ACEC Recent Highlights

ACEC Engineering Index

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The ACEC Index compares the stock performance of ACEC’s publicly held Member Firms with the NYSE Composite Index and Total U.S. Construction Spending.

A/E Employment

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Total U.S. architectural and engineering employment climbed in September after falling in the previous two months.

 

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ACEC Webinars

 
November
21—Public-Private Partnerships: Opportunities and Risk for Consulting Engineers, by David Hatem & Patricia Gary, Donovan Hatem LLP; Valerie Onderka, RSC-Lexington Insurance Co.; Craig Covil, ARUP; Robert Fogle, HNTB; David Vanaman, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc.; and Karen Erger, Lockton Co. How to anticipate and address the risks inherent in PPPs.
 
26—How to Give and Receive Effective Feedback Improving Your Mental Flexibility or Change Your Thinking About the Way You Think, by Gary Bates, Partner, Roenker Bates Group. Improve your communication skills by improving how your give and receive feedback.
 
December
3—Trends in the Merger and Acquisition Market for Design Firms, by David Cohen, Matheson Financial Advisors. Learn how to best position your firm to successfully close deals in the new market environment.
 
4—Proposals That Win, by Wendy Nemitz, Ingenuity Marketing Group. Proven methods for setting up a successful proposal process.
 
10—Critical Business Development Skills: Emotional Intelligence, by David Stone, Stone & Company. How to leverage the four elements of Emotional Intelligence.
 
12—Year-End Overhead Planning, by T. Wayne Owens, T. Wayne Owens & Associates. Take practical steps to maximize your FAR overhead rate and add to your bottom line.
 
17—Industry Economic Update—Looking Ahead to 2014, by Lee Smither, FMI. Where is the economy gaining strength and what market sectors will flourish?
 
18—Taming the E-mail Beast Using MS Outlook, by Randy Dean, Randall Dean Consulting & Training. Learn strategies for effective e-mail management, organization, and prioritization that have helped thousands of business professionals regain control and sanity with their e-mail activities.
 
January
8—Client Research: Debunking Myths and Maximizing ROI, by Richard Friedman, Friedman & Partners. Leverage client/prospect studies in the project delivery and business development processes.
 
14—Ten Keys to Business Continuity Planning, by Bob Mellinger. How to develop, maintain, and implement an effective business continuity management plan.
 
15—Strategic Decision-Making in Uncertain Times, by Mick Morrissey, Morrissey Goodale. How to guide your firm in an uncertain and increasingly competitive marketplace.
 
22—Sellwood Bridge: Team-Building to Drive Complex Project Delivery, by Mike Baker, David Evans and Associates, Inc. Case study demonstrates the dramatic benefits of team-building among stakeholders in a project.
 
28—Privacy and Security Simplified—Federal and State Privacy and Security Law Requirements, by Julie Ryan, Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist.An up-to-date look at federal and state legislation regarding privacy and security requirements, data loss, identity theft, and the impact on companies.
 
29—Writing Winning Proposals—2014, by Clare Ross, The Clare Ross Organization, Inc.If you're not winning at least 50 percent of your proposals, you need to change your approach.
 
February
5—Ownership Transition 2.0, by Bill Mandell & Laura Howard, MBV Law. Learn how to establish value, design an ownership transition program, choose appropriate transfer mechanisms, and identify leaders.
 
11—Are You Fighting Fires Instead of Managing Your Employees - 2014, by Gary Bates, Partner, Roenker Bates Group. Proper delegation techniques will get you out of the firefighting syndrome.
 
12—Driving Performance through Enhanced Data Management, by John Macrae, principal, and Justin Craig, senior manager, CohnReznick Advisory Group. Learn about an approach to data management that gets you the information you need when you need it in order to make timely and effective decisions.
 
26—Enabling Social Collaboration and Engagement in the Workplace, by Jeff Eckerle, Deltek. Social collaboration allows for one common space for individuals to get together, share ideas, share tasks, manage tasks, share files, share calendars and collaborate with the entire group to move your project to completion.
 
27—Engineer-Led Design-Build: Simple, Safe & Profitable, by Mark Friedlander, Schiff Hardin. How can an engineering firm structure itself to lead design-build teams, working with a strategically allied contractor to make greater profit with less risk than in traditional jobs.
 
March
4—Why Clients REALLY Select Your Firm, by Bob Mellinger. Learn the best practices for building client relationships that last.
 
12—PR Tips, Tactics, and Insights to Build Your Brand, by Debra Andrews, Marketri. Enhance your public image, gain greater visibility, and influence the opinions of target audiences  decision-makers, media and the public-at-large through effective PR strategies and positioning.
 
18—Ensuring Profitable Growth, Developing Winning Strategies for Solid, Measurable Results, by Clare Ross, The Clare Ross Organization, Inc. To change your results and succeed in today's competitive marketplace, you must adapt and change what your are doing.
 
20—Ethical Decision Making fir PEs: Today's Standards and Benefits, by Gerard Cavaluzzi, vice president and division counsel, ARCADIS U.S., Inc. An in-depth look into the ACEC Professional and Ethical Conduct Guidelines, applicable standards of practice, and ethical behavior in general.
 
25—Rebranding Your Firm - Why? What? and How?, by David Lecours, Principal & Creative Director, LecoursDesign. Navigate the process of why (or why not), what, and how to complete a successful engineering firm rebranding project.
 
April
2—14 Touches to Win the Sales Cycle, by Wendy Nimitz. Learn the 14 best ways to reach out, share your expertise without sounding like it's a hard sell, and warm up prospects to choose your firm for its knowledge and credibility.
 
8—Mergers & Acquisitions 2.0, by Bill Mandell & Laura Howard, MBV Law. Learn the essentials of M&A, including how to value your firm, position and package your firm for sale, attract the best buyers, and avoid common pitfalls.
 
May
14—Ten Keys to Business Continuity Planning - 2014, by Bob Mellinger, president, Attainium. Learn the 10 keys to developing, implementing and maintaining an effective business continuity management program.
 
June
3—Simple Revenue Boosters to Start Now, by Wendy Nimitz. How do you communicate your value in ways that directly impact your bottom line?
 

 

Latest News

ACEC Calls for Congressional Budget Conferees to End Sequestration, Protect the Highway Trust Fund

ACEC has joined with the US Chamber of Commerce and other business groups in urging House and Senate budget conferees to end the damaging across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration and to take steps to restore solvency to the Highway Trust Fund.

House and Senate negotiators are currently working on a long-term budget agreement. Both sides remain far apart, however, raising concerns whether Congress will reach an agreement before the current continuing resolution expires in mid-January.

A letter co-signed by the Council, the Chamber and more than 100 business organizations calls on budget negotiators to “develop a framework for moving forward toward fundamental entitlement reform and comprehensive tax reform in 2014.” The letter specifically advocates for balanced tax policies that ease both corporate and individual rates, a key priority for ACEC. Click here to view the letter.

The Council has also joined with the Associated General Contractors, AASHTO, ARTBA and other stakeholders in urging budget conferees to address the long-term funding challenges that threaten the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. The Council stressed that significant deficit reductions could be achieved “by returning the Highway Trust Fund to a user-supported revenue system with predictable, sustainable and growing revenue sources.” Click here to view the letter.

House Moves Forward on ACEC-Backed Energy Legislation

The House passed two energy bills on Wednesday to expand domestic energy production. A third measure is expected to pass later this week. ACEC supports all three bills.

The Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act of 2013 would reform the leasing process for onshore oil and natural gas projects on federal lands, ensure that funds are available for wind and solar permitting, and establish clear rules for the development of U.S. oil shale resources.

The Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act would prohibit the Interior Department from enforcing federal hydraulic fracturing regulations in any state that already has them and would recognize states’ authority to regulate this type of activity.

On Thursday, the House is poised to pass the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act, which would expedite permitting for the construction of interstate natural gas pipelines. It would mandate that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rule on a requested pipeline certificate no later than 12 months after receiving a complete application.

The Senate is unlikely to act on these initiatives before the end of the year, although one or more of them could come up in the context of a larger energy or budget package in 2014.

ACEC/North Carolina Wins State Expansion of QBS

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed a new law in September that closed a long-standing loophole in the state's Qualifications-Based Selection law and eases the use of design-build in public projects.

"Everyone got something and gave something," said ACEC/NC Executive Director Jim Smith. "We agreed to raise the threshold on the limit of engineering work that can be bid—$30,000 to $50,000 on NCDOT and public projects—and in turn, public sector entities can no longer exempt a project from QBS selection, which was a huge win for the design community."

The new law also removes the requirement that local municipalities solicit state legislative approval prior to pursuing design-build contracts.

To view a copy of the law, click here.

ACEC Backs Infrastructure Bank Bill; Opposes Devolution Plan

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) have introduced the bipartisan BRIDGE Act, which would create a national infrastructure financing authority to provide loans and loan guarantees to states and localities for infrastructure projects of regional and national significance.

The authority's $10 billion capitalization would be used to leverage state, local and private dollars. Eligible projects include transportation and water infrastructure and energy transmission, distribution and storage projects, with a minimum cost of $50 million.

ACEC supports the bill as providing another financing tool to address our country’s infrastructure priorities, particularly large projects that cannot be undertaken with conventional funding. To view details of the bill, click here.

ACEC opposes bills introduced last week in the House and Senate that would eliminate federal funding of transportation projects. The Transportation Empowerment Act, introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA), would cut the gas tax from 18.4 to 3.7¢ per gallon over a five-year period and replace current congressional appropriations with block grants. Responsibility for highways and transit programs would be transferred to the states.

ACEC has consistently advocated for a strong federal role in transportation funding because of its importance to interstate commerce and the national economy. Committee leaders in both parties oppose the measure, which is not expected to gain traction.

House Committee Clears ACEC-Backed Bill to Restrict "Patent Trolls"

The House Judiciary Committee passed bipartisan legislation today to protect engineering firms and other businesses from so-called patent “trolls”.

The Committee was responding to concerns raised by ACEC and other organizations regarding situations where law firms and/or shell companies have sent letters to engineering firms and other businesses demanding payments by asserting infringement of certain business process patents, such as commonly used technology to scan and send documents.

The legislation, introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), requires patent holders to provide more information how their products or services are being infringed upon and mandates that the losing party in an infringement suit pays the other side’s costs.

A bill introduced in the Senate by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) goes further in protecting end users by making the sending of misleading demand letters asserting patent infringement an unfair trade practice subject to prosecution by the Federal Trade Commission. The measure also directs the Patent and Trademark Office to provide support to small businesses that are targeted by patent trolls.

Illinois Surpasses ACEC/PAC Goal, Closes in on $50,000!

ACEC/Illinois blew past its ACEC/PAC fundraising goal this week, marking the ninth straight year that the Member Organization has hit its target.

ACEC/IL is still actively fundraising and plans to break the $50,000 barrier for the third year in a row. That is the largest amount raised by any state this year, and the M.O. is the only one to have raised more than $50,000 in a calendar year.

ACEC/IL PAC Champions Gregg Foltz of Chastain & Associates and John Carrato of Alfred Benesch & Company said that raising funds for ACEC/PAC is a key strategic objective for the Member Organization. “All of us understand that contributing to the PAC is part of our responsibility as ACEC members," said Foltz. "Our expectation is that everyone on our State Board needs to be a Millennium Club member, and we strive for 100 percent participation from all of our committee chairs and committee members.”

Click here for more information about ACEC’s political programs, or contact ACEC Executive Director for Political Affairs Greg Knopp or ACEC/PAC Director Cara Gavagan

ACEC Provides Minuteman Fund Grant to ACEC/Idaho for Infrastructure Funding Study

ACEC/Idaho has been awarded a Minuteman Fund grant to help defray the cost of a study on the “Economic Benefits and Impacts” of transportation funding in Idaho.

ACEC/Idaho is working with a coalition of trade, professional, and business groups on the study, which will build the case for public investment in Idaho’s roads by demonstrating the benefits the state’s economy.

Click here for more information on the Minuteman Fund.

ACEC/NHI's "Mysteries of the FAR Revealed" Courses in Madison, Wis., December 9-13

ACEC and FHWA's National Highway Institute will present Mysteries of the FAR Revealed: Using the AASHTO Audit Guide, a series of three consecutive courses, in Madison Wis., December 9-13, 2013.

ACEC and the NHI are currently presenting the course program in Watertown, Mass., and previously held one in Harrisburg, Pa.

Course One is a one-day introductory course on December 9 that reviews A/E contract cost components, regulations and standards, risk factors, and auditor roles and responsibilities.

Course Two, which runs on December 10-11, is for practitioners who want to apply the AASHTO Uniform Audit & Accounting Guide in developing and administrating A/E design consultant direct and indirect costs and rates.

Course Three runs runs December 12-13 and is designed for A/E firms, State DOT and local government auditors, CPAs and others who perform audits or audit compliance review functions in accordance with AASHTO Uniform Audit & Accounting Guide.

For more information on the three courses, click here.

ACEC/New York Supports Congressman Richard Hanna

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) (third from left), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and vice-chair of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, with (left to right) Newark Valley Mayor James Tornatore; Jim McDuffee, Delta Engineers; Ammon Bush and Linda Shumaker, Shumaker Consulting Engineering and Land Surveying; Anthony Paniccia, Delta Engineers; Charles Franzese, HUNT Engineers, Architect & Land Surveyors; and Jason Bellis, Larson Design Group..

What Can Engineering Firms Expect from the U.S. Economy in 2014?

Get the most up-to-date economic forecast for the engineering industry.

In the webinar Industry Economic Update on December 17, 2013, 1:30 -3:00 pm, Lee Smither, FMI managing director for consulting, will analyze the latest data on the direction of the U.S. economy in 2014 and the impact on engineering firms.

Find out where the economy is gaining strength and what market sectors will flourish. Get the information you need to adjust your firm's goals and strategies and take advantage of opportunities in 2014.

For more information and to register, click here.

Poster Contest Promotes Engineering Careers

Nearly 150 high school and college students participated in the Engineering Education Service Center's (EESC) 2013 Engineering Poster Contest, designing posters to motivate students to consider an engineering career.

EESC promotes the study of engineering to students from kindergarten to twelfth grade nationwide.

"With the push in schools for hands-on and project-based learning, engineering has gained a toe hold in classrooms across the world," EESC Director Celeste Baine. "Students have a much better idea about what engineers do."

To view the winning posters, click here.

The American Council of Engineering Companies
1015 15th St., NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20005-2605
Phone: 202-347-7474 - Fax: 202-898-0068
www.acec.org - E-mail:acec@acec.org
Alan D. Crockett, Director, Communications
Gerry Donohue, Editor/Designer