needs, and the creation of a water trust fund.)
- ACEC’s Action Alert promoting a permanent revenue solution for the Highway Trust Fund helped to persuade 130 Members of Congress to sign a letter to Ways & Means Committee leaders recommending that transportation funding options be included in tax reform.
- Secured language in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the House that will prevent the Department of Defense from implementing the so-called “blacklisting” rule.
- The Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council issued a final rule on design-build that codifies an ACEC-backed policy to limit Design-Build two-phase finalists to five teams.
- ACEC-backed legislation introduced by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) to limit the use of reverse auctions and one-phase design-build was approved by a House committee.
- Asked Congress to extend the Section 179D energy efficient commercial buildings tax deduction beyond the end of 2016.
- Strongly supported allowing engineering firms to continue using the cash method of accounting in a letter to the Senate Finance Committee.
- ACEC/PAC co-hosted fundraising events for Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Bob Dold (R-IL), John Duncan (R-TN), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Daniel Webster (R-FL), Bruce Westerman (R-AR), and Mo Brooks (R-AL), and U.S. Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT).
- Held ACEC’s highly regarded Expert Witness course, Applying Expertise as an Engineering Expert Witness, in which technical professionals honed their skills at providing effective testimony as engineering experts.
- Coalitions’ best sellers for May included CASE’s A Guideline Addressing the Preparation of Structural Engineering Reports for Buildings and CAMEE’s Agreement between MEP Engineer and Consulting Design Professional, both available at www.acec.org/bookstore.
- With 30 registered sites, May’s most popular online class, Emerging Trends in Compensation, examined rising compensation trends and job growth activity in the A/E/C industry and the impact on member firms.
- The education management system RCEP added two new Approved Providers –Post Tensioning Institute and Philips Lighting – for a total of 130.
- June webinars will include: Capital Strategies and M&A Market Update; Five Advanced Presentation Tactics that Motivate Prospect Interest; The Five Commandments of Risk Management; Impact of the New Overtime Pay Rule on Engineering Firms; Dodge Engineering & Construction Outlook for 2016 and Beyond; Managing a Project’s Scope of Services; Pin the Tail on the Leader; Communication for Project Managers; The Business Development Plan Assessment: Enhancing A/E Firm Performance and Marketing ROI; Panama Canal New Locks June 2016 Opening and the $50+Billion U.S. Port Infrastructure Market; The New Rules of Modern Marketing for Engineering Firms; Professional Liability – A Look Behind the Curtain; How to Use Data to Illuminate Your Message.