ACEC Recent Highlights
ACEC Stock 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.
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Total U.S. architectural and engineering employment climbed in June for the ninth consecutive month.
Did You Know?
A 50-employee ACEC Member Firm saves an average of $17,175 on annual health insurance premiums through the ACEC Life/Health Trust. Click here for details.
The Minuteman Fund helped Ohio safeguard $200 million in motor-fuel tax revenues for highway purposes. Click here for details.
To learn how member dues are an investment that delivers bottom-line results, see the ACEC Value Proposition.
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ACEC's Engineering Business Index (EBI) Shows Market Conditions Continue to Improve in 2nd Quarter
The ACEC Engineering Business Index (EBI), which charts the health of the engineering industry through member responses on company performance and market trends, indicates continuing firm growth and a positive business climate.
The Index climbed to 68.9 in the most recent quarterly survey—up from 67.4 in the last quarter. EBI is a diffusion index, consolidating answers to a series of questions about market and firm performance into a single number. Any number over 50 indicates expansion.
Cheered by a growing economy, nearly six in ten respondents (58.9 percent) are optimistic that the business climate will continue to improve over the next year, and 56.8 percent expect their profitability to increase over the next three years.
The complete EBI summary will be released next week.
Rep. Camp Unveils $10.8 Billion Highway Trust Fund Fix; ACEC Supports Both Short-Term Patch and Long-Term Solution
House Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) introduced legislation this week to transfer $10.8 billion into the Highway Trust Fund, which would extend MAP-21 funding for eight months.
The bill extends expiring customs user fees by one year and modifies federal pension laws to offset a $9.8 billion transfer from the General Fund. It also transfers $1 billion from the gas tax-supported fund for leaking underground storage tanks. Spending for highway and transit programs would be extended through May 31, 2015. The Ways & Means Committee is scheduled to vote on the measure on Thursday morning.
The Senate Finance Committee is expected to consider its Trust Fund patch this week. Committee leaders are negotiating a mix of tax measures and spending cuts to pay for an $8 billion transfer that would last through December 31, 2014.
Many Senate Democrats support extending MAP-21 only though the end of the year to leave open the possibility of passing a long-term transportation reauthorization in a post-election session. House Republican leaders would prefer to avoid taking up the bill in the lame-duck period.
ACEC urges Council members to lobby their Member of Congress and Senators to pass both a short-term funding patch and a long-term sustainable solution for the Highway Trust Fund. Click here to access a sample email letter.
House to Vote on ACEC-Backed Bonus Depreciation Measure
The House of Representatives will consider legislation this week to make permanent a measure that incentivizes business investments in equipment.
As part of the stimulus legislation enacted in 2009, Congress agreed to allow firms to write off 50 percent of the cost of new equipment in the year it is purchased. This “bonus depreciation” provision has been extended several times, and most recently expired at the end of 2013.
Bonus depreciation differs from Section 179 expensing because only purchases of new equipment qualify for bonus depreciation, while used equipment also qualifies for Section 179. In addition, Section 179 expensing is currently limited to $25,000 in purchases. Bonus depreciation does not have a similar restriction.
Although the House has approved the permanent extension of several tax provisions, the Senate continues to focus on two-year tax extender legislation. Final agreement between the two chambers will likely not occur until after the November election.
Best-Selling Business Author Erik Wahl to Speak at ACEC Fall Conference in Hawaii, October 22-25
Business strategist Erik Wahl, whose book UNthink was named "2013 Business Book of the Year", will be a featured speaker at the upcoming ACEC 2014 Fall Conference in Waikoloa, Hawaii, October 22-25.
Wahl will share strategies he used with clients—including Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, and Disney—to unleash organizational creativity and boost profitability.
Also speaking at the Conference will be political analyst Charlie Cook on the mid-term elections; FERC Commissioner Tony Clark on the "Development of America's New Energy Infrastructure"; and Member Firm CEOs on the nation's booming energy markets and the 2015 business outlook.
The Conference also features more than three dozen bottom-line-focused educational sessions; CEO roundtables; exclusive CFO and CIO tracks; the CASE Convocation; and numerous ACEC coalition, council, and forum events.
For more information and to register, click here.
ACEC Member Firms Dominate ZweigWhite's "Best Engineering Firms To Work For"
ACEC Member Firms account for 33 of the 41 ZweigWhite 2014 Best Civil Engineering Firms To Work For; 21 of the 32 Best Multidiscipline A/E Services Firms To Work For; 10 of the 17 Best Structural Engineering Firms To Work For; and four of the 10 Best Enivronmental Services Firms To Work For.
The Best Civil Engineering Firms to Work For list includes ACEC Member Firms: Bowers + Kubota Consulting, Inc., Nitsch Engineering, Inc., Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group, V3 Companies, Comprehensive Environmental, Inc., A. Morton Thomas & Associates Inc., West Yost Associates, Affinis Corp., Delta Airport Consultants Inc., P.W. Grosser Consulting, EMCS Inc., Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc. LJA Engineering, Schnabel Engineering, Inc., Gunda Corporation, Inc., Leonard Rice Engineers, Inc., Tighe & Bond, DKS Associates, R.A. Smith National, McAdams Co., Kjeldsen, Sinnock & Neudeck, Inc., Slater Hanifan Group, R&M Consultants; Walter P Moore, Sanderson Stewart, Traffic Planning and Design Inc. BKF Engineers, CP&Y , Inc, Quad Knopf, Trigon Associates, Cannon & Cannon Inc., Draper Arden Associates, and Wantman Group, Inc.
The Best Multidiscipline A/E Services Firms To Work For list includes Member Firms: Bowers + Kubota, Garver, CRW Engineering Group, LLC, Pond & Company, McDonough Bolyard Peck (MBP), Harper Houf Peterson Righellis, Inc., GeoDesign, Inc., Morrison-Maierle, Inc., USKH Inc. (Stantec), Hanson Professional Services, Inc., E.K. Fox & Associates, Ltd., Smith Seckman Reid, Inc., Maser Consulting P.A., CP&Y, Inc., SHW Group (Stantec), Braun Intertec Corporation, R.E. Warner & Associates, Inc., Halff Associates, Nobis Engineering, Inc., IIW, P.C., Chen Moore and Associates, and Sam Schwartz Engineering.
The Best Structural Engineering Firms To Work For list includes ACEC firms: Hinman Consulting Engineers, Inc., Structura, Inc., Finley Engineering Group, Inc., SidePlate Systems, Inc., Schaefer, KL&A, Inc., Walter P Moore, Reaveley Engineers + Associates, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Inc., and PES Structural Engineers, Inc.
The Best Enivronmental Services Firms To Work For list includes ACEC Member Firms: Comprehensive Environmental, Inc., P.W. Grosser Consulting, Nova Consulting Group, Inc., and Quad Knopf.
Energy Department Offers $4 Billion in Loan Guarantees for Renewable Energy Projects
The U.S. Department of Energy will make $4 billion in loan guarantees available for innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that avoid, reduce or sequester greenhouse gases.
The guarantees are intended to support technologies that are "catalytic, replicable and market-ready." DOE has identified five technology areas of interest: advanced grid integration and storage; drop-in biofuels; waste-to-energy; enhancement of existing facilities including micro-hydro or hydro updates to existing non-powered dams; and efficiency improvements.
For more information and to apply, click here.
ACEC-Supported Patent Troll Legislation Stalled in Senate
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said that legislation to crack down on patent trolls has stalled in the Senate because the Democratic leadership will not allow a floor vote.
According to Leahy, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) believes that enough Democrats and Republicans oppose the bill to keep it from moving forward.
Leahy said that he would continue to fight to bring his bill to the Senate floor. The house has already passed its own bill to stop the abusive patent infringment lawsuits and President Obama has expressed his support for patent troll legislation.