CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR - Learn Engage - AGC of California

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CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR - Learn Engage - AGC of California




CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR - Learn Engage - AGC of California
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CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR - Learn Engage - AGC of California
CONSTRUCTOR                                                                                   JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2022


Increasing Black
Representation in
                                             16 HONORING SAFETY

                                             AGC Honors
                                             Winners of 2021
                                                                                         IN EVERY ISSUE
                                                                                         2	MOVING MOUNTAINS
                                                                                            AGC member engagement is
                                                                                            at an all-time high – and is our
                                                                                            key to our continued success
                                                                                            in 2022.
                                                                                         4	ADVOCATING FOR THE

Black workers are significantly              CSEA Competition                               Industry’s voice critical as
                                                                                            Legislature is poised to resume
underrepresented in the AEC fields. How      Nearly two dozen firms and individuals
                                                                                            work on bills impacting
can the industry change that?                honored for safety excellence as AGC
                                             helps industry build a culture of safety.
                                                                                         24	BUILDING YOUR NETWORK
                                             BY CAROL EATON
                                                                                            Construct 2021 delivers,
                                             18 REVIEW AND FORECAST                         drawing strong turnout with
Alternative Project                                                                         mix of education, business and
Delivery Gains                               Review and Forecast                            networking events.
                                             Construction prospects brighten, but
Ground                                       coronavirus clouds linger
                                                                                         SHORT SUBJECTS
LAX projects among others illustrate the     BY KEN SIMONSON
benefits of more collaborative approaches.                                               22	LEADERSHIP LINEUP

BY CAROL EATON                                                                           28	SUPPORTING YOUR SAFETY

                                                                                               CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR
                                                                                                 J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2   1
CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR - Learn Engage - AGC of California

                                                                                               Published bi-monthly
                                                                                               for members of the
                                                                                               Associated General
                                                                                               Contractors of California
                                                                                               3095 Beacon Boulevard
                                                                                               West Sacramento, CA
                                                                                               (916) 371-2422

                                                                                               Al Rickard
                                                                                               Association Vision
                                                                                               (703) 402-9713

A New Year to                                                                        

Engage With AGC                                                                                EDITOR

                                                                                               Carol A. Eaton
BY DINA K IMBLE, PRESIDENT, AGC OF CALIFORNIA                                                  Eaton Communications
                                                                                               (707) 789-9520

      can hardly believe that 2022 is upon      vocacy at state, regional and local levels,

      us! AGC’s talented and dedicated staff    relationships with our union partners, and
      and our 2020-2021 volunteer leader-       connecting people within our industry.         THOR Design Studio
ship navigated through the unprecedented        Now is the time to also be leaders in          Washington D.C. | Austin
past couple of years, and for that we are all   workforce development, building strong
truly grateful. With this new year comes        cultures in our companies, becoming  
fresh enthusiasm that we can once again         champions in the industry around in-
focus on building projects, our teams and       creasing diversity within our companies,
                                                                                               Address editorial and
our relationships, and less on pandemics,       and building an environment that invites,      circulation correspondence
remote work and a “new normal.” I’ve been       retains, and elevates young people in          to:
accused before of being an optimist, but        ways they can be passionate about and          California Constructor
isn’t that a leader’s responsibility as we      thrive. Being chosen by our membership         AGC of California,
navigate what this new year brings?             to serve in this role signifies to me that     3095 Beacon Blvd., West
                                                                                               Sacramento, CA 95691
    I’m honored and humbled to be the           we truly value the diverse perspectives
                                                                                               (916) 371-2422
first woman and first specialty contractor      and collaboration that will drive success      or call Carol Eaton at
to hold the office of President at AGC of       for our companies, our association, and        (707) 789-9520
California. The new role has me reflecting      the industry.                                  or
on what leadership really means, within             Construction is a relationship business,
our companies and within an industry            and we all look forward to our 2022 in-per-
association.                                    son events. If you missed Construct 2021
    For over 100 years, AGC of California       this past November in Indian Wells, you
and our members have been the leader            missed the excitement in reuniting with        COPYRIGHT 2022

in entrepreneurship, innovation, and ad-        friends and peers at our first in-person

       J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2
CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR - Learn Engage - AGC of California
statewide event since the pandemic.                     momentum by expanding our training
    Construct 2021 was a huge success,                  offerings, connecting our members and
with 460 people in attendance, generous                 their teams with issues they are pas-
sponsors, and a record setting 90 students              sionate about, continuing to strengthen
from our AGC student chapters. It was a
chance for our membership to catch up on
                                                        relationships with our union partners,
                                                        public agencies, legislators, and each
                                                                                                                 Construction is
the wins of the association, practical ap-
plications and forecasting of cutting-edge
                                                        other, and sharing the career opportu-
                                                        nities our industry offers young people                  a relationship
                                                                                                                 business, and we
technology that will revolutionize our                  through Build California, AGC Student
industry, and engaging keynotes on how                  Chapters and Emerging Leaders groups.

                                                                                                                 all look forward
to build company culture and support the                    AGC staff and our 2022 slate of vol-
mental health of our employees. And just                unteer leaders are ready and excited for
like old times, there were a few rounds                 the challenge. How will you engage and
of cocktails, business deals, and stories               be a part of this year’s success?                        to our 2022
of the past taking place in the hotel bar.
It was awesome to reconnect.                                                                                     in-person events.
    Member engagement at AGC is at an
all-time high (nearly 65%), and member
recruitment blew the competition out                                          Kindest regards,
of the water in 2021. We’ll build on this                                     Dina Kimble, President

                  Feel like you’re not bidding on a level playing field?

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        when bidding, causing your company to be unable to compete. Often this        Commercial & Residential Rates.
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        help level that field.                                                                 ticeship program accredited by the State of California. Our ap-
            As a signatory contractor and partner of OPCMIA locals                             prentices learn all aspects of concrete including form setting,
        500 and 600, you are provided a Prevailing Wage Compliance                             placement, finishing, concrete polishing, patching & repair.

               Local 500 ~ 714-554-0730 ~ • Local 600 ~ 323-771-0991 ~

                                                                                                                                CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR
                                                                                                                                  J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2   3
CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR - Learn Engage - AGC of California
AGC OPPOSES public policy that arbitrarily sets aside
                                                                                land that otherwise could aid in the development of
                                                                                California’s infrastructure needs.

    What to Expect in the
    2022 Legislative Session?

         he Legislature reconvened January     hearings and legislative advocacy.           any tax policy that arbitrarily targets high
         3, 2022 to begin the second year of       As for unfinished business, the Leg-     income businesses or earners.
         the 2021-22 legislative session. It   islature deferred action on an unusually
has until February 18th to introduce new       large number of measures because of          ǃ AB 564 (Gonzalez D) Biodiversity
bills for consideration in 2022. Those bills   the limitations set by COVID protocols.      Protection and Restoration Act. This
that did not advance in 2021, known as         Of those two-year bills, there are several   bill would establish that it is the pol-
“two-year bills,” have until January 31st to   priorities bills that AGC remains in op-     icy of the state that all state agencies,
move out of their house of origin.             position to, as outlined below.              boards, and commissions shall utilize
    With the global pandemic stifling                                                       their authorities in furtherance of the
the Legislature’s ability to hold its usual    ǃ AB 310 (Lee D) Wealth Tax. This            biodiversity conservation purposes
amount of committee hearings, fewer            bill would, for taxable years beginning      and goals of the Governor’s executive
bills advanced through the bill process        on or after January 1, 2022, impose an       orders. The bill would require all state
in 2021. The 2022 session will likely be       annual tax at a rate of 1% of a resident     agencies, boards, and commissions to
again hamstrung by the nagging COVID           of this state whose worldwide net worth      consider and prioritize the protection
protocols and uncertainty brought on by        is in excess of $50 million, or in excess    of biodiversity in carrying out their
the Omicron variant.                           of $25 million in the case of a married      statutory mandates. It would require
    Additionally, the logistics of the leg-    taxpayer filing separately. The bill would   strategies related to the goal of the state
islative process will undoubtedly be           also impose an additional tax at a rate of   to conserve at least 30% of California’s
complicated by the reconstruction of the       0.5% of a resident’s worldwide net worth     land and coastal waters by 2030 to be
unrestored side of the State Capitol. With     more than $1 billion or in excess of $500    made available to the public and pro-
the Governor and Legislature relocating        million in the case of a married taxpayer    vided to the Legislature by no later than
to new office spaces for the next several      filing separately.                           June 30, 2022.
years, the first year of this move will cer-       While this law may not likely affect         AGC opposes public policy that arbi-
tainly disorder office visits, committee       AGC members today, AGC is opposed to         trarily sets aside land that otherwise could

       J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2
CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR - Learn Engage - AGC of California
The 2022
aid in the development of California’s                                                        Industrial Relations that would require
infrastructure needs.                                                                         employers with more than 1,000 em-
                                                                                              ployees in California to submit various
ǃ AB 786 (Cervantes D) California                   session will                              statistics regarding those employees to
Transportation Commission (CTC):                                                              the agency. The bill would further require
Executive Director. Current law requires          likely be again                             the agency to collect the worker-related
the CTC to appoint an executive director                                                      statistics annually and, after collection,
for the commission who serves at the
pleasure of the Commission. This bill
                                                  hamstrung by                                to assign each employer to one of the 24
                                                                                              industries in the Global Industry Classi-
would instead require the executive di-
rector of the Commission to be appointed
                                                    the nagging                               fication Standard system.
                                                                                                  This measure attempts to shoehorn all
by the Governor, subject to confirmation
by the Senate, and subject to removal at
                                                 COVID protocols                              industries and employers into a system
                                                                                              that ultimately has been designed to

                                                 and uncertainty
the discretion of the Governor.                                                               demonstrate disparity among service
    AGC opposes this measure as it stands                                                     sector workers; the measure ignores

                                                  brought on by
to politicize the selection of this very im-                                                  the complexities and excellent benefits
portant position; the executive director of                                                   provided by construction jobs.
the CTC should be accountable to body
it serves and not to the Governor.                 the Omicron                                ǃ AB 1400 (Kalra D) Guaranteed Health
                                                                                              Care for All. Current law provides for the
ǃ AB 995 (Gonzalez D) Paid Sick Days:                 variant.                                Medi-Cal program, which is administered
Accrual and Use. Current law authorizes                                                       by the State Department of Health Care
an employer to use a different accrual                                                        Services, under which qualified low-in-
method if an employee has no less than          ee at the time the employee requests          come individuals receive health care ser-
24 hours of accrued sick leave or paid time     family care and medical leave. The bill       vices. This bill would create the California
off by the 120th calendar day of employ-        would authorize an employer to limit          Guaranteed Health Care for All program,
ment or each calendar year, or in each          designation of a person, as prescribed.       or CalCare, to provide comprehensive
12-month period. This bill would modify             This measure expands employer lia-        universal single-payer health care coverage
the employer’s alternate sick leave accrual     bility, and as such AGC is opposed.           and a health care cost control system for
method to require that an employee have                                                       the benefit of all residents of the state.
no less than 40 hours of accrued sick leave     ǃ AB 1119 (Wicks D) Employment                    AGC is opposed to this measure as
or paid time off by the 200th calendar day      Discrimination. The California Fair           it unfairly burdens all construction em-
of employment or each calendar year, or         Employment and Housing Act protects           ployers with increased costs for health
in each 12-month period.                        the right to seek, obtain, and hold employ-   care; this measure stands to shift costs
    Paid sick leave, and other related fringe   ment without discrimination because of        to employers that already provide quality
benefits, are best negotiated between           prescribed characteristics. This bill would   health coverage.
employers and our labor partners with           expand the protected characteristics to           The Legislative committee will meet
whom we have master labor agreements.           include family responsibilities, defined      in March to discuss the progress of the
This measure would upend that process           to mean the obligations of an employee        bills mentioned above as well as review
with a “one sizes fit all approach.”            to provide direct and ongoing care for a      all the new bills introduced this year.
                                                minor child or a care recipient.              Stay tuned!
ǃ AB 1041 (Wicks D) Employment:                     This measure expands employer lia-
Leave. This bill would expand the popu-         bility, and as such AGC is opposed.
lation that an employee can take leave to
care for to include a designated person.        ǃ AB 1192 (Kalra D) Employment Infor-                           Felipe Fuentes
It would define “designated person” to          mation: Worker Metrics. This bill would
mean a person identified by the employ-         establish a program in the Department of

                                                                                                         CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR
                                                                                                           J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2   5
CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR - Learn Engage - AGC of California
Increasing Black
in Construction

    J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2
CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR - Learn Engage - AGC of California
        very February during Black History
        Month businesses and organizations
        across the U.S. embrace the chance to
spotlight the contributions and achievements
of Black Americans through the years.
    While many construction companies partici-
pate in this month-long celebration of Black history,
the construction industry as a whole continues to grapple
with a critical challenge: Black workers are significantly underrepresented in the
fields of architecture, engineering and construction.
    In 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that Blacks made up just
6 percent of the construction workforce while representing over 12 percent of the
entire labor force. This comes at a time of acute demand for skilled workers to help
deliver essential projects that will keep the U.S. competitive and growing now and
in the future.
    Recognizing the need for a strong pipeline to bring more skilled workers into the
construction industry, many companies have implemented diversity, equity and
inclusion initiatives to attract and retain underrepresented groups. Over the past
year or two, it has become evident that at least some progress is being made – but
the pace is uneven, and success can be difficult to measure.
    So what are AGC member companies doing to increase the hiring and amplify
the voices of Black employees? California Constructor reached out to several indi-
viduals, companies and organizations, representing all corners of the industry, to
find out what strategies they have adopted and key takeaways they can offer other
companies looking to begin the process and move the needle on this important issue.
    For its part, AGC of California made a strategic move in the fall of 2020 to more fully
engage in the conversation around how to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in
construction with the launch of the AGC DEI Task Force. This team of professionals
from all sectors of the industry was charged with exploring ideas and solutions.
Their work culminated with the release of a major recommendation report in the
spring of 2021. (See the September/October 2021 California Constructor for more).

AGC DEI Steering Committee Chair ‘Dr. G’
In a follow-up to the initial efforts of the DEI Task Force, AGC launched the DEI
Steering Committee in the fall of 2021. Its focus: turn ideas and proposed solutions
into action. Dr. Giovanna Brasfield (known as Dr. G) chairs the AGC of California
DEI Steering Committee.
   Formerly Vice President of Project Diversity & Inclusion for the Southwest
Division of Flatiron Corporation and now CEO and Principal of her own DEI con-
sulting firm, Brasfield & Associates, Dr. G brings extensive industry experience to
the committee. She pointed out that although there have been seminal changes in
the DEI landscape in recent years, there is still much work to be done.

                                                          CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR
                                                            J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2   7
CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR - Learn Engage - AGC of California
“There has truly been a shift of the
perceived importance of diversity, equity,
and inclusion from a nice to have to an
essential must-have, Dr. G noted. “We
are seeing more organizations focusing
on increasing the representation of all
employees, especially Black employees,
across the industry. In the last year, we
have seen a near 300-fold increase in the
implementation of employee resource
groups (ERGs) and an increased focus
on inclusive recruitment, unconscious
bias training, and countless strategic
discussions around hiring, promoting,
and retention of Black employees.”
    While 2020 was the year to say some-
thing about the need for greater inclusion                        Babatunde Onadele, Jr.                         Dr. Giovanna Brasfield
in the industry, 2021 became the year of
action. “Many organizations retained         phasis on building sustainable long-term       Onadele said. They initially brought their
consultants to assist with designing, im-    strategic plans. The focus: What do com-       concerns to company President Dan
plementing, monitoring, and measuring        panies’ mission, vision, and values look       Rogers, who in turn expanded the con-
programs. While other organizations          like aligned with their DEI strategic vision   versation to include the entire executive
tasked their ERGs to explore new ways        three, five, or ten years out for improving    leadership team.
to help foster more inclusive employee       efforts for inclusion of African-American          “The goal was to find some actionable
hiring and retention practices, especially   employees within their organizations,          steps to take and the fact that these were
African-American employees. Some or-         including at the higher levels.”               viewed as important at the top was reas-
ganizations held diversity summits, town                                                    suring. When things are taken seriously
hall meetings, and employee forums—          Blach Construction PMs Driving                 from the top down, their importance
generally encouraging critical employee      Change                                         channels through to all the employees,”
conversations,” Dr. G contended.             At Blach Construction in San Jose, project     Hardy said. “You’ve got to have that
    Dr. G also participated in numer-        managers Babatunde Onadele, Jr. and            buy-in.”
ous industry initiatives, such as RAND’s     Sofia Hardy have helped propel just                “It was also important to establish
Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy’s     such a strategic focus on issues around        metrics to measure success,” Onadele
work with the National Association of        diversity, equity and inclusion over the       said. “We, the Black Employee Resource
Minority Contractors – SoCal Chapter,        past couple of years. What began with          Group, consciously identified and out-
Procore’s Culture Academy, and beta          informal, organic conversations among          lined our standards of success. We did
testing Procore/AGC of California’s new-     a handful of employees following the           not want to form this whole initiative,
ly launched initiative, Project Engage.      George Floyd incident in summer 2020           creating ambitious goals, only to then
“These and other initiatives still in the    led to the creation of a new employee          have the action fall flat due to a lack of
making promise to make a real impact.        resource group to tackle recruitment,          support from the company. We want to
Leveraging leadership and culture to         retention and promotion of Black em-           truly inspire change.”
increase diversity and building a true       ployees at all levels of the company.              One primary area of focus has been
sense of belonging can lead to overall           “Obviously having the common bond          shaking up Blach’s college recruiting
business success,” she added.                of a similar background and being a            strategies. “We’ve always had a strong re-
    What’s ahead for 2022? Dr. G believes,   minority within our industry and our           cruiting program, now it’s time to expand
“We’re going to see intentional strategic    company, we recognized that there were         our prospects. There are so many qualified
planning of DEI programs with an em-         things that we would like to see changed,”     Black candidates who are passionate

      J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2
George Hanible                              Meg-Anne Pryor                                               Sofia Hardy

about engineering and have the drive to
be successful, and it is our responsibility
to seek them out and build that pipeline,”           “In the last year, we have seen a near
Onadele said. “And we are. It’s one of our
strategic goals.”                                 300-fold increase in the implementation
                                                      of employee resource groups and an
    He and Hardy joined Blach’s college
interview teams last year, adding greater
diversity to the public face of the company
as they interact with potential recruits
                                                increased focus on inclusive recruitment,
at Cal State East Bay, Colorado State
University, San Jose State University, and
                                                 unconscious bias training, and countless
institutions throughout California. They              strategic discussions around hiring,
also attended several events put on by
SJSU’s minority engineering program.                    promoting, and retention of Black
    In addition to diversity and inclusion
in recruiting, Blach has increased its                         employees.” – Dr. Giovanna Brasfield
overall awareness of the need to retain
Black employees by ensuring equity and
addressing unconscious bias.
    “A question I’ve raised is ‘how are we
putting [Black employees] in positions        in management positions have to really           As part of its strategic vision through
to be successful?’” Onadele said. “In my      evaluate what they are judging employees     2025, Blach has included an ambitious
experience, after being involved on many      on in terms of potential, because it can     goal that 50% of Blach’s interns and
smaller projects, I was recruited for a       shape a person’s career.”                    new hires be from diverse or minority
larger, more complex and visible project.        So where are they in the process?         backgrounds. “It’s gratifying to see the
This changed the trajectory of my career         Progress is being made, but “this is      purposeful attention put towards this
because I was challenged, championed          just the beginning,” Onadele said. “It is    initiative. The stepping stones are in place
and given the opportunity to showcase my      important to note that there is a lot more   and I’m excited to see what’s to come,”
capabilities at the highest level. People     runway in front of us than behind us.”       Hardy said.

                                                                                                      CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR
                                                                                                        J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2   9
Focus on Inclusionary Recruitment
at Dragados
George Hanible, National Contract Com-
pliance DBE/EEO Officer for Dragados
and formerly with Skanska, has been in
the forefront of the push for progress in                      “We don’t just want to count
                                                             numbers. It’s getting qualified
Black representation in the industry. “I’ve
seen changes and we’ve had ups and
downs over the last 30 years,” he noted.
    Moving towards a more inclusionary
                                                         people but them giving people the
recruitment process and getting away                       opportunities to advance in our
from the “check the box” mentality are
essential steps to building a truly diverse                           industry.” – George Hanible
and inclusive company in the construc-
tion industry, Hanible said.
    Strategies that he has found most ef-
fective include recruiting from colleges
with a large Black population, having
someone of color on the recruiting team,
partnering with community-based orga-          getting qualified people but them giving      Engineers union, journeying out through
nizations like the Urban League or Black       people the opportunities to advance in        their apprenticeship program.
Chamber of Commerce, and even going            our industry.”                                     Pryor jumped at the opportunity to
into churches with a large Black population                                                  join OE3 a little over three years ago; she
to post information on job opportunities.      OE3 Coordinator on Recruiting                 serves as the first female, Black appren-
    Visiting schools in communities where      Blacks into the Trades                        ticeship coordinator in the union’s history.
Dragados is working to talk about projects     Some of those same recruitment strategies     Her boots-on-the-ground approach to
and partnering with local youth author-        have also proven successful for Meg-Anne      recruitment often puts her in community
ities and foster care programs to inform       Pryor, Coordinator for the California         meetings well past “typical” business
underrepresented, at-risk youth about          Operating Engineers Journeymen and            hours or talking to at-risk minority youth
the many opportunities in construction         Apprentice Training Center (OE3 JATC)         in the San Francisco neighborhood in
are other effective ways to recruit Black      near Sacramento. Her efforts to help boost    which she grew up. She is constantly
workers.                                       Black enrollment and representation in        looking for the next recruit and is eager
    “You really have to think outside the      the union’s pre-apprenticeship and ap-        to share the many rewarding career op-
box,” Hanible said. His advice to compa-       prenticeship training programs focuses        portunities construction offers.
nies looking to start the journey? “If you     on outreach at every level.                        “A lot of people don’t know about
are a firm whose management is mostly              “It’s going into the schools, doing ca-   the trades or about construction, so it’s
Caucasian, it can be hard to start think-      reer fairs, giving out business cards, and    a real eye-opener for them to hear about
ing about how to recruit people of color.      working with individuals to give them the     it,” she said.
Work with organizations that can help          tools” to navigate the process, she noted.         Her pitch to young students: “I al-
you identify where the cache of talent is.         Pryor decided to enter the construc-      ways tell them if I can do it, you can do
Then put together an internal program          tion industry while in college. That’s        it. Don’t pigeonhole yourself by going
with an inclusionary component, and            when she heard about the pre-appren-          to college to get a degree and take out
make it part of your culture.”                 ticeship program, CityBuild, which offers     $100,000 in loans that you are digging
    Once Black employees are hired, it is      an 18-month program that introduces           yourself out of for years. You can go into
critical to ensure there is a clear path for   trainees to the trades. After completing      our apprenticeship program and make
advancement, Hanible added. “We don’t          the program and working a brief stint as      $100,000 a year and you don’t have to
just want to count numbers,” he said. “It’s    a Laborer, she pivoted to the Operating       pay back to anyone.”

       J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2
Turn RFIs into ROI !
  Research shows that contractors receive about 10 RFIs for every
  $1 million spent on a project. They cost money, delay projects, and
  cause legal and other risks.
  What if you could get a 5X-10X return on investment by reviewing
  construction documents in advance?
  Catch mistakes, omissions, and other potential problems before
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  “We know what we want in our heads when we communicate that idea in our drawings. Another set
  of eyes helps evaluate if we made it clear.”

  “An additional set of eyes reviewing the plans is always valuable.”
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  are so close to it we probably wouldn’t see all the errors.”

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10% discount for AGC of California                                      Ronald F. “Rawn” Nelson, SE2077
       member companies!                                                714-323-0871
Hensel Phelps completed the LAX Terminal 1.5 project
on schedule and under budget in December of 2020.

Alternative Project
Delivery Gains Ground
LAX Projects Among Others Illustrate Benefits
of More Collaborative Approaches

       J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2
            hether it is largescale airport    in major construction sectors.               2025 forecast period, employing various
            jobs, government buildings,            The report that was released in fall     procurement approaches.
            educational and healthcare         2021 analyzed changes in the design-build
            facilities or myriad other         market since a similar report in 2018.       Progressive Design-Build Most
            project types, owners are          It projects that design-build will see a     Popular
increasingly turning to alternative delivery   compound annual growth rate of 7.6%          In the Pacific region, progressive de-
methods to improve the speed, efficiency,      over the next four years, reaching a total   sign-build is the method most frequently
and the overall outcome of their capital       of $400 billion by 2025.                     used to procure design-build projects.
building projects.                                 Owners cited a variety of reasons for    It brings the design-builder onto the
    In California and throughout the Unit-     selecting design-build delivery for their    owner’s team even earlier in the design
ed States, the use of design-build delivery    projects. Chief among them: project goals    phase than traditional design-build. An-
in particular has soared in recent years to    and objectives, project complexity and       other key feature: the design-builder is
become the leading delivery method of          innovation, and schedule.                    selected almost entirely on qualifications,
choice. A recent report by the Design Build        The DBIA/FMI report found that           according to DBIA.
Institute of America (DBIA) and FMI, the       the Pacific, South Atlantic and West             CM at-Risk (CMR), Integrated Project
“Design-Build Utilization Update,” found       South-Central regions are expected to        Delivery and Construction Manager/
that design-build will account for as much     account for the largest volume of de-        General Contractor (CMGC) are some
as 47% of construction spending by 2025        sign-build spending during the 2021-         of the other alternative delivery methods

                                                                                                       CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR
                                                                                                         J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2   13
that collectively have dwarfed the tradi-
tional design-bid-build, or “hard bid,”
                                                   “We took away                              project that is currently underway and
                                                                                              the recently completed LAX Terminal 1.5
approach to project delivery. In fact, the         risk and a lot of                          Concourse project for Southwest Airlines.
DBIA/FMI report forecasts that the tra-                                                       These projects and others at LAX have
ditional method will make up just 15% of          the challenge by                            employed alternative delivery methods
project spending from 2021-2025 – an 8%                                                       including CMR and design-build, which
decrease from the 2016-2020 timeframe.          going design-build                            helped increase collaboration and cre-
    Alternative delivery methods like de-
sign-build offer several clear advantages
                                                 with major trade                             ative problem solving.
                                                                                                  The $344 million LAX Terminal 1.5
that set projects up for success. Most nota-
                                                partners, including                           project finished on schedule and under
bly, they benefit the schedule by allowing                                                    budget in December of 2020, utilizing
construction to begin before design is             for the baggage                            CMR with a hybrid mechanical/electrical/
complete. They also offer contractors the                                                     plumbing (MEP) design-build compo-
opportunity to be involved earlier in the        handling system.                             nent. The project connected Terminals 1

                                                   It really helped
project and have constructability input                                                       and 2 and upgraded or added a security
during design while promoting greater                                                         checkpoint, baggage arrival and ticketing
collaboration among the entire team.
                                                 to bring the trade                           area. It included a large bus gate connect-
                                                                                              ing the domestic carrier to the airport’s
AGC Member Projects in the                         partners to the                            international terminal.
Forefront                                                                                         The project team overcame numerous
There are numerous examples of highly            table early to sort                          challenges, not the least of which was
successful current and completed AGC                                                          remaining fully operational during the
member projects, spanning virtually every         out the logistical                          entire COVID-19 pandemic. “We had
market sector, that have leveraged the
benefits of alternative delivery methods.
                                                 and construction                             no shutdowns on the project and we
                                                                                              stayed on schedule, even though every
Among them:                                          challenges.”                             week there seemed to be new regulations
ǃ Otto Construction recently helped con-                                                      issued,” Brunswig said.
vert a historic power plant on the Sacramen-      – Jeff Brunswig, Hensel Phelps                  In addition, as the only spot at LAX
to River into the SMUD Museum of Science                                                      never been built upon, the project site has
and Curiosity as part of a collaborative                                                      a critical 60-inch outfall sewer underneath
design-build effort with Dreyfuss and                                                         it that runs all the way from downtown
Blackford Architects, Buehler Structural       Alternative Delivery Prevails on               Los Angeles to the airport’s Hyperion
Engineers and the city of Sacramento.          Major Program at LAX                           treatment plant. Avoiding any disruption
ǃ Clark Construction is leading the            Nowhere are the benefits of alternative de-    to this major utility as crews drilled pile
design and construction of San Diego           livery approaches more clearly represented     foundations just feet from the sewer line
State University (SDSU)’s Aztec Stadium        than on a series of projects for Los Angeles   proved to be a major logistical challenge.
using design-build delivery.                   World Airports (LAWA) and major carriers           “This wasn’t a one-size-fits all ap-
ǃ Blach/Cahill is on track to complete         there. Longtime AGC contractor Hensel          proach,” Brunswig commented. “It re-
one of the largest transit-oriented devel-     Phelps is one of several AGC member            quired a collaborative effort with multiple
opments ever built in California in 2022       firms participating in the expansion and       airlines and multiple stakeholders.”
under a design-build contract.                 renovation of key portions of Los Angeles
ǃ McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.            International Airport (LAX) in preparation     Partners Brought on Early
along with key design-build partners           for the upcoming 2028 Olympics.                Bringing the major trade partners on-
utilized progressive design-build delivery         Hensel Phelps Operations Manager           board in a design-build capacity early in
and OSHPD’s collaborative review process       Jeff Brunswig is overseeing the company’s      the design phase was another key factor
to deliver the landmark Oak Pavilion at        work on the north side of the airport,         in the project’s success. “We took away
MarinHealth Medical Center.                    including the massive Delta Skyway             risk and a lot of the challenge by going

       J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2
The Delta Skyway project is currently under construction
   at LAX employing CM at-Risk Delivery.

design-build with major trade partners,        Phelps is currently building the Delta       in mind to be successful,” he commented.
including for the baggage handling sys-        Skyway project under a $956 million          The project team faces major logistical
tem,” Brunswig said. “It really helped to      contract employing CMR delivery. The         challenges accommodating up to 1,000
bring the trade partners to the table early    project will connect Terminal 2 and 3        workers at peak construction on a “post-
to sort out the logistical and construction    on the secure side of the airport and will   age stamp” sized jobsite that is blocked
challenges.”                                   create a secure connector from Termi-        in by air traffic from three sides.
    These MEP partners delivered sub-          nal 3 to the International Terminal. It is       Crews are working two shifts, six days a
stantial savings on the building’s exhaust     being constructed in two phases; Phase       week to achieve the schedule, and Hensel
systems through their early coordination       1 is slated to open in 2022 and Phase 2      Phelps is employing a host of solutions
efforts. They limited the number of shafts     finishes in mid-2023.                        such as just-in-time deliveries scheduled
going directly through the building and            The CMR delivery approach has            for nighttime and use of prefabricated
offered other input that increased con-        helped foster strong collaboration among     MEP systems that can be dropped into
structability and overall efficiency.          the entire team which is co-located to-      place. Their proactive approach to early
                                               gether on site, Brunswig noted.              material procurement allowed them to
CMR Drives Collaboration                           “Everybody is rowing in the same         avoid many of the supply chain issues
Also on the north end of LAX, Hensel           direction and has to keep the same goals     that have impacted other projects.

                                                                                                       CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR
                                                                                                         J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2   15
Left: Keynote speaker Dr. Kristy Cane. Above: First place winners in the AGC of California 34th annual
                                              Construction Safety Excellence Awards gathered during the Awards luncheon in Indian Wells.

Honoring Safety Excellence
                                                                                                          Spotlight on Mental Health and
                                                                                                          Construction Safety
                                                                                                          Attendees heard a dynamic keynote ad-
                                                                                                          dress from mental health expert/psychol-
AGC of California Recognizes Winners of 2021                                                              ogist Dr. Kristy Cane, who spotlighted the
Construction Safety Excellence Awards Competition                                                         critical and timely issue of mental health
                                                                                                          in construction. Dr. Cane highlighted how
                                                                                                          the pandemic has exacerbated mental
                                                                                                          health issues and offered positive steps
                                                                                                          individuals and companies can take to

        GC of California recently recognized                 AGC Safety Manager Brian Mello               support better mental health.
        the best in safety in the California             helped moderate the awards luncheon                  Citing various statistics showing that
        construction industry with the                   along with 2021 Safety & Health Council          the construction industry has a higher
        34 th annual Construction Safety                 Chair Donavan Seeber, ACCO Engineered            percentage of mental health and sub-
        Excellence Awards (CSEA).                        Systems, and AGC of California 2020-21           stance use issues than other sectors,
    Held in conjunction with Construct 2021              President Mike Blach. Mello pointed out          and given the vital link between mental
in Indian Wells on November 11, the CSEA                 that the awards illustrate AGC’s commit-         health and jobsite safety, Dr. Cane urged
awards drew a crowd of several hundred                   ment to strengthening the professional           employers to take a proactive stance in
construction executives, safety professionals,           standards of contractors’ safety and health      addressing it directly with their workers.
AGC members and student chapter mem-                     efforts across California.                           “You need to be talking to your em-
bers to see nearly two dozen AGC firms and                   “Together, our members actively cre-         ployees and the people that you work
individuals honored for safety excellence.               ate opportunities to build and strengthen        with about mental health,” she asserted.
    “Safety is paramount in our industry.                our state,” Mello said. “At AGC, a ‘Culture      “It is really important we encourage
It allows our most important asset, our                  of Safety’ is a collection of beliefs and        employees to understand what mental
people, to get home safely, do their es-                 values that are shared by owners to front-       health assistance is available.”
sential work in a safe environment and                   line leadership focused on the safety and            Following the keynote address, AGC
continue to build California. Congratu-                  wellbeing of all employees. All members          recognized the winners of the 2021 CSEA
lations to our award winners this year                   of the Safety and Health Council actively        Awards, which honored their strong
who exemplify this for our industry,” said               drive a culture of safety across the state       commitment to safe work practices over
Peter Tateishi, CEO, AGC.                                to better our industry.”                         the past year.

       J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2
CSEA Main Category/ Worker Hours
Building Division
                                                       Neil Gibson Named Safety
Under 600,000 Worker Hours
1st place – BNBuilders
                                                       Professional of Year
2nd place – Blach Construction                             eil Gibson,
900,000 – 2 Million Worker Hours                           safety manager
1 place – Hensel Phelps
                                                           of Kiewit Infra-
2nd place – Clark Construction                         structure West Co.,
Over 3 Million Worker Hours                            received the AGC/
Swinerton                                              Harry Eckstein Safety
                                                       Professional of the
Heavy, Civil and Highway Division                      Year award for 2021.
Under 400,000 Worker Hours                             The prestigious award
1st place – Nova Group                                 is given annually to
2 place – Blois Construction
                                                       someone who has devoted their career to making construction
3rd place – Teichert Energy and Utilities Group Inc.   workplaces safer.
600,000 – 900,000 Worker Hours                            Backed by 33 years of experience in safety, Gibson’s passion
1st place – Myers & Sons Construction                  and commitment to safety culture have earned him the respect
2nd place – Sully-Miller                               of many industry peers. He has been asked on many occasions
1 Million – 2 Million Worker Hours                     to be a guest speaker at conferences of joint venture partners,
1st place – Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.             clients, contractors, unions, the army corps, and independent
2nd place – Griffith Company                           groups.
                                                          At Kiewit, his responsibilities include managing, develop-
Specialty Contractor Division                          ing, and implementing safety programs and protocols. Gibson
Under 400,000 Worker Hours                             facilitates an on-site culture of continuous safety awareness using
1st place – L.K. Comstock National Transit             weekly toolbox meetings and hazard analysis activities. He pro-
2 place – Foundation Constructors, Inc.
                                                       vides safety oversight for work plans, prepares crisis management
500,000 – 900,000 Worker Hours                         plans, and promotes coordination between project management
1 place – A-C Electric Company
                                                       and owner safety management staff.
2nd place – Marina Landscape, Inc.                        Gibson oversees and supports all the Kiewit projects in the
Over 4 Million Worker Hours                            Southern California and Northern California Districts. He has
1st place – ACCO Engineered Systems                    supervised millions of man-hours over the last several years and
2 place – BrightView Landscape Development
                                                       billions of dollars’ worth of construction. He hosts a web-based
                                                       safety training for all employees about current issues, specific
                                                       topics and enforces Kiewit’s philosophy “Nobody Gets Hurt.”

CSEA Specialized Awards                                Additionally, he helped develop and implement a leading-indicator
                                                       program for Kiewit where each project identifies and pinpoints
Harry Eckstein Safety Professional of the Year         common practices that may lead to future injuries.
Neil Gibson, Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.               In nominating him for the award, Kiewit Infrastructure West
                                                       Senior Vice President Matt Scott commented, “What drives Neil
Individual Safety Effort of a Project Superintendent   every day is putting processes and procedures in place to make
Adam McNutt, Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.            sure everyone goes home safely when their shift ends, and then
                                                       reinforcing those processes and procedures with everyone from
Safety on a High Hazard Project                        management to craft. He has never wavered from his commitment
Skanska USA Civil West, “State Route 60 Truck          to keeping safety simple and ensuring that Nobody Gets Hurt!”
Lanes Project”

                                                                                              CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR
                                                                                                J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2   17
Challenging State Route 60 Job Wins High Hazard Award
     stretch of winding highway through an
     arid mountain pass in an area of River-
     side County known as the “badlands”
was the location for a highly challenging,
$96 million road widening project under-
taken by Skanska USA Civil West.
   The project team overcame unique
challenges to safely complete the 4.5-
mile State Route 60 Truck Lanes project,
earning it the AGC Construction Safety
Excellence Award for Safety on a High
Hazard job.
   The challenges were substantial. They
included: workers using rope access and
climbing techniques to access the steep
slopes, alongside a specialized spider
excavator; operators challenged with
accessing shoring systems deep inside a
ravine; and mitigating the risk of rattle-
snakes daily, to name just a few.
   As part of the contract, Skanska con-       ching goal of the project was to improve         and dump on the east bound side, the
structed truck climbing and descending         safety and access for public motorists.          project superintendent suggested installing
lanes, widened shoulders to standards             Skanska matched the project’s many            conveyor belts in the existing culverts that
widths and established two large wildlife      challenges with an intense focus on              passed under the road. This allowed for dirt
crossings among other things.                  safety. The team consistently innovated          to be loaded directly onto the conveyor and
   The area surrounding the project is an      and planned every detail to protect their        then loaded out on the opposite side.
unforgiving landscape, with little to no ex-   workers and the traveling public. Their             The solution eliminated almost 40,000
ternal access to the route. The route itself   approach to safety encompassed four              truck trips on the public roadway, greatly
consists of two lanes in each direction,       main categories: planning, protection,           reducing public and worker exposure.
with no inside or outside shoulders. The       communication, and controlling change.
pass is carved through steep slopes and                                                         Protection
deep valleys. In several areas, the slopes     Planning                                         Traffic accidents continue to be the #1
extend 200 feet vertically, directly from      With the project broken into six stages,         cause of worker deaths in California and
the roadway, while on the opposite side,       planning often required in-depth review of       are a grave danger to construction work-
there is a 100-foot-deep ravine.               constructing temporary pavement sections,        ers on highways.
   With no shoulders and no easily             traffic switches, access to the site for work-      The team committed early on to provid-
accessible alternate routes, State Route       ers, haul trucks, and pavement operations.       ing 100% positive protection to workers.
60 through the Badlands has one of the            Just one example of this planning             The only time work would be performed
highest fatality pictures in the state. When   success: during a review of a haul route in      within the traffic lanes would be under
serious accidents occur, access for emer-      which trucks would need to be loaded on          the few full closure windows that were
gency responders is extremely difficult,       the west bound side and then travel about        allowed. All other work would happen
creating major traffic issues. An overar-      six miles through the job to turn around         behind positive barriers such as K-rail.

       J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2
Communicating the risk and the plan to
the field crews was critical. The entire
job met each day to address haul routes,
concrete pours, current or changing ac-
cess, near misses, or areas for concern.
   Skanska’s safety program follows
a strict plan, do, check, act cycle. This   Kiewit Superintendent Recognized
encouraged project leadership to be                                      s super-        safety and gaining a greater under-
in the field every day making sure                                       intendent       standing of what motivates them. He
the construction work plans were                                         at Kiewit       works to connect and build relation-
understood and that new risks were                                  Infrastructure       ships with workers to create trust and
communicated and quickly corrected.                                 West Co. for         an investment in one another.
   Strong communication was also                                    over 14 years,          Just one example of this critical
maintained with all project stakehold-                              Adam McNutt          relationship building was on the Hell Hole
ers. The California Highway Patrol and                              has managed          Dam Core Raise project (pictured above),
other surrounding response agencies         numerous complicated and hazardous           which is located in a very remote, moun-
were regularly kept abreast of current      projects including the Crane Valley Dam      tainous area with one road in and out
project concerns.                           Seismic Retrofit, Southeast Connector        to the nearest town, Foresthill. Getting
                                            Phase 1, Folsom Dam Auxiliary Spillway       to the town can be a 2-hour trip on the
Controlling Change                          Phase 4, and Hell Hole Dam Core Raise.       steep, winding road. The remote location
The focus on controlling change was            AGC recognized McNutt with its            required that the crew live on-site and
a differentiator on this project. With      2021 CSEA Award for individual safety        all their food and supplies be brought in.
several phases, constant unforeseen         effort of a project superintendent.          Everything had to be carefully accounted
conditions, and an overwhelming                McNutt views every project through        for or time and money would be lost.
scope, the team repeatedly was able to      the lens of safety as soon as Kiewit is      Proactive communication between the
identify changes and correct course.        awarded the job. He starts by reviewing      team was extremely important.
   When large sections of 200-ft. tall      the details of the project and making a         Fire danger, wildlife danger, dam
slopes would fail and threaten the          list of Life Changing Categories (LCC)       crest excavation and COVID-19 were
public and workers, the team imme-          and areas of the project where these         just some of the major hazards the team
diately worked to remedy the situa-         incidents can occur.                         faced. The job was performed with zero
tion. In one case specialized “spider”         From there, he works with the team        safety incidents throughout the entire
excavators were used to crawl up            to engineer the risk away or if that can’t   job. Building relationships with the entire
45-degree slopes to access otherwise        be done, develops a Prevention and           team was critical to the success of this
unreachable damage.                         Reduction plan. Once the project is          project. McNutt was able to create a
   When trucks could not drive to places    ready to begin the workforce and staff       culture where everyone had a stake in
workers needed to access, rope access       are trained on the selected categories       their safety but the safety of others and
and rock-climbing techniques were used      and safety processes.                        the quality of the project.
to secure workers to the slope faces.          His focus on creating a culture of           As Kiewit Infrastructure West’s
   By understanding the risks and           safety strives to make safety real for       Northern California Area Manager,
the hazards and identifying needed          each person on the job. At the start         Todd Orbus, put it, “Adam has a unique
change, Skanska achieved a high de-         of each job, he asks craft to take time      ability to build a highly motivated team
gree of success on this project – com-      to write down their top three safety         to tackle complex and remote projects.
pleting two years and half- a-million       hazards as well as what is important to      Safety, quality, and client satisfaction
worker hours without a single incident.     them – getting workers thinking about        are his highest priority.”

                                                                                                     CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR
                                                                                                       J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2   19
2021 to the second quarter, the federal
                                                                                            Bureau of Economic Analysis reported
                                                                                            on October 1. That put California among
                                                                                            the six fastest-growing state economies,
                                                                                            considerably ahead of the U.S. growth
                                                                                            rate of 6.7%.

                                                                                            Infrastructure Funding Boom
                                                                                            The enactment of the federal Infrastruc-
                                                                                            ture Investment and Jobs Act will add
                                                                                            huge amounts to funding over the next
                                                                                            several years for highways, transit, inter-
                                                                                            city rail, water infrastructure, renewable
                                                                                            energy, broadband, and other types of
                                                                                            construction. For many of these cate-
                                                                                            gories, the timing and allocation among
                                                                                            states and projects won’t be known for
                                                                                            several months at least. But the large
                                                                                            boost in federal funds for highways and
                                                                                            bridges should start flowing soon, since

Review and Forecast:                                                                        the money will be routed according to set
                                                                                            formulas through existing programs and
Construction Prospects Brighten,                                                            agencies, namely the Federal Highway
                                                                                            Administration and Caltrans.
But Coronavirus Clouds Linger                                                                   Apart from federal dollars, California’s
BY K EN SIMONSON, AGC OF AMERICA CHIEF ECONOMIST                                            fiscal position continues to benefit from
                                                                                            rapid growth of capital gains and other
                                                                                            income tax receipts associated with the
                                                                                            strong rise in housing and stock prices.

                                                                                            Prices of existing houses sold between the
        alifornia contractors have reason      ruary to April 2020, slightly less steeply   second quarter of 2020 and the second
        to be optimistic about the volume      than the 19% fall in California. Construc-   quarter of 2021 appreciated by an aver-
        of projects in 2022. But pandem-       tion employment in October 2021 both         age of 20% in California, exceeding the
ic-related problems may cause selective        nationwide and in California was down        national average of 17%. That increase
setbacks.                                      about 2% from February 2020, indicating      supports spending by sellers, adds to
    Construction employment rebounded          that the industry was recovering more        local and state government receipts,
well in 2021 from the disastrous downturn      robustly in the state than nationally from   and encourages additional single- and
at the beginning of the pandemic. From         their respective low points. (See the ac-    multifamily homebuilding.
February to April 2020, the industry shed      companying chart on page 21.)                    Private nonresidential construction
nearly one out of five construction jobs in       The recovery should continue and          also is poised to expand. The unprece-
the state – a total of 175,000. But payrolls   probably gather steam in 2021. “Real         dented congestion at the ports of Long
swelled to 892,000, seasonally adjusted,       GDP” or inflation-adjusted gross do-         Beach and Los Angeles should lead to
by October 2021, bringing employment           mestic product – “econospeak” for the        more construction at the ports and around
back within 21,000 jobs or 2.3% of the         value of all goods and services produced     overloaded warehouses in the Inland
pre-pandemic peak in February 2020.            in a state, net of imports – increased at    Empire and elsewhere in the state. The
    By comparison, U.S. construction           an 8.1% seasonally adjusted annual rate      seemingly never-ending drought and
employment declined by 15% from Feb-           in California from the first quarter of      accompanying wildfires are leading to

       J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2
greater investment in conservation, re-
siliency, replacement structures, and         U.S. and California Construction Employment
renewable energy. Data center demand          Cumulative change,U.S.
                                                                 Feb&2020-Oct        2021, seasonally
                                                                       California Construction              adjusted
                                                                U.S. & California
                                                              Cumulative change, FebConstruction    Employment
                                                                                    2020-Oct 2021, seasonally adjusted
shows every sign of continuing to be a                                               Cumulative change, Feb 2020-Oct 2021, seasonally adjusted                         % change
hot market. And healthcare construc-                                                                                                                                  Feb
tion spending is likely to likely to pick       5%                                                                                                                    Oct 2021:
up in 2022.                                     0%
                                                 0%                                                                                                                   US -2.0%
                                                                                                                                                                      CA -2.0%
                                                                                                                                                                     CA -2.3%
Dimmer Outlook for Some Sectors                -5%
Not all categories have a bright outlook,     -10%
however. Segments with dimmer or less
certain prospects include hotels and          -15%
other travel-related businesses such as       -20%
                                               -20%2/20           4/20           6/20         8/20   10/20   12/20      2/21     4/21        6/21       8/21      10/21
resorts and theme parks. Office construc-             2/20        4/20           6/20         8/20   10/20   12/20      2/21     4/21       6/21       8/21      10/21

tion is likely to remain concentrated in                Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                         Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

remodeling and repurposing of existing
structures, rather than new construction.     and set records for six months in a row, in                            erated the net loss of population that
     Colleges and universities will not       a series that dates back to the end of 2000.                           California first experienced in 2020. The
be robust markets unless enrollments                                                                                 Census Bureau reported in December
increase, which will depend in part on        The Workforce Challenge                                                2020 that the state lost population be-
the ability and willingness of foreign        A number of factors suggest the challenge                              tween July 1, 2019 and July 1, 2020 for the
students to return. Retail construction       of filling construction jobs may get even                              first time since the agency first calculated
is likely to remain lackluster, apart from    harder in 2022.                                                        annual state population in 1900. Since
restaurants and conversion of shuttered           First, an ongoing survey of Facebook                               mid-2020 the number of deaths increased
stores into new retail, local (“last mile”)   users conducted by the Delphi Group                                    from previous years, the number of births
distribution, or other uses.                  at Carnegie Mellon University has con-                                 dropped further, and net immigration
     Finding enough worker is likely to be    sistently found that only 53% of respon-                               remained severely depressed. California
the #1 challenge for most contractors in      dents who identify their occupation as                                 is likely to have experienced each of these
2022. In a survey that AGC of America         construction reported having received                                  trends, as well as a continued exodus to
conducted last summer and released on         coronavirus vaccination rate, far below                                other states, meaning that its population,
September 2, 86% of the 86 respondents        the 81% rate for other occupations, as of                              including working-age population, is now
who listed California as their princi-        the last week of October. Conversely, over                             shrinking more rapidly.
pal state of operations reported having       40% of construction respondents--more                                       In summary, the economy nationally
open positions for hourly craft workers.      than double the share for other occupa-                                and in California appears to be bouncing
That was close to the 90% of respon-          tions--reported being “vaccine hesitant.”                              back from the devastation caused by the
dents nationally with such openings.              Because coronavirus cases severe                                   pandemic. But there remain both linger-
Three-quarters of the California contrac-     enough to require hospitalization are                                  ing problems and the risk of renewed
tors had openings for salaried positions,     occurring almost exclusively among                                     setbacks. Contractors can expect to share
considerably above the 62% nationally         unvaccinated individuals, any further                                  in the expansion, if they can hire enough
who reported salaried position openings.      spike in cases is likely to hit construction                           workers and keep them healthy.
     Competition for workers has steadily     workers harder than other occupations.
intensified among all industries in the       Furthermore, mandates from government
state. The Bureau of Labor Statistics re-     or private owners that anyone entering
ported on November 12 that there were         their premises be vaccinated will make
1,155,000 job openings in California at the   it harder for contractors to field healthy,                                                Ken Simonson
end of September. Seasonally adjusted         qualified crews.
openings had risen every month in 2021            The pandemic may also have accel-

                                                                                                                                  CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTOR
                                                                                                                                    J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 2   21
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